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What is an Internal Bi-Fold Door?

If you’re looking for a practical way to add some space into your interior, then you’ll find that bi-fold doors offer an excellent means of doing so.  These folding doors consist not of a single body of wood, but of several panels adjoined by hinges.  Each panel is attached to a rail in the floor or ceiling (or both), so that the entire door can be easily folded back in a concertina mechanism.

This unique style of door has proven popular with homeowners looking to add some extra space to their interior.  But why, exactly, might this be?  Let’s examine the technology more closely.

How many panels can a bi-fold door have?

It’s worth first dealing with a possible source of confusion surrounding the term ‘bi-fold’ door.  You might note the ‘bi’ prefix and conclude that such a door must have two panels.  Indeed, many manufacturers might claim that a door with more than two panels is by definition not a bi-fold door, any more than a bicycle with three wheels is a bicycle.  If you’re especially astute, on the other hand, then you might note that ‘bi-fold’ suggests not two panels, but two folds.  Strictly speaking, then, a bi-fold door should have three panels – divided neatly by a pair of folds, but realistically, this isn't a concern.

 

What are the advantages of an internal bi-fold door?

A number of things mark interior bi-fold doors out as superior to their counterparts.  Let’s examine each of them in turn.

 

Bi-fold doors can be bigger

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of bi-folding doors is their considerable size.  A folding door can be far wider than ordinary internal doors, and will allow for a much larger space to be opened up between the two rooms being adjoined.  When they’re separated by a bi-fold door, two rooms can be effectively made into one, which makes them a popular choice for kitchen and dining areas.

On the other hand, bi-fold doors can be easily folded in to turn the single large room into two smaller ones whenever privacy is desired.  So, if you’d like to read, study, or perform some other activity which demands solitude, you can easily re-instate a temporary wall between yourself and the room opposite.

 

Bi-fold doors are easy to install

Bi-fold doors are also relatively easy to install, as they don’t require delicate positioning within a wall – one can simply knock a non-load-bearing wall down and replace it with a leaner and lighter bi-fold arrangement.  On the other hand, if you’ve already got a large open space between two rooms, and you’d like to install a folding door into it, then you’ll be able to do so without much upheaval.

 

Bi-folding doors are versatile

Folding doors come in many different arrangements, and can be built from different number of doors of different sizes.  They can also be made to slide to either the left or the right (or, if you’d prefer, to fold forwards or backwards). 

 

Bi-folding doors come in many colours

You’ll also find a multitude of different colours to choose from.  These range from fully-finished oak, which is stained to bring out the natural quality of the wood, or a classic white painted finish.  Alternatively, you might opt for an unfinished door and do the painting yourself before you install them.  This way, you’ll be able to choose any colour you can imagine, and tailor the door precisely to the look of your room.

 

Bi-fold doors look the part

Another feature which sets bi-fold doors apart from their rivals is that they look fantastic.  The mechanism of a door is simple and effective, and has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.  A folding door is slightly unusual, and will add a little visual interest to an indoor environment, and give your house guests something to talk about the next time you’re hosting a get-together.

 

Bi-fold doors add value to your property

Finally, since a quality folding door will add so considerably to the aesthetic and functionality of your home, it’ll provide a welcome boost to the price of your property.  If you’re showing a prospective buyer around your interior, then a single eye-popping space is sure to make more of an impression than a series of smaller enclosed ones – and thus an investment in an interior folding door is sure to pay for itself in the long term.

 

Bi-fold door environmental friendliness

One accusation that’s often levelled at bi-fold doors is that they allow heat to easily flow from one room to another, which might not be desirable.  That’s why many bi-fold setups come equipped with a folding arrangement as well as a more traditional outward-opening door.  Thus, if you want to easily pass from one room the other, you need only open up the smaller door and pass through.  Bi-fold arrangements are typically described in terms like ‘3+1’ r ‘4+0’, with each number describing the number of panels attached to each edge of the frame.   Many homeowners choose an arrangement with an equal spread of panels on each side, so that the entire arrangement opens from the centre.

If you’re looking for a more seamless transition between the two adjoining rooms when the doors are folded away, then you’ll want to select a door whose rail is in the ceiling rather than the floor.  This way, you’ll avoid an unseemly trench through the middle of your carpet.

Summary

As we’ve seen, if you’re shopping for a folding door, there is enormous scope for tailoring and customisation.  There’s no need to make compromises on the overall theme of the room when you come to install the door – just take a look through the different categories available on this very website, and pick out something that works for your room of choice.

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