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It can be a difficult decision to choose between bifold doors and sliding doors. Often, it comes down to personal preferences or budgetary requirements. Ultimately, both door types are excellent for creating a connection between an inside and outside space, offering a modern look increasing natural light. However, it’s important to understand where they differ.

In this article, we will look at the main distinctions between the two to help you make your choice between bifold doors and sliding doors.

What is the Main Difference Between Bifold Doors and Sliding Doors?

Essentially, bifold doors are made up of at least two door leaves. When opened, they fold back against themselves in a concertina style, with each panel connected by hinges. The door panels run back and forth along a top and bottom track using a carriage system.

Sliding doors, meanwhile, are composed of two or more large panes of glass which slide to the side. When opened, the panes sit behind one another, taking up minimal space and providing similar benefits like an easy transition from indoors to outdoors and lots of natural light.

Both doors are simple and easy to open. Some argue that sliding doors are a little easier to operate, but bifold doors provide a wider opening as they don’t need to keep one pane in place at all times.

Bifold Doors vs Sliding Doors: View Compared

One of the key benefits of both types of doors is that they offer a view of the outside space. Sliding doors, in particular, are known for providing a wide, panoramic view of the outside due to their minimal frame design and large glass panes. However, you can get slimline frames for bifolds for a similar effect.

Moreover, with bifold doors, it is generally acknowledged that they provide a fuller, clearer transition from inside to outside as there is no fixed pane when fully open. Essentially, you open the doors entirely and you get a frame-free view of your garden if that’s what you want.

Bifold vs Sliding Doors: Light Compared

The fundamental design of both door types is aimed at enabling an abundance of natural light to flood into your home. In this regard, there is very little to choose between the two. Generally speaking, the amount of light that can enter your interior depends on the size of the glass panes. There is a slight benefit to sliding doors for this, due to their minimal frames, though the difference is minimal.

In fact, many argue that a set of bifold doors can offer the greater benefit for natural light. When you open them completely, there is no barrier between your home and the outside. This means more space to flood your interior with unbroken sunlight.

Bifold vs Sliding Doors: Cost Compared

When it comes to cost, sliding doors and bifold doors are quite similar. In most scenarios, the cost will be determined by the installation requirements rather than the type of door you choose.

We recommend getting in touch with our team of experts for more details about pricing differences.

Bifold vs Sliding Doors: Space Requirements Compared

It’s important that the door style fits the aesthetic of your home, but if space is at a premium then this needs to be a factor. Sliding doors can be the better space-saving option since bifold doors take up more floor space when folded open.

Sliding doors can be made up of between 2 and 6 glass panes, depending on the space available. This flexibility makes it very easy to find a layout that will fit into virtually any wall size you have. However, bifolds can look very impressive in a smaller space, as long as there is sufficient room in the surroundings to accommodate their opening method. A medium-sized or larger home is usually better suited to installing bifold doors.

One space consideration is that bifolds offer a major advantage in their lack of threshold. Sliding doors require a wider threshold to accommodate their moving frame, but bifold doors have a flush threshold that fits virtually seamlessly to the floor.

Bifold vs Sliding Doors: Thermal Efficiency Compared

Whichever type of door you choose to install in your home, you can rest assured you are getting an extremely thermally-efficient product. The aluminium break technology of their frames offers outstanding heat retention.

For keeping warmth inside, sliding doors have a slight edge as the frames of a door are generally considered the weak point, and bifolds have a larger frame. The difference is almost negligible, however, so it is not a major consideration.

Naturally, the glazing you choose will dictate the thermal-efficiency of your bi-fold or sliding doors. Modern window glazing is however extremely energy-efficient, so whatever glazing option you choose is sure to be highly energy efficient.

You can learn more about double and triple glazing in our informative article, Double Glazing vs Triple Glazing Compared.

For ventilation, however, you may enjoy the flexibility of sliding doors. You can open them to the width you want, whereas bifold doors really have to be opened fully or not at all. It may be possible to create a hybrid door where one panel slides separately in a bifold configuration.

The Verdict: Should I Choose Bifold Doors or Sliding Doors?

After all these comparisons, the burning question is this: which is better out of bifold and sliding doors?

You may have noticed that both configurations offer many of the same benefits:

Both are also extremely secure, equipped with high-security locks to ensure your home is safe from intruders. And there is a huge spectrum of colour options available for both.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. You will get similar benefits from both, so it comes down to personal preference. Many will tell you that sliding doors offer a little extra flexibility, while others will choose bifold doors for features like a wider opening and narrower threshold.

When all is said and done, only you can make the choice of which is better for you. If you have questions or need more personal advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to someone from our friendly team.

Why choose Eco Thermal Design for your new aluminium bi-folding or sliding patio doors?

Eco Thermal Design has transformed countless homes across Yorkshire with quality aluminium bi-folding and sliding patio doors. We work with the some of the most prestigious brands and can offer the following;

We pride ourselves on the quality of our tradespeople, who are not only talented, but exceptionally friendly and polite. Our Which Trusted Trader reviews are testament to the quality of both our work and our people. We also guarantee our work with an insurance-backed guarantee.

If you are considering bi-folding doors for your home, please feel free to read Bi-Folding Doors – A Complete Buyers Guide.

If you would like to discuss your options with one of our bi-folding doors or sliding doors experts, please feel free to get in touch here.

What Our Customers Say

“Quality products are only as good as the team that fit them and in our case both the product and the fitters resulted in a first class and professional installation. Respectful of our home and tidied up at the end of each day….Thank You”
Les Finucane

“Excellent service from Eco Thermal again. Would recommend to anyone. Also good to have a local firm that you can trust.”
Ross Duguid

“Very happy with the whole process and of course the finished installation.”
Michael Senior

You can also read our reviews on Which Trusted Trader where we are rated five stars.