Looking to enhance your indoor / outdoor flow?
Indoor living that blends seamlessly with outdoor living has become more popular than ever as we seek to create flexible living spaces for entertaining with family and friends. We explore the differences between sliding doors vs bifold doors to help you create the space of your dreams.
If you are building a new home or planning to renovate your existing home, then you are probably considering a large span of doors to enhance the outdoor connection and increase your living space to take advantage of our fabulous climate.
There are several options you can choose from, and each one has its own pros and cons, as well as its own avid fans. Renovating Mums chatted to Omar from Vision 3 Windows in Brookvale the different kinds of doors you can install into this kind of space and what sets them apart from each other.
What are they?
Sliding doors are large glass panels that slide back behind each other on a track. You will have at least one fixed door panel that remains in place for the others to slide past when open, although larger openings could have a fixed panel at each end.
Traditionally sliding doors allowed the space of one to two door widths to open, but modern configurations enable you to open up an entire wall using a sliding door system. These are commonly known as sliding doors, stacking doors (when several panels line up) or cavity sliding doors (when panels disappear into a wall cavity to completely open the space up). With the different systems you can open up 50%, 75% or even 100% of the wall opening.
There are also corner sliding doors which allow two panels to meet at a right angle in the room, and wonderfully join with no post in the way. A corner sliding system can offer the best of both worlds, with the ease and convenience of sliding doors but the drama of a large opening.
Things to consider
Sliding doors are the more common option, generally easier and cheaper to install. They traditionally had less of a boutique look about them however the latest sliding and stacking door systems feature bold designs, recessed tracks with drainage options and sleek hardware.
They will take up more space across the room due to the fixed panels, but are narrow in depth even when opened and all panels are sliding behind each other. Because they slide sideways only instead of opening out, you don’t need to leave much of a clear area around them for folding.
Sliding and stacking doors have less hardware and aluminium holding them together, so create a more seamless view when they are closed. The panels can be larger and heavier than bi-fold doors so if you are opening up a larger space you will need a track system which enables smooth opening and closing.
Sliding doors are easier to screen with flyscreens, giving you more options of having doors partly opened – you can allow breeze in and keep bugs out which is very useful in Sydney.
While the panels are heavier than bi-fold door panels, they are easier to install and use less hardware, tracks, handles etc, so are generally cheaper. Your cost will depend on the dimensions of the space you want to open up.
Bi Fold Doors
What are they?
Bi-fold doors will fold in on themselves in an accordion-like fashion, generally on the outside of your home. There are many different looks and designs in bi-fold doors, the exotic appearance of which can give your home a more luxurious or resort style look.
There are a number of different configurations with bi-fold doors, so you can design a system that works best for your space and the traffic that will be coming through your entrance. Many homes have at least one door panel which can open on its own for each access in high traffic areas, and then the rest of the door panels stacking to one side which is ideal for open plan entertaining.
Things to consider
Bi-fold doors take up width as well as depth when in the open position because they fold sideways, so they will take up more real estate in your home externally. Ideally you need to allow a width of at least one metre all along the path of the doors to give them space to fold back.
Bi-fold doors don’t lend themselves as easily to flyscreens as sliding doors, so if you wanted to open your doors yet keep out bugs you will have fewer options with a bi-folding system. There are retractable screening systems which you can use with bi-fold doors as well as sliding doors..
The panels in bi-fold doors aren’t as wide as sliding doors, so you will usually need more panels to span your opening. This means more timber or aluminium, glass, tracks and hardware etc.
These sorts of doors look fantastic when fully opened, giving you a complete sense of inviting the outdoors in, but when closed can block your view more than sliding doors as the door panels are smaller.
These types of doors are more bulky and cumbersome to open, so aren’t convenient in a space where you will be often opening and closing them.
Bi fold doors are more expensive usually than sliding doors.
Sliding Doors vs Bifold Doors: In a nutshell
The type of doors you choose will depend mostly on the dimensions of the space, the view from the room and the purpose for which you intend to use this space. Wider spaces lend themselves more favourably to sliding systems, as do areas where you want to have views and access regardless of whether the doors are open or closed.
If you have a space which is likely to be open more often than closed, then bifold doors can be the way to go. They also look fantastic in smaller openings like side decks and bedroom balconies.
While sliding doors are cheaper, the biggest reason for your choice of doors should be for quality of life. Choose the best system for how you want to use the space.
If you would like more information on any of the above or would like to view the different systems then please feel free to pop into Vision 3 Windows showroom at 42-46 Wattle Road, Brookvale, Sydney or visit their website https://vision3windows.com.au/