How bi-folding doors can maximise space in your home

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With the right design, bi-folding doors can add style and class to your home. (Pinterest pic)

Thinking of compartmentalising some of the spaces in your home? Why not try a bi-folding door?

A bi-folding, or bi-fold, door is used to separate different areas in the home. It’s similar to a sliding door, but has the added advantage of being able to fold so the doorway can be opened completely.

Also known as a folding, concertina or accordion door, bi-fold doors let you divide and open up the spaces in your home. For example, you could install a bi-fold door in large doorways from the living room to the outside balcony or patio, or have one to partition off the dining and the kitchen.

It can be made from wood, laminate or aluminium frame, with glass panels to allow for maximum light.

Bi-fold doors can be used in place of regular doorways, too. For example, they could be used as a closet or bathroom door, in instances where there is less space for a regular door to fully swing open. These are normally made from plastics for better water resistance.

Here are the most common areas where you can install a bi-fold door to upgrade your home:

1. At the balcony or patio

A bi-fold glass door is a great way to bring the outdoors inside. It allows lots of natural light to stream in, and really opens up the space for entertaining.

Bi-fold doors leading to the garden or patio outside, with plenty of windows to provide illumination into the home. (Pinterest pic)

Many homeowners with patios prefer bi-fold to sliding doors. It looks great in corner terraced or semi-detached houses, as well as bungalows. You get a large doorway where people can move in and out, and, when fully open in the daytime, it brightens up your home’s interior.

In high-rise buildings, you could also install a glass bi-folding door at your balcony entrance. It adds a sophisticated touch and combines the balcony with the living room, making your space so much bigger.

2. As a room partition

With or without glass, bi-fold doors can serve as a partition in any part of the house. Use it to create your own study area, a mahjong room, or kids’ playroom.

3. The kitchen

While many people love the look of an open kitchen, they worry about cooking smells getting into the sofa and curtains. To solve this, the kitchen can be separated from the rest of the house using a bi-fold door.

It can also act as a great flexible partition between your dry and wet kitchen, or kitchen and dining area.

4. The bathroom

In a smaller home, bathroom doors are usually not as wide as the other doors in the house. And if you have a regular bathroom door that swings inwards, it could make getting in and out difficult, especially if you have a small bathroom space.

To solve this, install a folding door in your bathroom entrance. With the right door design, you can actually make the space appear even more stylish.

Classy bi-folding doors can be a great addition to your bedroom and other areas of the house. (Envato Elements pic)

5. As a cabinet or wardrobe door

Bi-fold doors are great for cabinets, too. They don’t take as much room when swinging open, and you could also consider installing a folding door that opens upwards instead of to the side.

In the bedroom, wooden or wood laminate bi-fold doors can be used in place of the wardrobe door, providing a warm, natural tone, while being space-saving.

Pros and cons

A bi-fold door offers several advantages, such as:

  • it can be folded flat up against the wall;
  • it allows the doorway to be opened up to maximum width, unlike a sliding door that will always have one panel remaining;
  • it is just as secure as a regular sliding door;
  • it disappears when fully opened, so you get a full view of the other side.

Some disadvantages include:

  • it takes more time to fully open and close;
  • it needs some space clearance when folding, while a sliding door needs none;
  • if the doorway is large, you need more panels; and since each panel needs a frame, it may appear more grid-like;
  • like sliding doors, bi-folding doors need a sliding track at the top and bottom, which can be uncomfortable to step on, or could trap dust, debris and water.
Malaysians would be familiar with these old-school bi-folding doors commonly found in shops. (Envato Elements pic)

Nevertheless, with the right selection, bi-fold doors will not only increase the overall attractiveness of your interior, they will do an excellent job at maximising space.

This article originally appeared on Recommend.my – Malaysia’s #1 Home Improvement Services Platform, offering a safer and more convenient way to hire the best home improvement and home maintenance professionals. From flooring to interior design to air-conditioner servicing, get access to thousands of the best local contractors and professionals at your fingertips.