Bi-fold vs French vs Sliding Doors

Each of these types of doors allow light to flood into your home and open up your home to your garden.

  • Bi-fold doors are also known as folding sliding doors. They are doors that hang from a track along the ceiling and they slide open in a concertina manner along hidden floor tracks. All of the leaves of the door can be folded to one side and you can choose for them to be opened inwards or outwards.
  • French doors are also known as double doors. Two hinged doors open either inwards or outwards.
  • Sliding doors are made up of two, three or four panes of glass which open by sliding sideways along a track, with the glass panels stacking behind one another.


Bi-fold and sliding doors offer superior views over French doors as French doors cannot be used to replace an entire wall whereas bi-fold and sliding doors can.

When open, bi-fold doors fully open up an entire wall and so they offer the ultimate view. When closed however, there is a lot more frame obstructing the view. This is because bi-fold leaves cannot be constructed as widely as with other types of doors and so more leaves are required to fill wider openings. When closed, sliding doors offer the best view of the three options as there is normally only one slim frame surrounding two large panes of glass. Sliding doors offer the highest glass to frame ratio but they cannot fully open as bi-fold doors can.

Considering that here in North West England we don’t get very much dry and sunny weather, you may be best picking the doors that offer the best view when closed rather than the best view when open!


Bi-fold doors offer the most versatile choice when it comes to configuration. They can fit in almost any space and you can choose the number of doors and whether they open in one direction, inward or outward or in the middle. Our bi-fold doors feature unique D-handles which allow the doors to fold back flatter. Bi-fold doors can be installed into bays and corner openings.

French doors are the most limited in terms of configuration, as they open in the same way as a traditional door. They are side hung and they can either open outwards or inwards. These doors can be installed into bays but not corners. If you’d like French doors to fit a large opening, you can have side frames installed on either side to fill the aperture.

Sliding doors cannot be installed into bays or corners. There is the option for one door to slide over the other from left to right or vice versa or both doors can open in the centre and slide outwards. Sliding doors are a great option if your space is limited as they do not require room to manoeuvre inwards or outwards as bi-fold and French doors do.


Each of these doors can be manufactured and then installed by us in both uPVC and aluminium.


Bi-fold doors can be fit with no lip and so can offer a level threshold, making these doors the best option as regards threshold. Both French and sliding doors have frames at the bottom which must be stepped over to get inside or outside. Nevertheless, our French and sliding doors do still offer low thresholds to assist prams and wheelchairs to easily gain access to your property.


Of course, it’s up to you to decide which glass door you think will look best in your property however as a rule of thumb:

  1. Bi-fold doors suit both contemporary and traditional properties.
  2. French doors are best suited to traditional properties.
  3. Sliding doors are best suited to contemporary properties.


Generally, French doors are the most affordable of the three glass door options then sliding then lastly bi-fold doors.

If you’re still undecided, we can provide you with further guidance and separate quotations to install each of the three types if the price is your determining factor. You can get in touch with us here.