Sliding and bi-fold doors have grown in popularity in recent times with more and more homeowners looking to incorporate indoor/outdoor living in their homes.
Both sliding patio and bi-fold doors are designed to create a seamless transition between home and garden whilst flooding your home with natural light.
Despite their similarities in appearance, there are some key differences between sliding and bi-fold doors. The most obvious is how they open. Bi-fold doors are made up of several panels which are joined by hinges and fold away against each other.
However, sliding patio doors usually consist of two or more large glass panels that slide open sideways to the end of the frame.
So, now we understand a bit more about the differences between these two types of doors, the question is – which is better?
In this article, we compare some of the benefits of sliding and bi-fold doors so you can make the right choice for your home.
Benefits of sliding patio doors
- Natural light
Thanks to the large panes of glass that make up sliding patio doors, you are able to maximise the amount of natural light your home gets. This creates a space that not only is brighter and airier but also gives the illusion of added space – perfect for homes that lack living space.
- Connecting your home to the outdoors
As mentioned before, sliding doors are all about drawing the outside in and creating a seamless flow between your home’s indoor and outdoor space. The large glass panes that make up a sliding patio door offer enhanced views so you can enjoy your garden from the comfort of your home.
As a sliding door doesn’t open on a hinge, this means that no extra space is needed for the door arc as it simply opens by sliding over another panel.
Benefits of a bi-fold door
- Aesthetically pleasing
A bi-fold door will undoubtedly be a stylish addition to your home by giving it a modern and sleek look. With so many different styles and colour options available, you are able to find the perfect bi-fold door for your home.
As far as security is concerned, bi-fold doors are a more secure option than conventional sliding patio doors. This is because they generally feature multi-locking systems and high-security hinges whereas other glass doors usually tend to have one locking point.
- Outdoor/indoor living
With a bi-fold door, you can get a greater sense of the outdoors than you can with other doors as they are able to fold right back, effectively, opening up an entire wall. This means you can truly caption your home’s outside space from the comfort of the indoors.
Which is best?
Before you can answer which is the best option for your home, this really depends on your priorities and personal preference. Things to consider include:
Maximising natural light
Both sliding and bi-fold doors are perfect ways to draw in natural light into your home. However, if maximising the amount of light your home gets is your priority, then a sliding door is an ideal choice. This is because thanks to the larger glass panels allowing unobstructed light flood the room. Whereas when fully open, bi-fold doors are able to fully open up space, when they are closed there are more frames that not only obstruct the views but also prevent more light from coming through.
In short, sliding doors have a greater glass to frame ratio compared to bi-fold doors making them a better all-round choice when it comes to maximising natural light.
One of the reasons why both sliding and bi-fold doors are becoming so popular with homeowners is down to their ability to completely open up a living space. With that being said, when it comes to creating a fully open living space that draws the outside in, a bi-fold door has the edge over the sliding patio door. This is because, unlike sliding doors which only slide open about 65%, a bi-fold door is able to completely fold away which entirely opens up one wall.
So, if creating a space that best incorporates the outdoors is a priority then a bi-fold door may be the better choice.
When it comes to cost, there isn’t much that generally separates the two. However, this really depends on the width of the door unit. For example, increasing the width of a sliding door, even by a few panes, will reflect in the price as large single glass panels can be costly.
To summarise, there is no clear-cut winner between these two types of doors as it really comes down to what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re looking for a door that is fully openable and completely opens up a wall space, for example, then a bi-fold door is the clear favourite. Whereas, if maximising natural light is what is important to you then a sliding door is the best bet.
Whichever you choose, it is crucial that you choose a trusted installer to carry out the installation.
At Spire Glass, we are entirely quality-driven and dedicated to providing each of our customers with a service that they can trust. Thanks to our team of home improvement experts, we have been able to build a prestigious reputation amongst our customers across Salisbury, Wiltshire and even London.
For more information on whether a sliding patio door or bi-fold door is right for you, get in touch with us and a member of our team will be happy to assist you. Or, better yet, use our online tool to design your dream door exactly the way you want and receive a free quote today.