Oftentimes, a door is the first thing that you see when you walk into a room or enter a house. Mainly, it serves as an entryway into the interior of the home or a particular room. The purpose of doors is also to ensure optimal security by functioning both as an invitation to enter and as a barrier to keep out intruders. A house’s doors usually encapsulate the interior spaces and convey the sense of style of the owner.
Consider complementing them with the other features of the house, such as the windows already present. For example, if you are dealing with traditional properties or traditional style properties, you may choose a traditional door frame and a matching window frame.
Throughout this article, we will focus primarily on two types of doors: sliding doors and folding doors. The interior doors of a home can be adorned with sliding doors or folding doors that give the house or room personality and style along with providing extra space and highlighting the characteristics of each type.
What are sliding doors?
This door slides and opens horizontally, where one panel slides behind another for accessibility. Although you may use this in any part of your house, especially indoor spaces, they are usually used as shower doors, room dividers and patio doors for their ease of use. They are mountable or suspendable from a track. The glass option can be used if you wish to emphasise the excellent view of your house.
Different types of sliding doors
There is a wide range of sliding doors to choose from, depending on the look and feel you want to achieve as well as its functionality in providing regular access.
One of the most common types of bypass doors for modern homes would be made of wood, such as those found in closets. In addition to being used as bathroom doors, they are also frequently used as shower doors or as access doors between rooms. It is easy to install and helpful in a number of ways.
Sliding bi-fold door/Bi-fold
This is a combination of sliding and folding doors, also known as folding-sliding doors. It slides and folds to one side when you open it. Due to its blend of sliding and folding door conveniences, this door type has gained a lot of popularity.
Patio sliding doors
If you have a nice patio area in a modern home, then this door is the choice for you. You can increase the value of your home by adding a bespoke patio door made of glass panels that opens up onto an outdoor space with a patio.
Sliding French doors
These doors (also known as French doors) add charm and class to the house. You may use these doors to showcase your style. Although most French doors are bi-fold, some use the sliding feature to save internal space or to make extra space.
Pocket sliding doors
For limited spaces, this pocket door slides into wall space or the entire wall when you open it. It is a single-panel access door without hinges. It comes in different styles that you can choose from to suit your personal taste.
This is a unique modern design based on a Japanese concept made from wood and paper; paper instead of the typical glass. Because of the paper, one would need to be careful so as not to tear it. It is best suited for a home consisting of adults who will appreciate its beauty and its tradition.
Usually found in barns or garages, these sliding doors are thought to be more convenient than swing doors, for exterior spaces particularly. Also, it is easy to open as it will slide along the upper track. There are many colours as well as designs to these doors, so find one that fits your needs easily as access doors.
Resembling an accordion, this type of sliding door is relatively common nowadays. Their unique designs make it appealing to be used indoors, like for a pantry, and have their own aesthetic appeal. These doors are inexpensive, easy to install and functional.
Features of sliding doors
When purchasing a sliding door for your house it is worth noting the different features of the door and their possible uses. Tempered glass (processed thermally or chemically) is the preferred choice as it lasts longer and is not as fragile as normal panes of glass or glass doors. The other feature is ball-bearing rollers. Sliding doors with a roller mechanism or rolling system are easy to use and generate relatively little noise while being opened or closed.
Then, there is the snap-lock closing, mainly used for accordion doors. If you are worried that your accordion door is not closed properly, then this feature will ensure that your door is tightly shut. Applicable for Shoji doors, you may buy high-fibre rice paper for more durability. This way, you won’t worry about the paper on your Shoji door tearing at any time.
What are folding doors?
If you love modern properties, you may wonder whether folding doors are right for your house. Fortunately, folding doors can be modern as well! Folding doors fold back into sections or panels. It is also known as a bi-fold door or concertina door. For decades, this type of door has been the preferred choice of many.
It is important to note here that having a level threshold is important as the level threshold protects against water and other weather conditions. For bi-folding doors, you may ensure that you have a level threshold which usually comes with an “upstand” to prevent these water and weather conditions from causing damage. In achieving the level threshold, where your door is located is also important. The level threshold also plays a part in door opening efficiency and security. Bi-folding doors usually come with a standard level threshold.
Different types of folding doors
Kitchens, kitchen extensions, or even separate rooms are commonly fitted with bi-fold or multi-fold doors. There is also the option of getting bi-fold door gear. This type of door usually hangs from the top and is guided by the bottom track, which is also known as the hung system. Alternatively, you may want to install a bi-fold cabinet door.
Bifold doors come in 3 main styles. Besides providing easy access, each type enhances the interior’s aesthetics. Maintenance requirements and bi-fold door designs differ from one another.
The aluminium door frame style is a favourite due to its longevity and strength. The aluminium bifold door may be a little expensive but worth the investment in the long run as aluminium styles do not deteriorate with sunlight and the material that it is made of prevents bending. The aluminium-framed bi-folding door is durable and attractive with multiple colour options.
If you are looking for a cheaper option than the aluminium style, UPVC is the choice. However, do note that it is not as durable as the aluminium style and will lose its colour over the years, although its other features are remarkably similar.
Wooden folding doors are by far more natural-looking and sometimes used for traditional properties very much like timber in timber doors. Hence, engineered wood by manufacturers is sometimes used over natural wood for this kind of door. It is not as high maintenance as the aluminium style but is regular maintenance, that is, less maintenance than UPVC.
Sliding door vs folding door
Now that we have established what sliding doors, folding doors and bifold door options are as well as their different types, let’s examine how they differ. In this way, you will be able to decide what works best for your home.
Essentially, the type of door you get depends on the amount of space available, the kind of separation you want between one space and another, how much light and ventilation you’d prefer to enjoy, and of course, the budget.
Generally, the cost of folding or bi-fold doors is more expensive due to the materials needed for installation. However, the cost of sliding doors, depending on the glass style or size of the glass panes, can sometimes be expensive too.
As far as the thermal efficiency of homes is concerned, because sliding doors have more glass, they are more thermally efficient and are an effective option. In cold weather, they can keep you warmer than folding doors. In some cases, high-quality folding doors, contribute to the overall efficiency of homes because of their thermal efficiency.
Folding doors, because they fold back, are relatively more accessible and contribute to the efficiency of homes more than sliding doors as the latter can only slide open while requiring one to go over the bottom track of the sliding door. Hence, folding doors emphasise the idea of flexible living space due to the ease of walking or moving objects.
On the other hand, sliding doors are perfect if you want to save space as folding doors need space to fold themselves. Folding doors take more trouble to open and would not be suitable for frequent opening and closing.
Adjustability and Aesthetics
Sliding doors can be adjusted to suit your preference. It can be slightly opened to enjoy the breeze or adjusted to a full-width opening. As such, there are usually options of half, two-thirds and three-quarters opening. In terms of aesthetics, sliding doors with their larger glass panels, allow more natural light or sunlight. Also, consider bespoke patio doors to highlight your house if you desire.
Folding doors, on the other hand, provides an immediate connection between indoor and outdoor living, integrating the two in modern-day living and the present-day efficiency of homes. Bi-fold door designs add to a more contemporary look of the house. With folding doors, there may be no obstructions or elevated surfaces to avoid. This makes it easier for older people and wheelchair users to go through. These folding doors can also open inwardly or outwardly depending on your choice.
Which is more popular?
If the priority is to have an excellent view in the house, optimise valuable floor space, and contribute to the efficiency of homes, then sliding doors would probably be the better choice. Alternately, folding doors or bi-fold doors are a stunning option and are said to “bring the outdoors in” and remain popular after decades of use. Due to its foldability and complete opening, it has an advantage over other doors.
Thus, both types have been in high demand, offering different appeals to different buyers.
Questions to keep in mind
Here are some questions to consider when selecting a door type:
Is there a style that would be the more practical choice for your current living situation? Do you have kids or elders living with you?
What do you value most among space, view, security and convenience?
What type of door would best match the aesthetics of the whole house or simply the windows you have at home?
What is the frequency of use of the particular door?
Is there a level of visibility or privacy you would like to achieve between one space and another?
Conclusion – the choice is yours!
Finally, folding and sliding doors possess their own distinctive characteristics. Both are viable options and have their own advantages and disadvantages. It’s just a matter of weighing both options while considering their features and your budget.
To reiterate, remember that it’s not just about having an entryway. Accessibility, security, convenience and aesthetics are crucial in determining which type of door you use in your home. With all the facts in hand, you can’t go wrong choosing the right option. You will be able to go on to make a wise decision based on the wide range available to you – one you will not regret but value for a lifetime.
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