What are the best blinds for bifolding doors?

The Houzz Website is one of the largest and best-known home improvement websites on the internet.  With over 35 million unique visitors across their global websites, Houzz is now used daily by home improvement enthusiasts, designers and anyone passionate about design.

As a valued information resource about aluminium products, fenestration and glazing, we were recently asked to contribute to one of their features about choosing the right patio door for the home.

Providing privacy and shade to bifolding doors is important to homeowners.

kitchen bifolding door blinds
How important is shading and privacy on a bifolding door? There are several options available.

And it was flattering to see so many favourable reviews on the Houzz website about this feature.  It was once again reinforced by those commenting on the website that large glazed doors such as folding or sliding doors remain popular with homeowners. However the questions yet again arose about how you provide privacy or shade to folding and sliding doors.

Useful article. Would love to read one about window dressing options for contemporary glass doors or how to retain privacy when a whole wall is glass … Any ideas or articles to point me to?

I notice that in lots of the pics, the large windows remain undressed, lovely during the day but the feeling of privacy at night is important. I would be interested to see solutions for this also.

There are several options when considering blinds for bifolding and sliding doors.  If you’re looking for suitable shading for folding, sliding or any type of glazed door you do have options.  What you choose will depend on a few factors.  For example the door configuration will affect your choice of door blinds as well as budget and overall aesthetics.

Conventional Manual Blinds

vertical blinds can be cost effective but consideration should be given to opening in doors.
Vertical blinds can be cost effective but consideration should be given to opening in doors.

If you have doors that open inwards there is a good chance that the doors could foul on conventional blinds such as those available in DIY stores or companies specialising in window coverings. If you are looking to fit conventional blinds to your bifolding doors outward opening doors may be better. But if you must have blinds and doors that open in, we offer some solutions below.  Ultimately there is no best system but there are several options available.

Automatic Roller Blinds

There is a wide choice of automatic roller blinds available for bifolding doors. Several leading brands are on the market such as Silent Gliss.

motorised bifolding door blinds
Origin blinds feature motors discreetly housed and do not interfere with the visual glass area.

Automatic roller blinds are available with either a wall mounted or remote control switch and come with a variety of programming options whether you want to open and close just one blind or several at the same time.

Origin Doors also offer a selection of electric roller blinds. These come from one of the biggest bifolding door companies in the UK. Whilst they are there to accompany their own Origin bifolding door, the Origin blind can actually be fitted to any make of door.  Just like the after market brands, all that is needed is some simple dimensions and any older door can be fitted with the latest Origin blinds.

Integral Glass Blinds.

Integral blinds are very popular with bifolding doors.  These are horizontal blinds fitted within the hermetically sealed unit. The advantage of these blinds over automatic or conventional fabric blinds is that they don’t need cleaning, they are less vulnerable to dirt or wear and tear. The other obviously advantage to integral blinds is that they can retain the clean lines of slimline and modern looking doors as they don’t obstruct the doors themselves.

The blinds are housed within the glass units meaning even when closed the bifolding doors remain in full view.  This is an advantage if you’ve coloured doors that are a feature of the home.

Smart Glass or Switchable Glass.

bifolding doors such as these premium schuco aluminium bifolds fitted with morley glass integral blinds presently do not fall under the window energy rating requirements.
Smart glass can instantly change from transparent to opaque and is a new trend for doors.

One of the latest technologies to hit the door market is Smart Glass.  This is glass that is transparent as normal but at the flick of a switch can become obscure.

Liquid crystal layers are applied to the glass that changes it from frosted to clear instantly. This technology can be applied to any type or thickness of glass.  It creates a great solution for privacy whilst retaining the original door aesthetics with no obvious sign that there is a system in place.