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Aspire to have your dream doors! Bi Fold or Sliding Doors?

Many people aspire to have the perfect doors and believe that the doors make your new extension, but the question is do you go with Bi Fold doors or Sliding Doors?


Bi Folds, or Bi Folding Doors, have been the go to product for the last 10 years with homeowners and builder across the country. With the surge in popularity of Bi Folds the have been many brands of these doors emerge in the industry, so how do you choose the right brand to go for? Hopefully this article will help you make an informed decision if you do choose this route.


(Doors shown are Origin OB72)


Sliding Doors, or Sliders as they are sometimes known, have seen a huge increase in popularity over the last couple of years, with a vast variety of revamped systems available it is easy to see why they have reemerged as a serious consideration when upgrading existing doors or into an extension.


(Doors shown are Infiniglide3)


So what's the difference? Many customer still aren't exactly sure what the difference in these options are, as they may never had owned or used a set of either. Essentially a Bi Folding Door is set of hinged doors that are able to fold back onto one another whilst being able to slide to one or both sides of the frames. Sliding doors, whilst having a similar feature of being able to slide one or both ways, move along a track and doesn't have any hinges. Both Bi Folds and Sliders are available in either Aluminium, UPVC or Timber with options of double glazing or triple glazing to specify, also you may also want to consider integral blinds within the glass. For Bi Folds we always recommend going for an aluminium system, the same is again for sliders but we also do offer UPVC sliding doors. At Surrey Windows & Doors we offer the best available brands dependant on your requirements, space available and of course budget. We will tailor a bespoke quotation dependant on the discussions we have with the client.


There are clear advantages to both Bi Folds and Sliders, we have summarised some of these below:


Bi Folding Doors:


- Able to open your doors fully creating a completely unobstructed opening. The great thing with Bi Folding doors is that when the weather is good enough, you can open all the doors and have the entire opening as clear space.


- Ability to use the master door as a simple single door. A common thought from a lot of my customers is that to use the Bi Folds they may have to open all the doors all the time. This isn't the case and you can use the master door as a normal door when wanting easy access into your garden.


- Flood the room with natural light. These doors being mainly glass will flood any room with plenty of natural light and create a sense of extra space by bringing the outdoors in!


- Any RAL colour available. There are endless possibility as to which colour you could have your doors. The standard colours being White, Grey and Black.


(Origin OB72 Range)


Sliding Doors:


- Slim Sightlines. Sliders are available with slim sightlines which range from 18 mm upto 149mm. Typically these days customers are wanting the slimmer sightline options and we tend to sell mainly 20mm, 35mm and 44mm sliding doors. When looking at these measurements it's important to understand that they are referencing the interlock measurement (where the doors meet).


- Less doors, more glass. Sliders can go to a very large size, as they do not hinge out the glass can be much heavier. This means you could fill a 6 meter opening with just 3 doors, rather than 6 doors in the comparable Bi Fold option. This will result in a lot less frame on show unobstructing views outside and also allowing in huge amounts of natural light.


- Increased external area. If you don't have huge amounts of external space then as the doors slider along a track these won't use up any precious external space, wether is be a patio, decking or even balcony.


- Any RAL colour available. There are endless possibility as to which colour you could have your doors. The standard colours being White, Grey and Black.


(ALUK BSC94 Lift and Slide)


Both Bi Folds and Sliding Doors will provide you with a number of advantages but when comparing them against each other they both have their pros and cons. When we discuss this with you we will ascertain which option would be suit you! There will be certain trade offs to make when choosing between the two. Bi Folds have heavier sightlines than the sliders, meaning you'll have more frame onshow with this option when the doors are closed. However when fully open Bi Folds give you a full clear opening whilst with Sliders there will always be part of the opening that is covered by the doors (how much depends on the variation you opt for). We need to discover what doors will meet your needs the best and provide you with the best advice possible to make an informed decision.


As mentioned above we are supply some of the top brands available for both Bi Folding and sliding doors. These include:


Bi Folds


- Origin - OB72 & OB49. We two different sightlines available from Origin, these are tried and tested door system which have a great reputation for quality in the UK. Origin are rare type of manufacturer supply their own products that are exclusive to their manufacturing facilities and are only produced by Origin. They guarantee the quality that comes out of their factory and are the only supplier to offer a 20 year manufacturer's guarantee on their products. Their motto is "your lead time not ours" so these Bi Folds can be supplied and fitted in as little as 7 working days!


(Origin OB72 Range)



- ALUK - Again we offer two versions of the ALUK Bi Folding doors such as the BSF70 & F82 range. Unlike Origin ALUK Bi Folds are fabricated by a network of unrelated manufacturers across the country, so it's vital that extra research is taken to understand who is producing these doors and their track record in doing so. Many will manufacturer these to very high standards, but unfortunately there are some companies out there cutting corners! We have sourced a very reliable supplier of these doors with a proven track record in the industry so rest assured you'll be getting the right ALUK doors!



(ALUK BSF70 range)


For Bi Folds, we would recommend that you choose Aluminium rather than UPVC.


Sliding Doors


- Origin - Origin also supply Sliding doors! Added to their range over the last couple of years are two options to go for, their 20mm or 44mm aluminium sliding doors. These slim sliding doors are offered at two different price ranges but with the quality of Origin guaranteed with both systems.


(Origin 20mm Slider range)


- InfiniGLIDE / edgeGlide- The Infiniglide range is a ultra slim 20mm aluminium sliding door that invites the outdoors inside with an effortless transition. Options available for both new build and existing replacements. The New Build option offers a built in acco drainage system and the ability to have a completely flush threshold. EdgeGLIDE is a 44mm system which is slightly more budget friendly.


(edgeGLIDE Sliding Doors)


- Smarts Visoglide - Smarts are a very well known and long established brand in the UK and offer a variety of Aluminium sliding door options, but our main seller from this brand is the 35mm interlock version. Priced in the mid range these are great doors that can suit any budget whilst still providing the slim sightlines.


(Smarts Visoglide 35mm )

- ALUK - Again ALUK are on our list, this time in the sliding door options. ALUK is another well established brand in the UK and offer a variety of different sliding doors but the best seller for us is their 44mm version. Competitively priced and aimed at the mid range of sliding doors.


(ALUK BSC94 range)


- Patiomaster - Now these are the only UPVC products to make either of these lists. UPVC is great for windows, standard doors and front doors, but when it comes to sliding (or bi folds) this doesn't tend to be the material of choice. UPVC is obviously a much more cost effective way of having sliding doors, however the sightlines need to be much wider as it isn't as strong as Aluminium. Until recently these were only available in a double track (which limited your opening options), but these are now available as a triple track system. If your working towards a tight budget it may be worth exploring what these UPVC sliders could save you!


(Patiomaster UPVC Sliding Door)



These are only some of the brands that we at Surrey Windows & Doors are capable of offering you, but we aren't tied into any one brand/ supplier meaning we can offer you a wide range of doors. If you've seen a particular set your interested in do speak to us and we will give you our honest opinion on them and if we can source these for you!


Hopefully the above has given you some sort of idea of what is available, and has helped you make up your mind as to what is the right product for you. Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any further questions or would like to discuss a quotation.






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Surrey Windows & Doors are a leading supplier of UPVC Windows & Double Glazing throughout Surrey and the surrounding areas in places such as Banstead, Sutton, Purley, Croydon, East Molesey, Hampton Court, Caterham, Epsom, Oxted, Cheam, Wallington, Wandsworth, Reigate, Wimbledon, Guildford and many more. 

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