More and more consumers are wanting folding doors in their home. This is because folding doors are far more flexible than other types of doors and no other type of door can provide that feeling of space whether they’re open or closed. In this article we explain the various bifolding door opening options.
Buying Bifolding Doors
Bifolding doors are hugely desirable in the British home but they’re also very popular in bars, restaurants, cafes and other public places.
If you’re presently researching patio doors in the folding style for your home, why not contact us, visit our showroom and find out about the different types of folding doors on the market. You’ll find many different products and types available.
All bifolding doors available today are of good quality. These are extensively designed and engineered to stringent security, energy efficiency and quality standards.
There are of course varying price points and quality on bifolding doors but generally all doors today meet or exceed current recognised industry standards. There isn’t really a ‘bad’ folding door as industry-wide quality standards prevent this.
One of the things you’ll notice when comparing bifolding doors is how they open and close. For bifolding door opening options, there are two main methods to slide and fold a typical bifold.
Bifolding Door Opening Options.
In doing your research around bifolding doors, some doors hang on the top. The majority of bifolds take the weight on the bottom, called bottom hung. The other arrangement with bifolding door opening options is the slide and pivot arrangement.
There is no “best” method of opening as the various systems available differ in aesthetics and overall design as well as how they open. Generally the bottom hung door is the most popular. These doors work best when the weight of the door leaves is on the bottom rather than suspended from the top.
When it comes to how doors slide and fold you’ll find two typical methods. The hinged door and the sliding pivoting door.
Here we explain the differences between the two.
Hinged bifolding doors.
Our market leading folding doors from Schuco, Origin and Smart Systems all used the hinged opening arrangement.
This is by far the preferred method for doors of this types. The hinged bifolding door means that all the door leaves connect by their respective hinges. Bifolding door panels connect together and move together.
If you visualize these doors opening, they feature a “zig-zag” effect when folded forward and being slid back. The doors slide in the guides at the top and bottom and fold to one side or both sides depending on how you configure them.
Hinged folding doors fitted with an access leaf are common on doors with an odd number, such as a three or five pane arrangement. On these doors, the access leaf will be positioned either not the one side or the middle of the doors. This leaf is designed to hinge open only. The intention behind this leaf is to provide easy access in and out of the doors without having to fold them back every time.
Sliding and Pivoting Doors
The sliding and pivoting door is less popular, but some systems provide this method of opening. The difference with these doors is that all the doors are independent of each other and do not connect by their hinges.
Each door panel slides on its own along its track. It reaches a certain point at the end of the track and then engages to swing open.
In using both types of these doors, you’ll notice that pivoting doors have no visible hinges. The swing action is generally concealed in the head and the track.
What is best? Hinged or Pivoting bifolding doors?
All these bifolding door opening options mean bifolds work in different ways. It is very much down to personal preference.
The folding hinged door is perceived as being easier as all the doors are connected together. Comparatively the pivoting doors each operate as individual panels. For some people having a large six panel door, this involves several repetitive operations.
One advantage of the pivoting doors is that you can slide the panels partially open for ventilation. However bifolding doors with an access leaf can also give you partial ventilation but in a different way.
So as you can see, all quality door systems offer different advantages to the user. If you would like further information on the design and construction of our folding doors, please contact us.