What To Consider When Thinking About Bifolding Door Sizes
Get your bifolding door sizes right and your new patio doors provide an excellent solution for new extensions as well as replacing older patio doors. The range of bifolding door sizes available today means that there is no such thing as a standard size. This article helps you decide on the best sizes and configurations for your project. And we tell you about the latest products giving you better bifolds with fewer folding panels.
One of the benefits of bifolding doors in aluminium is their flexible size. Whether they’re for an existing opening or a newly built, the nature of these doors caters for virtually all sizes. At the same time, they provide desirability with functionality.
Choose a slimline model and enjoy reduced aluminium sightlines meaning better views through closed doors. Of course, opening up a bifold door set reveals around 90% or more of the available opening, connecting the home to the garden.
Available from two panels up to runs of ten or more with some brands it shouldn’t be difficult to enhance a home with a bifold.
How bifolding door sizes suit most openings
First of all, are the minimum bifolding door sizes available with a bifold. Most brands start at around 400mm wide per panel. Therefore, you can have a two-panel door, suiting openings as narrow as a metre wide. Such small sizes are indeed rare for a bifold, but it’s possible.
If you have a set of French doors there’s no reason even a typical 1.2m or 1.5m door can’t have a bifold replacement. Your doors will be small, but the benefits include a narrower middle mullion and especially if you’re replacing timber or PVCu French Doors
Then we come to the maximum panel widths. Most brands comfortably go up to 1.2m wide. For the heights, again any bifold works within a 2.1m high typical existing opening.
Two-panel bifolding doors – what to look out for
With few exceptions, two panel doors, and indeed any even number of panels (2, 4, 6) all folding in one direction usually come with a floating mullion. This means an additional profile on the locking side of your doors. It’s essential for security. The floating mullion on even number doors also prevents the door gearing from hitting the side frame when the doors close.
The drawback is the locking side of your two or four panel doors looks thicker than the other profiles. It is unavoidable unless you buy the premium Schuco bifold. It’s the only door in this configuration not needing a floating mullion.
You won’t need a floating million on an even number of doors (4 or 6) where they are split. For instance a four panel door with one door opening to the left and three to the right.
Two panel doors folding in one direction may also not be that functional and especially if they’re the only doors out to your garden. Everyday access, letting out a pet, taking out the washing means folding the panels. Therefore consider a design with a traffic door where possible.
Why a traffic door gives you better bifolding doors
When researching and planning your bifolding door sizes, consider a traffic door. Available on three panels and upwards, traffic doors come recommended for maximum functionality.
A traffic door within bifold works just like a regular hinged door. With the full door set closed, traffic doors let you open one leaf just like any hinged door. As a result, you get everyday access out to the patio area or garden, without having to fold all the panels back.
When a bifold is the only back door out to your garden, you’ll appreciate the traffic door even more. And especially as our doors remain fully closed most of the year.
Study the various bifold door systems, and you see how the number of panels provides different ways to slide and fold. The number of panels also affects bifolding door sizes.
Understanding the pros and cons of large bifolding door panel sizes
With door panels available up to 1.2m wide, there are pros and cons to going to the maximum panel width.
Some bifolding door brands go up to the maximum panel width but the reduce the maximum available height. Do bear this in mind with your choice of product. A professional installer can advise further, or get in touch with us using our contact form.
The wider the door panel, the more space it takes up fully folded out to the patio area with open out doors, or inside the room with open in doors. As a result, smaller patios may lose valuable space.
The advantage of larger panels is larger glass. More glass means more light and better views through closed doors.
Our table below illustrates the sizes available with some popular bifolding door brands.
Even bigger bifolding door sizes giving the look of sliding doors
The latest Schuco ASS70 FD HD, the Dutemann FD85 and the XP Vision by Express Bifolds. Three spectacular bifolding doors capable of panel sizes up to 1.5m wide.
The benefit is these doors give you a three panel option across a four-metre opening when most other brands need four panels. Even better, a three panel design makes your doors look just like a sliding door. Each of these has thin door mullions, contemporary frame design and the best design and engineering. Contact us for more information about these phenomenal doors. They’re the obvious choice when looking for distinctive and unique bifolding doors for your project.
Consider privacy and shade.
With all bifolding doors for large openings comes issues with heat, light and shade. This is especially true for elevations in direct sunlight.
Integral glass blinds provide a great solution but add to the cost. Integral blinds work particularly well with bigger bifolding door sizes. The benefit of integral blinds is no cleaning, blowing in the wind and a discreet blind housed between the glass of your doors. We recommend visiting a good showroom and seeing integral blinds in action. They also come as motorised or solar-controlled and in many different colours too.
Bifolding door panel sizes compared.
Most of the popular and cheaper systems like the Visofold 1000 bifolding door or the Aluk Optio offer panels up to 1000mm wide. This size is perfectly adequate for most projects and bifolding door sizes. The premium and better-engineered doors are the ones going wider and taller. Size capability with bifold door systems is a good indicator of their overall quality and engineering too.
Take a look at some of the well-known brands to see the panel sizes offered.
|Maximum Width||Maximum Height|
|Aluk Optio BSF70||1000mm||3000mm|
|Alumina by Liniar||1200mm||2500mm|
|Origin Bifoling Door||1200mm||2700mm|
|Schuco ASS70 FD HD||1500mm||3000mm|
|Express Bifolds XP Vision||1500mm||3300mm|
Importantly, many of the sizes shown with these popular quality brands are for guidance only. Not every system allows you to have their door at the maximum width with the maximum height. Often a wider or panels mean less on the height. Check with your supplier or contact us for help and advice.
Our top tips for getting your bifolding door sizes right.
- Always talk to a professional installer and ensure communication with your builder.
- The wider the door panel, the fewer visible mullions and bigger door glass.
- Consider the benefits of a traffic or lead door. An odd number of door panels gives you a more flexible bifold door.
- Ensure the large doors have premium handles. The more panels, the more internal handles you get.
- Consider one of the premium brands above the cheaper systems.
- Narrow door panels may mean opening two just to get through them