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Bifold vs sliding doors: all you need to know

Slim black aluminium bifold door

Doors that bring the ‘outside in’ such as bifold and sliding doors have seen a huge rise in popularity over the recent years. They are one of the most desirable features in any home renovation project and are a great way to create the ‘wow factor’. But which one is best for my North West home? Choosing between them simply comes down to personal preference and how much space is available.

To help you, let us share some of the main differences.

How do these two different door types work?

Slim black aluminium bifold doors The main benefit of our aluminium bifold range is its versatility. Perfect for both smaller and bigger spaces – there is even the option to add a single access ‘traffic door’ to your design so you can go in and out of the house without having to fold the panels, perfect for those with young children or pets.

If, however, it is all about the view, then sliding doors may be the best option for you. In comparison to bifold doors, sliding doors open by sliding the panels one or both sides with the panes sitting nicely behind each other on two, three or even four tracks! You can choose up to four panes of glass in the patio door itself with the extra option of adding panes at the side to illuminate your home.

Are bifold and sliding doors both thermally efficient?

Grey aluminium sliding patio door

As a rule of thumb, thermally speaking, glass is the strong point of any product. Sliding doors tend to be more thermally efficient than bifold doors. This is because their door profile is much thicker and bulkier than the profile of a bifold door which features much more frame than glass.

However, that said, both bifold and sliding doors from Plan-it Windows offer exceptional strength and energy efficiency, so you can rest easy knowing that you and your loved ones will be kept warm all year round.

Which door type, bifold or sliding, offers greater flexibility?

With the option of including a ‘traffic door’ into the design, if you have young children who like to go exploring, then bifold doors may be the best option for you. The leaves on bifold doors fold back against themselves in a concertina style meaning that you can open them an inch or open them all the way back for full flexibility.

Whereas the typical configurations of a sliding door provide half, two-thirds, and three-quarter openings, making them the ideal opening for larger openings. If you have a large opening and you would like to open up two-thirds of it, this will give you the inside-outside feeling that we know a lot of our customer’s desire.

What colours are available?

Aluminium bifold door close up

There is a wide variety of classic colours and sensational shades to take your fancy.

Another benefit of bifold doors is that these can be made in over 150+ RAL colours giving you greater colour options to choose from. You can even customise bifold doors with dual colour, meaning that you can make a statement on the outside of your house whilst complementing your home’s interior design décor. How about Jet Black (RAL 9005) on the outside of your North West house and Grey White (RAL 9002) on the inside? Lots of our customers like Anthracite Grey (RAL 7016) too!

Our sliding doors on the other hand are available in nine different colours from White Foil to one of the most popular colours, Chartwell Green. With traditional shades to more contemporary effects, we are confident that you will find a colour you like.

What sizes are available?

Each of our bifold and sliding doors is made bespoke to you and your requirements. Depending on the amount of space you have available, we will make sure that we will create one that fits the space beautifully.

To help you, here is an indication of the sizes that can be achieved:

Minimum height Minimum width Maximum height Maximum width


Bifold doors 400mm 400mm 2500mm 1200mm


Sliding doors 2100mm 900mm 3000mm 3000mm


Stylish, strong, and sophisticated doors in the North West

Aside from bifold and sliding doors, we offer a fabulous range of high quality and affordable design designs. From classic composite, through to French doors, our expert team take pride in providing the best quality door products across the North West.

Looking for a home improvement expert?

Home improvements are a big decision, so you’ll need an expert you can trust. From uPVC doors and windows to conservatories with tiled roofs – no matter the job, we’ve got hands-on experience in it all. Whether you’re in Bolton, Bury or the Manchester area, give our team a call and we will give your home the perfect finishing touch.

Read our related blogs:

Do bifold doors make a room cold?

How to cool down your conservatory

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Fantastic service, replaced all the doors, windows and roofline on our old house and did a great job. High quality and great value. Got them to do the roofline and cladding on our new home and again excellent workmanship and great value. Can’t recommend enough.

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