There was a time when bifold doors were the obvious finishing touch for a garden room or kitchen extension. After all, when bifold doors are pulled back, you get that wonderful ‘outside in’ feeling with nothing but fresh air between the interior and exterior of your home.
But since the introduction of contemporary, expertly engineered sliding doors, the choices on offer have changed considerably, and bifolds are no longer the clear winner in the glazing game. Here, we outline the key differences between bifold doors and sliding doors …
In our opinion, it’s all about the view. A sliding door with a slimline aluminium frame maximises the view and allows as much natural light as possible into your home. And as sliding doors are available in much larger pane sizes than bifolds (Minima’s go up to nine square metres) you gain a higher glass to frame ratio which opens up the view even more.
The other key point with bifolds is the fact that they actually remain closed for most of the year. Because, let’s face it, how often is the weather really warm enough in the UK to pull the doors right back? So, for the vast majority of the year, if you install bifold doors you have a series of chunky vertical frame lines obstructing your view. Whereas with sliding doors, because the glass pane sizes are much larger and the frames narrower, you have a more expansive view of the garden, even when the doors are closed.
Minima’s slimline sliding doors have market-leading 20mm frames to ensure more view and less frame. Other benefits of Minima’s sliding doors include a near invisible handle integrated into the frame, an effortless sliding operation thanks to our highly durable stainless steel rollers, and the ability to lock the door in a 100mm vented position.
Well, actually you can. The secret lies in installing pocket doors which slide away into the wall cavity, creating a completely unobstructed opening. In the case of our Chestnut Road project, for example, one of the sliding doors disappears into the brick wall when slid back, creating an incredible sense of light and space. With Minima’s highly flexible track system, you can install single, double or even triple track pocket doors which can slide alongside one other. What’s more, a pocket detail can be achieved cost effectively as it simply requires more track profile from the manufacturer and a timber stud wall construction internally by your builder.
Not only does this achieve the ultimate sense of light and openness, it also means there’s no bulky stack of doors at one side of the opening as there would be with bifold doors. All you see is the view – as if the sliding doors have magically disappeared into the wall!
Pro Tip: Ask your architect about pocket doors early on in the process so that they can be incorporated into the design early
If environmental issues are important to you, the good news with sliding doors is that they generally have a lower U-value than bifold doors, which means they are more energy efficient. Minima’s sliding doors have a U-value of 1.2 – far below the U-value of the UK’s best-selling bifold doors. This improved thermal performance helps to minimise your carbon footprint and reduce your bills.
In terms of security, the near invisible, electric locking system we use at Minima Sliding means we offer the most secure door on market, meeting the requirements of both the PAS 24 security standard.
When activated, a stainless steel bolt concealed in the top of frame moves into place to secure the door. This creates a more secure entry point than manual locks and can be easily integrated into a Smart Home system.
Still need convincing? Give us a call and we’ll happily explain why sliding doors rather than bifold doors might be the best solution for your project.