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Bifold Door Size Configuration

The popularity of bifolds is largely due to their versatility. Designed to transform an entire wall space into glazing, bifolds are manufactured around your existing space. Resulting in a unique and individual number of panes and sash sizes. This customisability can also include the additional option of a traffic door and the opening direction of your bifold.

Choosing the number of panes for you bifolds is a considerably important configuration. Affecting the opening, functionality and overall aesthetic appeal of your entire door system.

As a general rule of thumb, the more panes in your bifolds, the more obstruction to outside views and solar gain. Our slimline aluminium panes are designed to reap the largest amount of glazing possible. All while retaining a sleek and slim look. We can offer market leading sash sizes of up to 1200mm wide and 3000mm tall with 120mm super slim sightlines. Maximising light and views. The number of panes you can have depends on the size of your wall space. Our online door designer is an easy way to find out your pane options depending on your available space, which you can try out here.

The Golden Rule

The main difference in regard to how the number of panes alters the bifold opening operation is generally dependent on whether there are an odd or even amount of panels.

An odd number of panels allows you to have all panes sliding one way with a traffic door. Whereas an even number of panes does not. With an odd number of panes (3, 5 and 7) you can benefit from a multi-point locking system with both normal and T-handles. While also having the option of a single door leaf (or traffic door) for ease of access.

With an even number of panes (2, 4 and 6) this is not the case. Bifolds with an even amount of panes sliding in a single direction do not allow for a master door (i.e. the door with a handle on the internal and external sides).

Below, we detail the opening options for 2, 4 and 6 pane bifold doors. Some of which allow for a master door, giving opening access from the inside and outside.

Opening configuration options for a 2 pane bifold

There are two opening style options for a two pane aluminium door. Either a French door style, which gives opening access from the internal and external sides, or a two pane bifold door which would have no handles on the external side. A two pane bifold is opened with a single T-handle on the internal side of the door.

Another thing to consider when having a two pane bifold door, is both panes need to be opened together to have access through the door, as they both slide at the same time. This does not apply to a French door style opening.

Opening configuration options for a 4 pane bifold door

A 4 pane bifold door gives three opening options to choose from. If all sliding one way (4-0-4), there would be no external handles, the doors would open only via internal T-handles.

A 4-1-3 opening configuration has one master door opening in one direction, with the remaining 3 panes opening in the other direction. The master door allows access from both internal and external sides. The 3 remaining panes are opened with a standard handle and T-handle.

A 4-2-2 opening configuration is essentially a pair of 2 pane bifolds, on one frame. This would also give no external opening access as both sides are opened with T-handles on the internal side.

Opening configurations for a 6 pane bifold door

When picking the opening configuration for a 6 pane bifold door, there are two options that allow for a master door. These will have handles both internally and externally.

A 6-1-5 set up has a master door on one side, which opens in a different direction to the other panes. This can be used independently to the other panes, providing indoor and outdoor access without needing to open up the entire bifold.

A 6-3-3 configuration is set up as two 3 panes. With this configuration you would have two central doors (like French doors) with handles internally and externally. To remaining  bifold door panes these can be opened via a T-handle on each side.

Design your bifold door

With numerous configuration options available, designing your dream bifold doors has never been simpler. At UK Doors Online you are in control of creating your ideal bifolding doors, unique to you. You can choose the number of panes, opening direction, folding direction and if your bifold is split – i.e. some panels fold to the left and others to the right.

Each of our products are crafted to your specific requirements and space. Whether it’s colour, accessories, pane options or finishing touches – we are here to help. For any design queries, our friendly sales team can assist you on 01924 929 600. To find out more about our range of bifolding doors view our product page or email sales@ukdoorsonline.co.uk.


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