Choosing between bifold doors or sliding doors

Posted on 04.03.2022

What is the better choice for your home and available space? Bifold or sliding doors? There are lots of considerations to take into account when choosing what style of door you’d like to have in your home, so we have put all of the most important ones into this blog to help homeowners choose between them. Bifold doors are great for connecting the home to the garden, and sliding doors are ideal for if you want larger panes of glass.

The advantages of bifolding and sliding doors

aluminium sliding door

Both bifolding and sliding doors have their advantages as they make the most of your available space, it’s just deciding which space they are more suited to. They both promise a contemporary, grand feature for your home, whether you’re replacing an old set of patio doors or deciding on the best type for a new extension. As well as aesthetics, homeowners now expect a level of functionality to their home improvements and our bifolds and sliding doors offer this, with slim sightlines, flush and level thresholds, energy efficient and longevity.

Understanding the similarities

Bifold and sliding doors share several impressive features, making your decision easier when it comes to the technical side of things.

  • Both are thermally insulated, to maintain optimum temperatures all year round, helping homeowners save money on energy bills.
  • High quality safety glass is used which boasts impressive U-Values. Our aïr 800 bifold doors offer 1.4 W/m2K and our aïr lift and slide doors offer an impressive 1.38 W/m2K.
  • All our doors are tested to the latest and highest security and weather standards for ultimate peace of mind.

With such similarities in the technical performance of both doors, it allows you to focus more on the functional and aesthetic factors.

Choosing a bifold door or a sliding door

air bifold doors

There are two significant differences that separate bifold and sliding doors and these tend to influence a homeowners decision the most.

Bifolds are made up of multiple sashes meaning there are more visible panels and aluminium profiles as a result, depending on how many you decide to have. So, whilst they can be fully folded back in the warmer weather, you have more sightlines in view when the doors are closed. Our bifolds have slim sightlines so it’s more of an aesthetic preference.

Our sliding doors provide large expanse of glass up to 2.2 meters wide. The benefit of these large glass panels are that you get an uninterrupted view of your garden, giving you the perfect slimline aluminium frame.

If you have a smaller living space and want to make the most of it, then bifold doors are the perfect choice for you, thanks to the fully opening nature creating the illusion of more space. If you have lots of space to work with, then both types are door are a great option.

Daily life with a bifold or sliding door

If your new sliding and patio doors will be your only access into your garden, a consideration to factor in when choosing bifold or sliding doors is using them in the winter months, as sliding doors require an entire glass panel to be moved for everyday access to the garden. Bifold doors come with a traffic door option, which is a conventional door built into the bi-fold system, that sits on a normal hinge and has a standard handle for easy operation. This allows quick and easy access when you don’t want to fold away every panel in the bi-fold.

How they both work

Bi-fold doors use a tracking system that runs along the door panels, which are connected. The doors work by folding in on themselves in a concertina style and then glide along a tracking system on wheels, for smooth, silent operation. Your bi-fold doors can have between two and 10 panels, all of which are connected and attached to the tracking system at the bottom or top of the doors. You can choose whether your bi-fold doors open inwards or outwards, depending on what is the most practical choice for your living space.

Sliding doors work by sliding open on strong stainless steel rollers which are expertly engineered to hold vast panes of glass that weigh up to 300kg. For effortless operation, you can easily open and close your sliding doors with as little as two fingers, thanks to the impressively crafted aïrglide technology.

Choose the right door for your project with Bowalker Doors


If you would like to get started on your next home improvement project with either of our sliding doors or bifold doors, then get in touch with us. Our team will work closely with you to further help you choose the perfect fit for your living space. If you have an idea or plans of what you would like already, request a quote and we will be in touch with you to discuss your project requirements.

Doors you can trust

You can trust us with your transformation plans as we’re members of Checkatrade, FENSA and the Plastics Window Federation.