Sliding Doors vs Bifold Doors - Which Door is Right for Your Space?

The popularity of open plan living has exploded in the last couple of years. The signature Australian home has become a free-flowing home that connects rooms seamlessly. This maximises space, light and encourages a social household.

However, those that have lived in an open plan house know that there are some drawbacks to open plan living. For instance, noise travels throughout a more open space as there is nothing to contain the noise to certain areas.

Not to mention how mess looks in an open space compared to individual rooms. Everything is there for everyone to see so a little mess in multiple rooms can look like a big mess in one space that can’t be hidden.

The biggest impact though is the cost of controlling the temperature throughout a larger area without being able to control only selected areas.

That’s why sliding and bifold doors are a great solution to not only close off rooms in an open plan home. They can also bring the outdoors inside your home to combine your indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Both sliding doors and bifold doors allow for complete lifestyle flexibility. So, the question is, which door configuration is best for a living space?

Here is a breakdown of the benefits of each door system.

Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are often the first choice for architects and builders who want to maximise space in a house. Aluminium sliding and stacking doors are a great choice for open plan living. Sliding and stacking doors run on tracks that slide to either side of the doorway opening, placing the door in front of window panels, without taking up any living space.

Sliding aluminium windows and doors also allow for much larger panels with much less framing than is required for bifold doors of a similar size. This also benefits the amount of natural light that can enter a space.

Multiple panels can be used for wider openings with minimal impact to areas around the doors. For example, sliding doors with multiple panels will stack parallel to the windows in line with a wall, having minimal impact on how much space is taken. Bifold doors stack at a right angle to a wall so they would take up the length of a panel from the wall, and the width of all panels together.

Sliding doors also offer flexibility for design and layout so that you can choose whether to have doors open from the middle, a single side, or free sliding.

External sliding doors also allow for multiple options for safety screen doors for privacy and security. They additionally offer more energy efficiency than glass bifold doors as they have larger and fewer frames which retains more heat.

Check out our video gallery for more examples of how a sliding door system could transform your living space and your lifestyle.

BiFold Doors

BiFold doors are a great option for a grand space. BiFolds work best on a large scale. If you have a large doorway with open areas, bifolds are a perfect choice. Tomma’s range of bifold door systems offers unmatched support for door panels up to 120kg.

Bifold doors offer many of the same features that sliding doors do, allowing you to the choice of transforming two rooms into one. This gives you full control over your space and to enjoy how you like.

BiFold doors are made up of panels mounted with hardware that pivots and slides on a track so that they can be pushed easily to one side, folding against each other. Bi-fold door systems offer a lot more flexibility than sliding doors as you can customise the design of each panel to suit the flow and architecture of your space.

The folding design also makes it harder to add security screens. If that is a concern, sliding doors may be for you.

Possibly the biggest benefit that bifolds offer is completely opening a space. When looking for the option to close off areas of your open plan house, you don’t want to lose the option of having an open plan. If you have large areas that won’t be affected by losing a little bit of space, bifolds are great. If it is a tighter space, you may find that bifolds take up too much floor space to fold and store.

A bifold door system will also be the best choice when you have a space that needs to be open but does not have space inside a wall for an internal sliding door. 

In Summary

While both sliding doors and bifold doors are great solutions, you must think about how you want the space to function and flow. You also have to think about it from a logistical perspective and what works best for you. Here is a quick reminder about the benefits of each door system:

Benefits of sliding doors:

  • Don’t take up additional floor space

  • Offer an open view when doors are closed

  • Easier to security screen

Benefits of bifold doors:

  • Open the entire width of the doorway.

  • Good for spaces without room for a sliding door.

  • Maximises the opening space 

If you're interested in learning more about what Tomma can offer and how we can help develop your door and window system needs, then give us a call on 03 9466 1088.

Paul Logg