In choosing the correct bifolding door, there are several factors to take into consideration so you can find the right door design and configuration.
The number of leaves will depend upon the size of the existing opening to take new doors or the size of the new opening you are building as part of your home extension.
Bifolding doors are available in two-pane folding doors up to 6 panels or more if required. Six-panel doors are normally the most common type without using joining pieces in.
Two Panel Bifolding doors
These are ideal if you are replacing existing two pane patio doors or french doors. A simple bifolding door solution to smaller openings, they consist of two panels that open in a sliding action in one direction. All two pane doors will normally have what is commonly referred to as a floating mullion. This is an additional section that is seen on the closing side of the doors.
Most bifolding door designs in the market consist of a floating mullion and this additional section will make the sight lines at the closing end of the bifolding doors appear thicker on one side than on the other.
Three-panel bifolding doors
Three panel bifolding doors are available in two configurations. Doors can either all slide in one direction or you can have one door hinged as an access leaf.
If your bifolding doors will be used as regular access doors into the garden (if for example they are the only door leading outside) an access leaf is useful in that it enables you to only open one swinging leaf without having to slide all the doors back.
The master door access leaf swings back on the hinges, engages on a catch the remaining leaves slide back in the opposite direction.
Four-Panel Bifolding Doors
Four panel bifolding doors are generally available in three configurations:
All panels can slide back in one direction in the same way as two or three panel doors.
A popular configuration with four pane bifolding doors is the “French Door” arrangement. Either the centre two doors can open swing open like hinged doors. This combination of door opening is useful where you can still use the doors like traditional French Doors for when the weather is not that warm. On warmer days, the middle leaves open like hinged French Doors.
It’s important to bear in mind that with most bifolding door systems it is not possible for an equal number of panels to fold in opposite directions. So on a four or eight panel door they cannot be split in the middle with half the leaves going in one direction and half the other. This applies to equal numbers of leaves. Odd numbers of leaves can, of course, slide and fold in opposite directions. The four panel arrangement shown on the last image has the side panels fixed – they do not slide or fold.
Five Panel Bifolding Doors
Three options of opening configuration are available on five pane bifolding doors. All the leaves can be slid back.
additionally five panel bifolding doors can be manufactured with an access leaf on the one side with all the remaining leaves sliding back on the other side. A further configuration available is three leaves sliding in one direction and two leaves sliding in another.
Six Panel Bifolding Doors
The same configuration as four-panel doors is available for six-panel doors but with an extra pane at each end.
Either all the leaves can slide in one direction or a combination of three sliding in one direction and three in the opposite. The final configuration is a master or access leaf hinged on the one side and the remaining five leaves sliding together in the opposite side.
Seven Panel Bifolding Doors
Four configurations are available with 7 panel bifolding doors. Four panels can slide to one side with three panels sliding on the other. All leaves can slide in one direction if required as well. The third configuration is the access leaf on the one side with all leaves sliding together in the opposite side. The final configuration is five leaves sliding in one direction with two folding in the other.
Bifolding Door Styles Gallery
This gallery is best viewed in slideshow mode. Higher resolution images are available, please ask if you’d like to view them.
Images produced with kind permission of Origin.