How slide and turn doors are better than bifolds

Slide and turn doors, also known as slide and stack doors or slide and swing doors might look like a bifold when fully open or closed. However, they provide more functionality, a different opening solution and even give you more space inside your room and outside on your patio area or garden.

Slide and turn doors come in several brands and price points. Here we explain the best features of slide and turn doors and how their design could actually be a better solution than connected concertina or folding doors and even sliding doors.

slide and turn or slide and stack doors made by id systems in a brand new luxury home
Slide and turn doors unlike bifolds have separate panels. Vistaline by ID Systems shown.

What are slide and turn doors?

Slide and stack doors do very much as the name suggests. Just like a bifold, the doors slide across the track and then fold in the fully open position. The main difference between slide and stack doors and regular bifolding doors is the panels aren’t hinged and connected together. So whether you have three, four, five, six or more panels, each panel moves independently.

When closed, slide and turn doors look just like any other bifold. When open, they’re virtually identical to a regular bifold too.

Just like a bifold, you get a choice of panels. They can open in or out. There’s a traffic door for everyday access. A low threshold option is also available as are a great choice of colours. There are open corner designs with some products. You’ll find many products also tested to the latest security standards and fully weather-sealed as you’d expect from a patio door.

How much do slide and turn doors cost?

Pricing depends on the brand, size, colour and glass specification. For the top of the range doors, you can expect to pay around £1800-£2500 or more per panel supplied and fitted. Other brands come at about the same price as a regular bifold in the region of £1200 per panel.

The slide and turn doors operation explained.

Let us start with a closed set of doors in three panels. First of all, you unlock the main door leaf that’s always at the end, either on the left or right. You swing this open. Swinging this door open reveals a gap. Then you slide each panel along the track, working one by one.

As each door panel reaches the end of the track (where the master door is hinged open) this too swings open next to it. You then move the last panel along the track to the end and swing this open too. And just like a bifolding door, you get around 90% clear opening.

slide and stack doors fitted in a courtyard setting
Slide and stack doors come with several advantages over bifold doors

Five ways slide and stack doors are better than bifold doors

There are several areas where slide and turn or slide and stack doors are considered better than a bifold. Let us explain these in detail.

slide and stack bifold patio doors in a new extension
Depending on the model, these doors are slimmer than many bifolds.

Slimmer door sightlines

Some slide and turn systems are so slim they beat the sightlines of the thinnest folding sliding doors on the market. Some upper-level doors like FGC’s frameless product have glass-to-glass edges with full weather sealing and security. Others like Sunseeker or Vistaline by ID Systems are virtually as slim as minimal sliding doors at the mullion.

So if the functionality of bifold appeals to you but the sightlines don’t, slide and turn doors could provide the best of both worlds.

slide and stack doors closed with garden views
This door design lets you place furniture or fixtures closer than a bifold

More space in your room or on your patio

One of the best features of this slide and turn doors design is you can place furniture inside or garden furniture outside, right up to the doors. Just like a bifolding door, these doors can fold either outside to the patio area or inside to your room. However a regular bifold takes up valuable space as they move and fold fully open.

As this slide design moves the panel along its track first, they don’t need to take up any space as part of their opening operation. Therefore you can place your furniture right up to the doors. Instantly you gain the space a bifold would take up.

vistaline slide and stack doors partially open in a new lounge extension
Something you can’t do with a bifold. Create air gaps for ventilation

Better ventilation than a bifolding doors

Something you can’t do with a bifold that well is create airflow without having to open the entire door set. With slide and turn doors all you need to do is open the master leaf then slide each panel along the track.

This creates great airflow without having to fully open a set of doors. A great solution during the day or at night when it’s a little bit cooler.

slide and turn doors in a frameless design fitted to a kitchen
The inside of this FGC slide and turn door doesn’t need visible hinges and handles, just one at the end.

Fewer visible hinges and handles than folding sliding doors

Because each panel moves separately, you don’t need connecting hinges as you get on bifolding doors. Neither do you need the intermediate pull handles.

As a result, when you look at your new slide and stack doors from inside your room all you see are neat meeting door panels. There are no visible hinges or pull handles. For many, this clean look inside the room is appealing.

And it’s the same on the outside too. There are no visible hinges or handles and this obviously creates fewer points of attack for potential burglars.

Larger door panels than a bifold

Most bifolds go up to around 1.2m maximum panel width. Slide and stack doors typically give you panels up to around 1.5m wide. There’s only the Schuco ASS70 bifold or the product by Express bifolds as a folding door going this wide.

The benefit of these wider panels is you can get away with three doors where most other door types need four. Fewer doors mean one less visible mullion, larger glass doors, more light and a spacious feel.

The disadvantages of slide and stack doors compared to a bifold

There are only two disadvantages to slide and stack doors we can think of and even these won’t matter that much to many.

First of all, you need more physical operations to open or close a set of doors. Because the doors aren’t connected together you don’t push a full door set open as you do with a bifold. You have to move each panel individually.

The second is some people might not like having to grab the door edge to move it and the super slim doors also mean leaving hand or finger marks on the glass as you do.

As far as any disadvantages of slide and stack doors go, that’s about it.

Slide and turn doors worth considering

Here we are referring to exterior grade systems with full weather sealing and security. There are also products as single glazed versions of this design used internally, as pool enclosures for garden covered canopies and glass rooms. You can get in touch for more information about these too.

Vistaline by ID Systems

We’ve used ID Systems Vistaline door images in this article as they’re probably the best product to showcase the features of slide and stack doors.

Swiss design, excellent quality and at the top of the range are Vistaline doors. These come with super slim lines and beautiful looks and the finished product once installed is first class.

The two areas making Vistaline stand out vs other similar designs are the flipper seals in the track which extend when the handle is turned to create an effective weather seal in the top and bottom tracks. It’s excellent. The second is the extending side-jamb which compresses the panels together when the door is closed to improve the weather and security performance.

For a framed and slim system the design of Vistaline is very advanced and we’d say it’s probably one of the best slide and turn doors in a framed design.

Frameless Glass Curtains by FGC

frameless alternatives to panoramic slide and turn doors
With no visible mullions and a frameless design, is the luxurious frameless slide and turn door by FGC

The frameless slide and turn door by FGC, is their own design, made in Kent and available nationwide. It’s at the top end of the price range but you get something quite special.

With door sizes up to 3m high, a single glazed interior room divider version the exterior version has no aluminium at the glass edges where the panels meet. All you get is a sophisticated gasket.

These doors are fully weather-sealed, secure, reliable and beautifully made. No aluminium at the mullions, a substantially lower threshold and a stunning overall look to slide and stack doors.

Monoslide 80 by Sunparadise Systems

patio doors moving out of the way into a cupboard
Sunparadise Monoslide 80 doors moving completely out of the way or out of sight

Monoslide 80 Sunparadise Systems are slide and turn doors with the function of moving out of the way, round a corner and even concealed in a cupboard!

They’re especially good on open corner designs where you can stack the doors away from the opening itself. Different and a real talking point too.

Sunseeker Doors

The Sunseeker product is one of the first designs of this type in the UK and comes in several versions depending on where you intend to use them.

They’re the slimmest framed versions of these doors and are just as good in cafes bars and restaurants as they are inside the home.

New Wave Doors

The New Wave brand is at the budget end of the market and also comes as a PVCu version too. The sightlines are thicker than the doors mentioned here but great for those on a budget. There’s a PVCu version of this door available too.

More information on slide and stack or slide and turn patio doors

If you’re considering a bifolding door, it’s worth checking out this design as it may work better in your particular project and property.

We also recommend seriously exploring whether this style of door actually provides more than even sliding doors and especially on openings of 4 metres or less. We think they may give you a more functional patio door than a regular slider or a bifold at these sizes.

For these or any other types of patio doors, get in touch using our contact form for more information, where to buy and product help and advice.