Bi-Fold or Sliding Doors: Our Guide to Help You Decide

15th May 2018
Bi fold and sliding door

Bifold and sliding doors for the rear of your home

Both bi-fold and sliding doors are effective in welcoming more light into your home and for allowing easy access to the garden. But which is right for you?

Modern glazed doors are one of the most sought after door styles. Whether your home’s character is modern or traditional, modern glazed doors are a fantastic choice; especially if you want to open up your home to the outdoors.

Both bi-folds and sliding doors look stunning, but for different reasons. There are certain aspects to consider when choosing a glazed door for your home. But first, let’s just take a look at both doors by definition.

Bi-Fold Doors

Also known as folding sliding doors, bi-fold doors are essentially a wall of glass that can be opened up entirely. The door itself slides open, typically running on tracks that lie flush in the floor, and its panels fold up and stack neatly against the wall.

Timber Bi-folding door

Timber Bi-Folding Back Door

Sliding Doors

Sliding or patio doors are typically a single unit consisting of two panel sections. One of which is fixed and the other slides to open and close. Sliding doors have come a long way and now offer smoother operations along with thinner frames and more glazing.

black sliding patio door

Points to consider for both doors

Choosing the right door for your home is vital, both practically and stylistically. Both doors offer a stunning finish and connection between your home and garden, but there are aspects that could sway your decision.

Bi-fold door considerations


  • One of the biggest selling points of the bi-fold – the ability to create a complete opening. You can essentially open a hole in your wall on those beautiful summer days!
  • The maximum panel width of bi-folds is 1100mm. This means you could achieve an opening width of 25m.
  • They can open inwards and outwards. Many people opt for an outward opening as it maximises space inside.
  • Bi-folds can be installed with flush or weathered tracks. Flush provides a level threshold between your interior and the exterior. Weathered strengthens protection from the elements.


  • Helping with the folding function, bi-folds can be frame-heavy with less glazing.
  • When completely closed, a bi-fold’s upright frames can interrupt your view of the outdoors.
  • The stacked (folded) panels can also take up a lot of room and may even be an obstacle for homes with a compact garden or patio.

Sliding doors considerations


  • Narrow frames. In some cases, the frames are barely visible!
  • A great space saver and has a clean, tidy finish when open.
  • Wide panels with large areas of glass – leads to more natural light.
  • Hidden pockets can be added to allow doors to sit within the wall to create a completely open wall.


  • Unlike bi-folds, sliding doors do not provide a 100% opening.
  • The track can be a magnet for dirt, which can in time affect its ease of use.

Let’s decide on your ideal door together

Our bi-folds and sliding doors here at Sheerwater Glass provide you with a great variety of options. Each home is unique, and we give you the freedom you need to design your perfect door.

More about Sliding and Bi-fold Doors