how to choose the best internal bifold doors

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Nick Dardalis

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Internal bifold doors and partitions are an alternative to hinged or sliding doors, designed to divide rooms and create a flexible closed or open living space. They are perfect for dividing a room into separate areas, allowing for privacy or more space as required.

However, the actual range of bifolding doors designed specifically for internal use is quite limited, with many bifolding door providers choosing to put their external quality bifolds inside with the downside of giving you styling and features you do not need. In this article, we will guide you through the products available, including slide and turn systems, and what you need to consider to choose the right internal bifold doors and partitions for your home.

The benefits of internal bifold doors for homes and commercial buildings

internal bifold doors in an apartment used as a room divider

Just like their exterior counterparts, internal bifold doors provide space-saving functional internal doors designed for large or small spaces. Whilst they require more operations to open and close than hinged or sliding doors, they have the advantage of covering a larger area with a large number of panels, making them great for large rooms where other doors would require several connected hinged doors or opening doors with fixed panels. This makes internal bifold doors particularly suitable for commercial spaces such as offices, retail or hospitality.

Internal aluminium bifold doors are desirable for their aesthetic appeal with practical benefits. Space-saving design makes them ideal for smaller spaces, large glass panels let light flow between the rooms, and inward or outward folding lets you choose where they park open. Additionally, the strength and reliability of aluminium, combined with the right choice of colour and glass makes these doors always on trend, whilst being low maintenance and just routine cleaning required.

Why bifold door designed for internal use are better

Despite the popularity of internal steel-look doors and room dividers, bifolds offer an alternative proposition, but you must choose the product carefully. There aren’t that many bifold door products specifically designed and intended for use inside the home. Many bifold door providers will instead offer you their exterior quality bifolds, giving you features you don’t need. These include:

  • Thermally insulated frames.
  • Double glazed units.
  • Visible weather seals, rubbers, brushes and gaskets.
  • Multipoint locking with too many locking points, including a key locking facility.
  • A more bulky appearance

These exterior bifold doors are also designed to take all the weight at the bottom, meaning bulkier door hardware at floor level and, at times, more complexity in getting smooth, uninterrupted floors between the rooms.

sunflex internal bifold doors low level shot showing a modern floor
Internal slimline bifold doors in the steel look made by Sunflex

Therefore, if you want the best experience, product and features from your internal bifold doors, whilst the exterior systems do work, the products specifically intended for internal use are significantly better. These include:

  • Slimmer frame profiles.
  • Single glass.
  • A better choice of options for a flush and flat track.
  • Handles and locks designed for inside the home or room.
  • Doors that are lighter and smoother to use.

The best bifold doors for use inside the home are those that are hung from the top, provide a choice of track options and are neater, thinner and better looking closed, especially in the fully open position without the visible locks, locking points and sealing of exterior bifolds.

What styles of interior bifolding doors are available?

Whilst the fully glazed door gives you the most uninterrupted glass, it is possible to get bifolding doors with a middle rail or in the steel look, with applied glazing bars.

Doors panels start from two up to seven or more, including internal bifold doors in a corner design, fixed or open. Also included in the styles of bifold doors are the slide and turn systems. Whilst these are not concertina bifolds with connected panels, they do come with some fantastic features, including fully frameless versions. You can read more about the benefits and differences between slide and turn doors and bifold doors.

And just like exterior bifold doors, you have the option with slide and turn or concertina bifolds to have a traffic door, letting you use one panel of the closed doors like a regular door without having to fold the panels back each time.

Available as short or tall doors, bifolding doors inside can also make great folding windows. The style you choose will depend on the function you want the doors or partitions to serve. For example, full-height doors provide complete privacy and are ideal for dividing larger spaces, while half-height doors or windows allow more light and airflow through the space.

Colour considerations with interior folding sliding doors

Of course, being aluminium, you can choose from a substantial range of solid or metallic colours, handles, and hardware. Consider the colour of your walls and flooring when choosing the colour of your doors. If you want your doors to stand out, choose a bold colour. If you prefer a more subtle look, choose a neutral colour that blends in with the rest of the room and is likely to remain suitable as you redecorate.

Glass options for interior bifold doors

The glass you get always comes as toughened or laminated safety glass, with options for acoustic glass, coloured glass, patterns and various levels of obscurity if you also want the internal bifold doors to provide privacy.

The best brands of internal bifold doors

Here are some of the best aluminium internal bifolding doors, using systems designed specifically for interior use in the home, office or other commercial building. These all come in flexible design options, a substantial choice of colours and glass. They also provide the best solution for getting a flush bifold door track, letting you move between your rooms with a minimal step and uninterrupted flooring.

Sunflex UK SF45 internal bifold doors

Sunflex already makes some of the best bifolding doors for exterior use, and they also provide dedicated bifolding doors designed for the inside with their SF45 model. Designed with all the advantages and styling of a modern and sleek internal bifold, Sunflex SF45 bifold doors feature a slim 117mm slim mullion sightline at the closed door panels, with a neat 55mm frame dimension front to back, so the door frames don’t look bulky in the room. At the same time, these are styled similarly to their exterior SF55 model, should your project require both interior and exterior folding sliding doors.

Solarlux SL45 internal bifold doors

Also at the premium end of the market is the Solarlux SL45 folding sliding system, also suitable for balcony enclosures and garden canopies, where insulation and full sealing are not required. Solarlux SL45 bifolds have the same incredible engineering and design that makes their external bifolds arguably the best on the market. Slim sightlines, top-end hardware, ingenious design and exemplary engineering, and exclusively made in Germany. You can even integrate a tilting window within one of the panels. Even better with Solarlux is their range of tracks options, ensuring you get a fantastic detail at the floor level.

Also available from Solarlux is a range of moveable walls, slide and turn systems and partitions, widely used internally, and this range offers both standard and large-size internal glazing to suit virtually any property or design requirement.

Sunseeker Frameless Glass Room dividers

Sunseeker offers a range of slide-and-turn or slide-and-stack folding door systems, with single or double glass and with a minimalist design. These provide a simple-to-use glass room divider from a company specialising in glass and slimline aluminium doors.

Sunflex UK Slide and Turn Systems

Again made by Sunflex is a range of slide and turn systems available as frameless doors, top running slide and turn doors, steel look internal designs and framed systems. Suitable for residential or commercial use, their range creates glass partitions, moveable walls or internal room dividers, with a choice of very well-designed and made internal doors with excellent quality fit and finish. You can contact us for more information about the Sunflex range, and where to buy.

Frameless Glass Curtain single glazed room dividers

room divider. 4 door

Already well known for their frameless exterior slide-and-turn doors with no visible mullions and maximum glass transparency, Frameless Glass Curtains, based in Kent, also provide a wide range of glass doors suitable for use inside the home. They can also provide hinged doors, sliding doors, the steel look and other solutions with their doors.

More information and finding the best internal bifold doors from the right suppliers

There are many other types of internal folding doors, some from independent systems and others made using steel or a combination of materials. The better internal door is always designed and intended for internal use, not an exterior-grade system simply fitted inside.

Steel internal bifolds are also available, but the big brands such as Crittall® don’t presently offer such a product, although you are likely to find it with independent steel manufacturers, and we can help with these products too. This article is based on the assumption that you don’t need fire-rated internal doors, as the requirements for these doors are different. Timber internal bifolds are widely available, and these are great if you are happy with the thicker styling and sightlines.

You can get in touch for more information about these and other internal door and screening solutions for your home or commercial property. Use our contact form to get in touch and we will help with your project and advise on the most suitable products from the proper suppliers. Our service is free.

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