Sliding doors vs bifold doors – which one is best?

As we finally start to see some sunshine in the UK after an extremely long winter and cold spring, homeowners often find themselves trying to incorporate the concept of bringing the outside in. What better way than opening up the back of your house to the lovely fresh air? However, the dilemma is bifold or sliding doors. In this blog, we discuss the differences, pros and cons for each so you can make the right decision for your home and family life.

What is the difference?

Quite simply, as the names suggest, one is a folding door, the other is a sliding door. Bi-fold doors consist of several panels, which when opened, fold back against themselves in a concertina style allowing the whole length of your room to be open to the outdoors. Sliding doors, however, are made up of two or more panels of glass that move to the side, and the panels sit behind one another.

Pros of bi-fold doors

  • Bi-fold doors can replace a whole wall creating an open, light, and modern space
  • When bi-fold doors are open, they offer an uninterrupted view of your garden
  • They can add substantial value to your home
  • Bi-fold doors also allow indoor and outdoor space to flow seamlessly and make the most out of the space available

Cons of bi-fold doors

  • Bi-fold doors have more frame than sliding doors, meaning less glass which breaks up the view when they are closed. In colder climates, or those with unpredictable weather conditions, bi-fold doors may not be the best option for you.
  • Bi-fold doors have to be pushed the whole way back to access the outside (unless a traffic door is installed)
  • They can often be very expensive and may require structural support to install, depending on the width required.

Pros of sliding doors

  • Sliding doors have a higher glass-to-frame ratio meaning better uninterrupted views when the doors are closed – perfect for colder climates and areas that suffer from long periods of bad weather
  • The higher glass-to-frame ratio also makes them perfect for maximising natural light in your home - which is ideal for homeowners hoping to reduce their energy usage and costs!
  • Sliding doors are also easier to move over tracks and often the cheaper alternative to bi-fold

Cons of sliding doors

  • With sliding doors, only one door opens, meaning there is a barrier between the outdoor and indoor space as they cannot be opened to the full width of the space.
  • With most sliding doors, there are no flush tracks meaning there is often a small lip or step down into the garden area.

In summary, both options are a fantastic addition to any home design and offer huge benefits, but the decision largely comes down to personal preference and situation. If connecting indoor and outdoor living is most important to you, then bi-fold doors could be the answer, but if you are looking for natural light and the best aesthetic when closed, then sliding doors would be more suitable.

At Arc Design Services, we specialise in architectural design, dedicated to offering a fresh and exciting approach to every project. With this in mind, Arc Design Services could help you add bifold or sliding doors to your existing home, renovation, or extension plans to bring the outside inside your home. Contact our experts today at Arc Design Services at or 0161 928 4433.

26a Victoria Road, Hale
Altrincham, Cheshire, WA15 9AD
United Kingdom