Frameless bifold doors information and uses

Frameless bifold doors offer all the advantages of a conventional bifolding door in a more contemporary and minimalist design.  A frameless bifold features bigger glass panels, less visible aluminium and are designed for any type of home.

Information about frameless bifold doors.

Just like frameless glass sliding doors, a frameless bifolding door is not entirely glass. Aluminium components are still necessary to provide an outer frame for the product as well as overall structural integrity.  Just like sliding doors, frameless folding doors are marketed as frameless but you will get visible aluminium, albeit far reduced compared to conventional bifolding doors.

The aluminium sections in a bifolding door play a key role in the product.

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Frameless doors and windows
  • To enable the door locking system to have a secure fixing.
  • For the door handles to locate into a strong aluminium profile for security and general use.
  • The minimal aluminium is powder coated to provide colour choice.
  • The aluminium extrusions provide a location for the slide and fold hardware.
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One of the key benefits of frameless bifold doors is their impressive sight lines. Choose the right product and you get virtually no aluminium where the door panels meet in the middle.  There are even frameless bifold doors with glass to glass edges at the points where the door panels meet in the closed position as well.

What is a good frameless glass sliding door?

The way a frameless bifolding door opens and closes is usually different from their full aluminium counterparts.  A normal aluminium bifold is designed with all the panels connected together, that slide and fold in a concertina fashion.  Frameless bifold doors will have each door panel separate and move independently.

One of the reasons for this alternative method of operation is that the slimline proportions at the door edges mean there is no room for fixing the door hinges.  Therefore, the components are located at the top and bottom of each panel giving them a pivoting action rather than a hinged.

A frameless product typically uses a master leaf that has the main locking and works as an access or traffic door.  When this is hinged open, the remaining door panels have room to slide along the frame and track, reach a stop then hinge open stacking against the master leaf.

Weather performance on frameless bifold doors.

It is important to mention that most frameless bifolding doors were originally designed on the continent where the climate calls for less severe weather protection.  Many of these doors are use single glass which make them suitable only for commercial applications or internal use.  Double glazed versions of frameless bifold doors do exist but they can differ substantially in the levels of weather protection meaning some products might not be suitable for an external bifold door.

If you are in the market for one of these doors, ask to see the relevant information on the air, wind and water tests and results they have been subjected to. Also ask what guarantees come with the door as some do not come with the 10-year guarantee expected from modern home improvement products.

More premium systems do have excellent weather performance and the right product should be as good as a fully framed bifold. Find an experienced installer and you will get an innovative folding door, providing many years of reliable service in your home.

Where can you use frameless folding doors?

Many of the doors on the market suit internal use, room dividers, glass partitions, to separate a conservatory and other low-exposure installations.  There are double glazed products available for external use making frameless bifold doors ideal for replacing old patio doors or for new extensions.

Our advice is that you contact a company experienced in these types of doors and ensure the product is fit for purpose and will offer you the features you are looking for. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions about frameless bifolding doors. 

What types of frameless folding doors are available?

Our research shows there are a number of quality providers of frameless folding and we give you a rundown of just some of the brands available.

Sunseeker doors are one of the best known companies with a broad range of frameless folding doors, including ultra-slim retractable doors, frameless single and double glazed doors and other room dividers.

While only frameless from the outside, check out the glass and aluminium frameless doors from the Folding Sliding Door Company.  These are flush glazed rather than frameless, yet provide an all-glass appearance from the outside with no visible frame around the door panels.

Frameless Glass Curtains (FGC)  of Chatham is a nationwide company that has developed a secure, weather-resistant advanced frameless slide and fold door for the UK market. The FGC product has a patented system whereby there is no aluminium at all on the vertical glass edges like other products.  FGC frameless slide and fold doors even have a glass spacer bar instead of plastic on the double glazed units.

IQ Glass of Amersham is one of the most experienced providers of technical doors and windows, structural glass and minimalist windows and doors.  In their range is an internal frameless bi-fold door.

Lumi Windows has a flush glazed frameless folding door system as well as a range of frameless windows and residential doors.

Sunflex UK is one of the best known providers of door systems in the UK offering a frameless glass door in their SF20 system for internal and low exposure installations.  Other types of doors for external use are available.

How much does a frameless sliding door cost?

Prices for these types of doors vary substantially depending upon the design, engineering, quality of components and other factors.  You can expect to pay approximately £5000 for a premium frameless bifolding door in a standard 2700mmx2100mm size.  These products do tend to be more expensive than conventional bifold doors but our advice is to always avoid the low-price products and seek the very best door you can afford.