The Integral Bifolding Door Review

Photo of author

Nick Dardalis

Updated on

Epwin Window Systems has a new aluminium product, the Integral bifolding door.  If you don’t know of The Epwin Group, they are a substantial PVCu manufacturer. Founded in 1976, The Epwin Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Epwin predominantly serves the trade, retail, social housing and construction sector.

integral bifolding door

What is the Integral Bifolding door by The Epwin Group?

The Integral bifolding door is an aluminium bifold targeted at a relatively new niche in the market. That is the aluminium bifolding door with similar aesthetics to PVCu windows.  The excellent Alumina bifolding door by Liniar is already selling well as a premium aluminium bifold with the woodgrain foils and aesthetics to match PVCu windows.

What Epwin do not say with their Integral product is whether, like Liniar, it matches any of their window suites.  Our research presently indicates it does not and it’s very much a stand-alone bifold in the overall range of Epwin products.

Epwin windows say in their press releases:

“Bifold doors are a booming sector but to date there has always been a problem in that aluminium doors simply don’t suite with existing PVCU windows – our new Integral bifold door solves this problem. The doors have the strength and performance of an aluminium bifold but with PVCU detailing.”

The external frame and sash upstand are available in a bevelled or sculptured finish as is the beading, to complement the style of a property’s windows. There’s also the option of a square aluminium bead.”

Several bifold door systems on the market already offer a rounded aesthetic inside or outside, similar to PVCu windows and doors.  However where aluminium bifolding doors do differ is they don’t come with a PVCu foil. Origin bifolding doors come with a woodgrain sublimated aluminium finish as do Smart Systems Visofold doors with their woodstructure range. That said, a substantial number of houses have modern PVCu windows installed not needing replacement.  As a result, the Integral bifold door by Epwin and a door like Liniar’s Alumina offer a true PVCu aesthetic and the benefits of an aluminium bifolding door.

Key Features of Epwin Group’s Integral bifolding door.

Epwin says the Integral bifold is developed for appearance and design flexibility. You get a bevelled frame and sash upstand as well as an optional square. You also get a PVCu glazing bead. There are some advantages to having PVCu beads on a door like this. First of all, you get a choice of sculptured or bevelled, as well as square aluminium versions.

One benefit of PVCu glazing beads is their greater ‘give’ over aluminium beads.  They are more flexible, therefore making the doors easier to glaze.  Also, they reduce the risk of marking the paint finish with the exposed edges sometimes found in aluminium glazing beads cut a little oversize. Careful glazing and the right size cut beads usually don’t pose a problem. However, it is useful for the harsher or inexperienced glazier.

Just like any aluminium bifolding door, Integral uses polyamide thermal breaks. At the moment little information is available on the choice of door profiles, cills and ancillaries available. We envisage a range of cill sections, add-on for trickle vents and the usual frame extension pieces. The door should also come with a standard and low threshold.

Bifolding door configurations and options.

Integral comes as a two-panel to seven panel arrangement.  Door leaves come in sizes of 750mm up to 1000mm wide with a maximum sash height of 2100mm. As with any other bifold, doors open in or out, come with an access leaf and flexible folding sliding options. You also get a single or double door option as a basic hinged door.

The door is suitable to replace old bifolding doors thanks to a 70mm deep profile. This dimension is also good for the majority of other PVCu systems, mostly with the same dimension.

Performance Specifications.

  • PAS24 security tested as well as Secured by Design and Document Q Compliant, only when correctly specified.
  • Multi-point locks with anti-lift system and shoot bolts to the slave leaves.
  • The standard 40-micron powder coated finish.
  • Typical U-Values of 1.7Wm2K, available with double or triple glazing.

Colour options with Integral folding doors.

As with any other bifold, you get a choice of colour.  Epwin offers a choice of Black, white or grey standard colours.  Then you get a selection of foiled finishes.  All in all, there are 28 foil colours and woodgrain finishes

Integral vs Alumina bifolding doors.

Our at a glance table shows the key features of the new Integral bifolding door against the Alumina product – its obvious competitor. Here is how they compare. You can also read our in-depth review of the Alumina bifolding door.

Feature Integral Bifolding Door Alumina Bifold Door
Product Guarantee (from installers) 10 years 10 years
Matches whole system No Yes
Handle Colour Options Three Five
Square or round edge profiles Beads only Yes
Single and Double Doors Yes Yes
Standard RAL Colours White, Black, Grey White, Black, Grey
Woodgrain Colours Yes Yes
Door availability Approved Installers Approved Installers
Anti-finger trap feature Standard Standard
Traffic Door Option Yes Yes
Maximum panel size 1000x2400mm 1200×2500
Security Certification PAS 24 PAS24
Threshold Options Two Three
Weather rated low threshold No Yes & Part M.
Typical Double Glazed U-Value 1.7Wm2K 1.5Wm2K
The Integral bifold door is a good door by current standards, however the Alumina bifold offers more in several areas.

Summary. What we think of the Integral Bifolding Door.

When as a business, your core focus for more than forty years is PVCu products, designing an aluminium bifold requires a different approach.  In designing the Integral door, we think Epwin missed out on a big opportunity to offer a bifolding door with at least the expected features found in many aluminium doors already as well as some new ones.

For instance, the door leaves don’t go large or tall enough compared to even ‘builders favourite’ cheaper systems like Visofold.  This means the door will have to have four leaves where other doors accommodate three.  Furthermore, there is no ramp-type threshold, and the handle colour options are too limited if their brochure is anything to go by.

By comparison, the Alumina bifold seems a better designed and thought out proposition compared to the Epwin Group offering. It comes with bigger door sizes, more hardware colour options and a far more flexible choice of thresholds. Alumina comes with the option of a weather rated and Part M threshold.  Alumina also offers a one system solution for many homeowners, even down to matching trims and accessories.

Finally, we think there is too much emphasis on the door as a solution to match a PVCu window. Given the sheer number of aluminium bifolds in a contrasting colour in houses with existing PVCu windows, we would question whether this is even an issue for homeowners?

However, like Liniar’s  Alumina it does appeal to those wanting to match their PVCu products.  We certainly don’t agree with the ‘aluminium can be clinical’ message in Epwin’s press releases for the product.  The Epwin Group is a stand-out company in the fenestration sector.  What the market is missing is a foiled aluminium bifold door with flat profiles like the Schuco door as well as the sculptured appearance.

The Integral Bifold door joins a now mature market and worthy of consideration alongside other brands.  Presently the Alumina offers more when comparing these two bifolds side by side.

Nonetheless, you get a product from an established and excellent company, also meeting the latest industry standards and specifications.

Providing expert help to homeowners and trade professionals since 2010




Get Free help finding the right products from the best suppliers

16:42 30 Oct 23
Nick responded incredibly quickly to my enquiry (on a Saturday too!), and was able to offer invaluable advice on both aluminum systems and manufacturer / suppliers. Thanks Nick!
chris steerchris steer
16:18 09 Oct 23
Had a meeting with Nick during the grand designs show. Was extremely helpful and professional would highly recommend
Chris WesthorpChris Westhorp
19:55 13 Sep 23
Extremely helpful with pointing us in the right direction to find the products we required and suggesting firms that could reliably fit them.Nick was quick to reply and very detailed in his advice.Highly recommend reaching out to them.
Cathy GreenwoodCathy Greenwood
07:03 11 Sep 23
Update - A second email to nick for help on bifolds resulted in a detailed informative reply even on a Sunday ! This guy is so knowledgable and helpful .I approached Nick for an independent view on sliding doors v bifold and the different brand options . His reply was extremely detailed and prompt and allowed me to navigate this often confusing world in a much more informed way . Thanks so much Nick
Anthony CraigAnthony Craig
12:45 05 Sep 23
This is a must site for anyone looking for advice. Great service and very quick answers to questions. Nick has been of great help quiding us through the maze of aluminium products. Thank you
Philip DuffieldPhilip Duffield
20:24 26 Jul 23
I contacted Nick @ ATS for guidance on what aluminium sliding door systems would be suitable for an opening in an extension that is going to be both wide and tall. He came back really quickly with very detailed and incredibly helpful advice. He is clearly extremely knowledgeable about the systems on the market and their respective features and capabilities. If you’re feeling a bit lost by the overwhelming range of choices out there, I’d definitely recommend contacting him.
Dariush HekmatDariush Hekmat
17:25 19 Jul 23
Nick's advice is great. He is always quick to respond and spends time on responses, which really help to make an informed decision.
Alan FosterAlan Foster
07:51 12 Jul 23
Absolutely fantastic. Asked for advice about replacing Crittall (?) windows late last night and early this morning received 3 great suggestions and contact information for suppliers
Rachel LauRachel Lau
09:24 16 Jun 23
Fantastic website full of valuable and pragmatic advice about product selection and comparison: no other website gives information like this. Truly written for public interest. Don't hesistate to reach out to Nick via the mailing system. He responds very quickly, is friendly, and has very sound and high knowledgable advice. I have already shared this with my friend planning her own grand design.
guard Charlieguard Charlie
12:28 14 May 23
I emailed this company just on the off chance they could help me with new magnetic sliders for my patio door. They were not able to supply those but were so very helpful providing me with the name of a company who could. I am so very grateful at the great service. Dare say customers must be very happy. thank you so much.
Benjamin LewisBenjamin Lewis
10:06 04 May 23
Nick is very helpful indeed. Extremely knowledgeable on bifolds which was in relation to my query. Great website as well, some very useful articles. Particularly appreciated the article that lists all the major bifold options in order of their sightlines! Thank you!
P JonesP Jones
08:07 15 Apr 23
I asked Nick some questions about an installation we were considering and he replied within hours with some very useful suggestions that will probably lead us to using a different make and supplier. Thanks, Nick. Great work.
Nicholas WallNicholas Wall
13:18 02 Apr 23
Looking for fair and honest expert advice on all aspect of aluminium windows and doors? These guys will arm you with all the information you need to make the RIGHT choice in a highly complex, crowded marketplace. post a question and you will get a very quick professional answer you can rely on being based on fact. Thanks guys!
Giorgia SiriacoGiorgia Siriaco
16:25 21 Mar 23
After a lot of research to find doors that would meet our unusual size requirements and feeling increasingly uncertain about the best way to spend our small budget, I stumbled on the ATS website, and I'm so glad I did! I contacted ATS to request advice and Nick promptly replied with a wealth of information, providing us with options and relevant contact details. I only wish I'd found them sooner!
Carol NortonCarol Norton
10:01 17 Mar 23
I've been so confused about how to achieve the look I'm after, and going round in circles with various window/door companies, trying to get away from the huge chunks of plastic currently around my windows. I didn't expect an email to a company found through a Google search to really help - but I was desperate, so I tried. I'm SO glad I did. Finally I have clear explanations from ATS of where I've been going wrong, exactly what I'm looking for, and a list of local companies that might be able to provide it! The response has excelled my expectations and I feel as if I'm finally inching closer to a home with which I'll be happy and comfortable: thank you.
David NunnDavid Nunn
20:54 14 Mar 23
It is rare that I write reviews, however after my very positive communication with Nick - enquiring about suitable slim sash aluminium windows for my project, I felt that a review was definitely warranted. I can reinforce the many positive reviews posted so far, Nick was very quick to respond, providing comprehensive detail, with excellent independent advice.In summary, great service, thank you Nick.
Chantal AuerbachChantal Auerbach
13:04 09 Mar 23
Nick from Aluminium Trade Supply was incredibly helpful informative and pleasant to deal with. He responded quickly to emails and was very knowledgeable. Highly recommend being in touch with Nick if you are considering new aluminium windows or doors.
Lee JonesLee Jones
20:21 22 Feb 23
I dropped Nick at Aluminium Trade Supply an email re high security slim sightline bi-folds and their alternatives and he responded that quickly (and so comprehensively) that I felt bad I’d not paid him for his time!Nick Sir your product knowledge is outstanding and you are providing a level of service that goes wayyyy above and beyond expectations. I’ll definitely make sure I mention Aluminium Trade Supply to anyone I encounter looking for a fenestration solution 🙏🏼
15:13 13 Feb 23
We are looking to replace some old UPVC patios doors with aluminium ones. The ATS website is a great source of advice in an area where clear information is sorely lacking. Having used the website, I then followed this up with a number of specific questions relating to our search, and Nick came back very quickly with clear, detailed and very useful advice.I have been very impressed with both the website and with Nick's advice. My only regret is that I didn't come across ATS before replacing various windows in 2021 - I'm sure it would have saved me a lot of grief and money! Thanks again Nick.
Azza McCabeAzza McCabe
17:47 01 Feb 23
So impressed with this company.Responded to my query quickly andgave valuable advice. Nick was extremely helpful and we were able to move forward with our project.
Adri LoloçiAdri Loloçi
11:21 08 Jan 23
Nick was super fast to respond and provided some great recommendations. I would recommend this website to anyone looking to find bifold or sliding aluminium doors.
Stephen HoustonStephen Houston
16:16 03 Jan 23
Looking for aluminium crittall style internal door and external patio French doors. Noted good reviews and thought would ask for advice. Comprehensive reply with excellent independent advice and lists of fitters who could provide products and installation. Great service.
Inga GeachInga Geach
08:25 21 Dec 22
Nick from Aluminium Trade Supply has been extremely helpful with navigating the jungle that is aluminium glazing for our upcoming extension project. His advice was prompt, detailed and always impartial. Very grateful for your input, thanks Nick!
Amanda BurtonAmanda Burton
10:54 16 Dec 22
Brilliant website and an excellent service. Nick provided not only detailed advice and supplier contacts, but highlighted the considerations of various products so I could make an informed choice. Our Sunvista minimal sliders were fitted this week and I couldn't be happier, stunning. Thanks once again for your advice and recommendations, invaluable!
Keith BarnesKeith Barnes
17:18 10 Dec 22
Very helpful advice given to my question, including the name of 3 different companies that i could try for the product being enquired about. Many thanks
Munim ChowdhuryMunim Chowdhury
11:45 13 Sep 22
Nick has been very helpful on signposting me to a number of partner organisations for steel/aluminium doors.
SUSAN wallaceSUSAN wallace
17:26 31 Aug 22
My experience with this firm was exceptionally good and this is notalways the case as a female, dipping a toe into technical waters.I was spoken too with courtesy and at a level that helped me consolidate what was needed .On top of that I was given a list of companies and places where I could obtain the type of product I needed.I could not thank them enough and would certainly go there again and reccommend others do too.
Paul SalterPaul Salter
22:39 22 Aug 22
Contacting Aluminium Trade Supply is like contacting the Oracle direct. Advice is always comprehensive and balanced. On multiple occasions they have provided me with options that fully meet our objectives. Many thanks.
Nick McCormackNick McCormack
20:25 14 Aug 22
Really helpful and useful came back to me on a Sunday with some invaluable information. Highly recommended.
ray addisonray addison
13:14 14 Aug 22
received a prompt reply to my query,and helpful information from ATS