Bi folding Doors are fully retractable, they can slide towards the left or right side of the space that leads to the outside or between rooms. As the set of bi folds are pushed along the guides, the doors fold in accordian or concertina fashion, to rest at the edge of the opening. They hang inwards or outwards from the threshhold as they are pushed open and hinges on each side of each door enable the folding or pleated doors to open as a single entity.
Slimline aluminium frames need to accommodate sturdy hinges and hold the weight of the double-glazed bi fold doors as they jut out from the guides. The frame width needs to be approximately 75mm and the hinges are visible on open door profiles .
Slide and Swing doors: slide and turn or sliding pivot doors look like bi folds, but with narrower frames, sightlines and profiles. Each door slides individually prior to opening inwards or outwards, which means that there are no hinges to consider. UltraSlim aluminium side frames are less than half the width of comparable bi-folds - under 2cm (approx.¾”).
The door panels are less heavy to manage. The first door opens normally for general use then each additional door is able to slide along the guides to rest wherever required. To fully open more doors, slide each one towards the first door, where they can be swung open to rest against the other doors.
Note that our comparisons are based on our aluminium framed bi folds and ultraslim door systems.
Bi Folding doors vs Slide & Swing doors
In addition to the slight differences in looks and opening actions, there is one other major difference that may influence your choice of bifold vs slide and turn - where you want the main opening door to be and where the doors should stack.
With bi folding doors, the main door opens at one end of the opening and the whole set opens towards the opposite side.
With slide & swing (sliding pivot) doors, the main door opens at one end of the opening and all other doors stack at the same end. Note that if only one or two open door spaces are necessary, they can be anywhere along the aperture.
You can download a visual illustration of master door location and stacking options for bi-folds vs slide-pivot doors.
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