Sliding Glass vs. Bi-Folding Doors – What’s the Difference?

Sliding Glass vs. Bi-Folding Doors – What’s the Difference?

If you’re installing new doors to your backyard or patio, you may be noticing an increase in your options. Not only are there classic entry doors, but there are an array of styles including French doors, sliding glass and bi-folding doors, allowing you to design your home any way you want. These options can be overwhelming though, so we’ve provided an overview of the two most popular options homeowners choose: sliding and bi-folding doors.  

What are bi-fold doors? 

Bi-folding doors are typically made up of large panels of glass that slide horizontally on a track to open, similar to sliding glass doors. A distinguishing factor of this style is the fact that these panels of glass change direction when being opened and are stacked at each end of the doorway when open in a concertina style. The number of panels you want in your bi-folding door system is up to you, but they do require at least four hinges, two on the doorframes and two connecting the middle panels, to stack and be considered bi-folding.  

What are sliding doors? 

Sliding doors are the more popular option for patio or backyard entryways. They are also made up of glass panels but can be slid directly horizontally without stacking at the ends. These glass panels slide right on top of each other, so that the panels face the same direction the entire time. They offer a clear, unobstructed view and allow the maximum amount of natural light.  

Which style is best?

Designing your perfect home ultimately comes down to your personal preference and style, but there are some key differences to consider between bi-folding and sliding glass doors. Sliding glass doors tend to offer a wider view of your yard when closed, since they are made up of larger panels with less hinges hindering your view. On the contrary, bi-folding doors offer a wider view of your yard when opened, since the panels stack in a vertical direction. Because of this, bi-folding doors will require more floor space for the panels to swivel when opened. Bi-fold doors also cost significantly more than sliding glass doors.  For this reason, sliding glass doors are the better option when building in a room with less square footage. Both are great for indoor-outdoor living spaces since they open an entire wall to the outside.  

Sliding doors require less maintenance than bifold doors, because they have less hinges and therefore less hardware to maintain. Both styles will require regular track cleaning to ensure that they open smoothly. When well maintained, sliding doors are also energy efficient and allow lots of natural light. When comparing sliding versus bifold doors cost, there are many factors that affect the total price of your new doors including panel size, materials and installation. 

Thompson creek offers the highest quality sliding glass doors and a free quote on your home improvement project, helping you make an informed decision. Our experts install with precision, preventing draftiness or water penetration, and guarantee a long lifespan of high-functioning doors. Visit our website to learn more about our high-quality vinyl glass sliding doors and get a quote today.