French Patio Doors Versus Bifold & Sliding Doors
Feature Comparisons for French Patio Doors
So you have finally decided to go ahead and get patio doors fitted but you are not quite sure what type of door to have installed. How do you decide which one is best for you?
Firstly, lets identify the main types of popular patio door designs and secondly look at what each one has to offer in terms of features that could work better for your home.
Patio Door Types
- Sliding Patio Doors
- Tilt & Turn Patio Doors or Tilt & Slide
- French Doors
- Bi-fold of Multi-fold Doors
If we can take 3 areas to compare the designs against each other they could be
Your View – what you see from inside when you are looking out into the garden
Function – how they open & close
Unique features – what one has that the other does not.
VIEW Sliding Tilt French Bi-fold
Visible frames when closed yes yes yes yes
Visible frames when opened yes yes no no
Clear Space when opened no no yes yes
Doors interfere with living space no no yes no
Doors interfere with outside space no no yes no
Doors hinged to open in or out no yes yes yes
Do all doors open no no yes yes
Raised threshold yes yes yes no
SLIDING & TILTING
Sliding & tilting doors move within the overall frame and don’t take up space inside or outside the room. Tilting versions can have the door “lean back” into the room to allow for ventilation without fully opening the door.
One disadvantage of sliding door is that on some designs, one panel is usually non movable. That means on a 2 panel installation you will only get a 50% clear opening space.
However, they are very popular and Upvc sliding patio doors can be the least expensive to buy & fit.
With this style the doors are hinged on the side & open from the centre, giving a “100%” clear opening.
The small disadvantage is that the doors, when opened, will need a clear area and that can be annoying where space is at a premium.
For larger openings, you may need to fit side panels, which will also reduce the clear opening space.
However, for people who are French Door fans, the overall classic look of a double set of doors is what is most important.
BI-FOLD or MULTI-FOLD
If you have a smaller opening, bi-fold doors can look a bit odd and you could be better off with French doors. But when it comes to a wide opening, they work really well.
The doors, or leaves, fold to the left right, inside or outside and allow for “100%” clear space to enter & exit the room. When folded back, the doors take a minimum of space and give a “panoramic” view of your garden.
Bifold doors tend to be at the higher end of the price scale.