Sliding or Bifold – Which Door Configuration Is Right For You?

Open plan living has exploded in popularity over the last few years. A free-flowing home, where each room glides seamlessly into the next, has become the default layout for new Australian homes. And it’s not hard to see the appeal: it maximises your space and light, and encourages social, integrated living. However, if you’ve ever lived in an open plan house, you will know that there are also some significant drawbacks. Noise travels throughout the space, and mess can’t be contained or hidden away. It can also be much more expensive to heat as it is effectively one big open space.

That’s why, at Doors Plus, we have developed Zone Living. Our innovative Internal Zone Living solutions include exclusive ranges of both sliding and bi-fold doors that offer complete lifestyle flexibility. You have the freedom to enjoy open plan living when it suits you, but can close off certain areas when you need more privacy, sound or thermal insulation, or when different activities are happening in different spaces around your home.

Not sure whether sliding or bi-fold doors are the right choice for you? Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of each of these solutions, so that you can decide which will work best for your home and family.

Sliding Doors

If you’re attracted to open plan living because you want to maximise your space, then sliding doors may be the right choice for you. Running on smooth tracks, they slide, to either side of the opening without eating into any of your living space. They also allow for larger panels, with less framing than bi-fold doors, so you can choose glass doors that invite an unbroken flow of light throughout your home, and maintain the open plan feel.

Sliding doors are ideal for wider openings, and you can combine multiple panels. They offer flexibility in terms of design and layout as you can install two doors that slide away to each side, one door that slides either way, or one that only slides to the right/left. All of our sliding doors come in a range of finishes, to suit your home décor, and our exclusive Doors Plus SafeGlass comes as standard. This is a strong and resilient glass that doesn’t shatter if broken, so it’s the safest choice for you and your family.

They’re not just for separating your indoor spaces, either. Sliding doors are a great choice for back entrances, patio or verandah doors, to expand your living space and enjoy an alfresco lifestyle when it suits you! As an external door, sliding doors tend to be more energy efficient than bi-fold doors, as the larger panels with fewer frames are better at retaining heat. They also allow for multiple screen options, for privacy and security, and for keeping out bugs.

You can even use our aluminium sliding doors to create a separate outdoor living space. This gives you the flexibility to keep it fully open when you want to enjoy the weather, while still enjoying a great usable space, year round.

Check out our gallery for more examples of how sliding doors could transform your living space and your lifestyle.

BiFold Doors

Our bi-fold doors offer many of the same excellent benefits as our sliding doors, allowing you to make the most of open plan living, while maintaining full control over how you use and enjoy your space. Bi-fold doors are made up of multiple hinged panels on a sliding track, so they can be pushed away to one side as the panels fold against each other. Bi-fold options offer an extra level of flexibility as you can custom design the width of each panel to suit your space.

We offer a wide range of practical and stylish designs, with plenty of colour and finish options, so you can find a style that works in harmony with your home. For internal bi-fold doors, you can choose between composite and solid timber, with optional glass panels so that you don’t have to sacrifice the light when the doors are closed. For extending your living space to your outdoor areas, you can choose from our aluminium or solid timber external bi-fold options. Like our sliding options, all of our bi-fold doors come with SafeGlass.

For external entrances, it is worth bearing in mind that bi-fold doors tend to be less energy efficient than sliding doors, due to the higher ratio of frame to door. The folding design also makes them more difficult to screen, so if you want the convenience of a closed screen, even when your doors are open, our sliding options might be a better choice for you.

One of the greatest benefits of bi-fold doors is that they can open completely, maintaining the full width of your opening. However, for tighter spaces you may find that you lose out on too much floor space as the doors fold out rather than being flush against the wall.

If you’re looking for a lightweight and flexible solution that will allow you to fully open smaller doorways, bi-fold doors may be the right choice for your home.

In Summary

Both sliding and bi-fold doors are excellent solutions, but the important thing is to think about which will work best for you, your home and your lifestyle. To help you out, here’s a quick reminder of the best things about each solution…

The main benefits of sliding doors:

The main benefits of bi-fold doors:

Still not sure which way to go? You don’t need to make this decision alone! Come on into your local Doors Plus showroom and speak with one of our specialists today. We can show you examples of each option, talk to you about your specific needs, and help you decide which solution is the right one for you.