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Sliding Patio Doors or Frameless Bifolding Doors?

For doors offering large ‘glass walls’ and expansive views out to your garden or outdoor space, there is a choice of a bifolding door or a sliding patio door.

Bifolding doors are one of the most popular options, closely followed by the sliding patio door.  If you’re undecided as to what is the best, a frameless glass door or a sliding patio door, we offer some help and advice.

What is best? A frameless bifolding door or a sliding door?

There are several factors you’ll need to consider when comparing our frameless bifolding doors to an aluminium sliding door.  Every home is different.SL75-1

For smaller properties it is quite likely that your new doors may be your only access into your garden.  If this is the case, then patio doors will require you to slide the door open every time you use it. With a frameless bifolding door you have an access leaf.  This is one door that swings open like a traditional single door.  The advantage of this is that you don’t need to fold your doors back partially or fully to gain access into your garden.

Therefore if your new doors are the only back doors in the home, a frameless bifolding door with an access leaf may be the more convenient option for you.

Comparing frameless door and patio door glass sizes.

One advantage of a sliding patio door is that it can accept far larger panes of glass than any swing door, French Door or bifolding door.

Modern aluminium patio door systems can be made over 2.5 metres high and some doors up to 3 metres wide.  The advantage of this is that sliding doors give you expansive views through large panes of glass. Bifolding doors can also be made taller with modern aluminium systems but these are still restricted when it comes to the width of your glass.

A typical full framed aluminium bifold is limited to approximately 1 metre in width for each folding panel. Some systems will go up to 1.2metres but this is still far smaller than the glass possible in a sliding door.

Therefore if you want the largest possible panes of glass to look through as well as creating a panoramic effect to the back of your house, patio sliding doors will be better.

However, our frameless bifolding doors don’t have any intermediate aluminium sections like other bifolding doors do.  When patio door are closed each sliding panel closes in front of the other. IN the middle of the doors (the interlock) you’ll find deeper frame sections and visible aluminium.  Even with the slimmest folding door you still have aluminium profiles around each door and these sight lines can be well over 100mm when all the doors are closed.

Our frameless doors have no aluminium between the doors. Therefore you can still enjoy a full glass effect when looking through closed doors.  And better still, with an access leaf and our doors opening independently means greater flexibility in ventilating your room compared to sliding patio doors.

Threshold differences between frameless doors and patio doors.dcf869_084cd327416048d0b2c71c3b5f413e25

Modern patio door systems today can accept single, double and even triple tracks.  With a sliding door covering a large opening a multi pane patio door is popular.  However the more sliding panels you have, the deeper your threshold and surrounding frames.

Some homeowners may not like so much visible ‘bulk’ in their doors.  This is where our frameless doors are so much better.  Our frame profiles and thresholds are ultra slim meaning even on the largest types of doors, aluminium sight lines remain at a bare minimum.  And don’t forget that the threshold height on our doors can be as low as 5mm! This is something that cannot be achieved with a sliding patio door in aluminium.

Patio doors can’t provide a full open aspect.

Unless your sliding doors are one of the exclusive systems designed to slide into a wall, you will always lose part of your clear opening when you open your doors.  This is because sliding doors must slide to one or both directions when they’re fully opened.  This means you may lose up to half your overall opening with a patio door.

With our frameless glass doors they’re designed to stack tightly together and better than an aluminium bifold.  So if you’re looking to maximise your clear opening when the doors are open frameless bifolding doors are far better than sliding doors and aluminium folding doors.  You really do gain the biggest clear opening out to your garden.

Frameless bifolding doors offer many features over even the latest aluminium sliding door. These include:

  • No intermediate frames when the doors are shut.
  • A bigger clear opening when the doors are open.
  • A more convenient method of opening and closing your doors with an access leaf.
  • Lower thresholds
  • Slimmer frame sections
  • A greater choice of door handles.

If you’re undecided as to what is best, a sliding door or a folding door, contact us to view our frameless glass doors and how vastly different they are to a patio door.