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Bifold Doors or French Doors

Bifold or French Doors: What's the Best Option for Your Home?

When it comes to choosing doors for your home, there are a few different options to choose from. Bi-folding doors and French doors are two of the most popular choices. Both styles provide an attractive and practical way of adding light and access to your living space. But which one is the best option for your home? Let's check them out.

What are Bifold Doors?

Bifold doors are a great way to spice up your home, especially if you're looking for a more modern or rustic design. They provide a unique view in any room with their two-panel folding design and are perfect for creative individuals that want to find bright and innovative ways to present their home. These doors typically consist of two panels connected by hinges which can be opened by unfolding the two panels outward like a book. Bifold doors are also space-savers – you won't have to worry about sacrificing too much floor area, as the two panels simply fold inwards when opening.

Bifold Doors

In addition, they can be used both indoors and outdoors, so finding bi-folding doors that match the exterior of your house is no problem! With endless customization options such as finishes, door knobs or handles, and weather protection available on the market today, bifold doors offer an affordable way to add style and elegance to any living space.

What are French Doors?

French doors are the classic option for adding light and accessibility to your home. They typically feature two panels of glass that come together in the middle when closed, with a set of locks ensuring privacy and security. French doors offer an elegant and sophisticated look that can elevate any room or outdoor living space. These doors have been around since the 16th century and are currently being used in both traditional and contemporary homes.


French Doors


Not only do they offer extensive ventilation with their expansive glass panels, but they also provide an attractive view that draws eyes to the outside space or room beyond. In addition, these double-door designs bring an additional layer of privacy since both panels must be opened to reach the threshold – ideal for busy households looking for ways to keep noise out. It's easy to see why French doors can add beauty and charm to any home.

French Doors vs Bifold: What’s The Key Difference

When it comes to choosing doors for your home, there are a lot of options to consider. Do you want something that is simple and functional or something that makes a statement? Bifold doors and French doors are two popular choices that can give your home a different look and feel. So, which is the best option for you? Here's a look at some of the key differences between bifold and French doors to help you make the best decision for your needs.

  • Outside View 

Bi-fold doors offer a wide opening space with either a single or double configuration. They consist of 2 to 8 large panels connected by hinges that fold back onto themselves when opened. On the outside, they present as an uninterrupted wall of glass or wood when closed while providing easy access when opened.

French doors, on the other hand, have two separate sashes that pivot inward to open just like traditional hinged doors. When opened, they expose half of their width on each side creating a dramatic entrance into the space within.

From the outside of your home, you can distinguish between bifold and French doors by examining how much space each one covers when fully open, bifold doors require less surface area than French doors when open so they are ideal for smaller patios or balconies with limited space.

  • Thermal Efficiency

Bi-fold doors tend to have lower levels of thermal performance due to their large glass area. These doors usually feature two or four panels that fold up against a wall, while French doors typically feature two inward-opening doors with glass panes split in a similar fashion in the centre of the door.

When it comes to insulation, French doors tend to provide better heat retention due to their already sturdy design and traditional single-pane glass frames allowing for expansion seals that help prevent air infiltration. These doors typically cover less window space and can therefore provide better insulation and reduce energy loss.

  • Ease Of Access

Bi-fold doors typically open in one large panel and can fold all the way out of sight. With their concertina-style gates, they open fully and provide good space for moving items from one room to another without obstruction. These doors, being hinged horizontally, unfold completely allowing full access to whatever they protect. These are ideal in small spaces such as closets due to their flexibility and profile.

French doors, on the other hand, open conventionally outward with separate panels in the door frame; all of which permit accessibility to interiors, but often require additional clearance as both doors need space to open outwards. These doors are hinged vertically and can only open halfway or with one side opening outward. While this presents some challenges regarding full access, it also allows for easy control of how much light permeates the room.

  • Configuration Variety

In terms of configuration variety, bi-fold doors offer more opportunities for customization, allowing customers to choose sizes ranging from two to eight panels and the ability to fold them all one way or split them in either direction. Bifold doors feature panels that fold and stack, typically offering good coverage of a large opening.

On the other hand, those who prefer a classic look often opt for French doors but may find themselves constrained by standard measurements such as two tall panels or four shorter ones. With French doors, each panel is hinged across from its twin, allowing users to open just one side or both at once.

  • Space Saving

Bi-fold doors are designed with a space-saving purpose in mind and are ideal for tight spaces such as hallways or closets. They open away from the doorway and allow some versatility due to the fact that they can be stacked neatly. In addition, their streamlined design requires less maintenance than traditional hinged doors. Bifold doors offer an advantage when it comes to space-saving, as they glide together smoothly, allowing you to open up large or small amounts of area.

Whereas, French doors create an elegant frame while adding light and air to any room. They also use less of your space with two separate doors that swing inward instead of outwardly as bi-folds do. The panels of a French door swing out into the room, which can be ideal if you'd like to access the outdoors but don’t want to completely remove the door whilst doing so.

  • Visual Appearance

Bi-fold doors are typically multi-panel doors that fold away accordion-style. They can be made of wood, vinyl, aluminium, and glass and can span wide lengths such as entire walls. Visually, bifold doors are equipped with two door panels that fold flat together when closing. This creates an accordion-like folding effect which allows users to slide the panels back out of their way if they need more space or add instant light and air into the new room.

French doors provide an inviting aesthetic with two separate panels hinged together to give a symmetrical look. Each door panel is full-length with glass panels across the upper halves. These doors have a classic feel made up of glass panes hinged together, usually connected by a wooden framework. Users can open both sides of a pair inwards or outwards just like a single door, making them great for entertaining as they open up double the space at once.

  • Threshold

Bi-fold doors have a one-piece integrated higher threshold, providing more protection against the elements. Bi-fold door thresholds can vary in height, some may even include a sill extender or small step that raises the threshold even further. Whereas, French doors tend to have a lower threshold, creating an open and inviting atmosphere. French door thresholds are often flush with the adjacent flooring for minimal intrusion.

  • Cost

In terms of cost, French doors tend to be a more low-cost option when compared to bi-fold doors as bi-fold doors are made up of various materials. Both can provide an attractive addition to any home with the right choice of materials, but budget-conscious homeowners should consider a French door over a bifold door when making a decision about their entryway.

Benefits of Bifold doors

Installing bifold doors into your home has many distinct benefits. First and foremost, having two or more door panels that are connected with hinges, gives a unique look to the interior of any space, whether it be the entryway of your home or an individual bedroom. Not only that, but bi-fold doors take up less space when opened as compared to more traditional hinged doors, allowing for more room from the area in question.

Furthermore, due to their design, bifold doors offer better access through smaller spaces when opened completely. Finally, the panels within bifold doors can also be folded back and forth giving wider access for longer lengths without needing floor clearances as conventional sliding doors do. Consequently, installing bifold doors comes with several impressive benefits that can help enhance any living space in your home.

Benefits of French Doors

Installing French doors in a home brings with it many advantages. Beyond their timeless beauty and architectural charm, French doors offer residents the unique ability to bring more natural light into the space. During the day, ample sunlight filters through the glass panes, brightening up the entire room and imbuing it with an air of better comfort.

Additionally, French doors can also be used to conserve energy throughout the seasons by allowing cooler air inside during summer days and helping keep warm air within your home on frosty winter nights. Furthermore, their distinct design is perfect for those looking to create custom interior decoration schemes as well as for creating a more visually appealing view when reached from outside the building.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the style of your home is the most important factor to consider when choosing between bifold or French doors. Each style also has its own pros and cons. Ultimately, whichever type you choose will depend on what kind of aesthetic you prefer, as both options can be suited for different types of properties.

Still unsure about opting for a bifold door or a French door? Contact our door expert to help you choose the best door for your home!

FAQs on Bifold or French Doors

Which is best - bifold or French doors?

There is no better option when selecting between bifold doors and French doors. Both the doors have their own benefits. However, it is advisable to select the door that blends with the aesthetics of your home, fulfils your door needs, and matches your lifestyle. 

Are bifold doors more expensive than French doors?

Yes, bifold doors are more expensive when compared to French doors. This is because bifold doors come in various materials, ranging from aluminium to glass, which can influence the cost. Also, bifold doors are more expensive due to their size, design, and installation complexity.

Do French doors make a room cold?

On installing French doors, a chill could come out as a result. French doors are typically made of glass which is a great insulator. In the summer, this means they help keep cool air inside, but in the winter they don't block out drafts so they can allow cold air in and significantly reduce a room's temperature. 


Shabana Kauser is the dynamic owner of Emerald Doors, the famous door-selling company in the UK with immense knowledge and experience in working with architecture, interior design, and home decor. She continues to share tips and technical know-how of balancing interior elements, door fittings, room aesthetics, and the like. Personally, she loves coffee, always dabbling with several blends.

Author: Shabana kauser

Shabana Kauser, the Director of Emerald Doors, brings over 20 years of invaluable expertise in the door industry. Her visionary leadership has steered the company to new heights, offering an extensive range of internal and external doors while prioritizing quality and customer satisfaction. The website's glowing reviews stand as a testament to her commitment to excellence. To learn more about Emerald Doors, connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.