Understanding French doors, sliding doors and bifold doors
Are all doors not created equal? We like to think so. But with the recent popularity of bifold doors taking up all the limelight, it’s important to give sliding doors and French doors a look-in too. We sell all three kinds of doors at Home Hub, and they’re all just as popular as one another. Read on for a handy breakdown of what’s what, which we hope helps you in any upcoming buying decisions.
Well the first question on our lips would be “Is it actually French?” Technically, ours aren’t. They’re actually sourced in the UK and won’t reply to you in French should you try talking to them. The term ‘French doors’ derives from the Renaissance period, during which time, wealthy homeowners wanted to let more light and ultimately more fresh air into their rooms. The original concept was actually borrowed from 17th century Italy, where a set of double doors simply allowed access to a balcony.
Some decades later, the French door began to appear in British homes, mostly thanks to their versatility. There’s no ‘proper’ place to install a French door – you can have them in a living room, a dining room, an office and even an out-building such as a shed or a workshop.
In today’s world, we sell several kinds of French doors, including contemporary, art deco and heritage styles, as well as some interesting solutions for internal doors or for glass balustrade balconies.
When Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow), a London ad executive, is fired from her job and rushes out… oh now hold on. I’m looking at the wrong notes.
Sliding doors are actually quite self explanatory – the door frames themselves simply slide to one side to open or close the entryway. Many of us refer to these as patio doors because, you guessed it, they’re generally used to access a patio, or a deck.
Instead of boring you with a history lesson, I think it’s important we address the main benefits of the humble sliding door. Primarily, it’s a great space saver. But it comes with a caveat. A sliding door needs absolutely no space in front of or through the entryway, as there’s no door casing to swing in or out.
This is a huge benefit for properties where space is limited. But, that door must go somewhere, and generally, it’s to the left, right or both sides of the entryway. Because of that, the door itself either sits with another door, or sits with a window. So it might be that your entryway can’t ‘fully’ open.
Another benefit to sliding doors is the simplicity of their design, and this is especially desirable if you’re looking for a modern and minimal look. Sliding doors don’t have hinges or bulky hardware, which makes for a very sleek frame. And with no angles, just straight lines, they really do complement spaces where you’re looking for a clean space and an unspoiled view.
Last but by no means least, the bifold door – a true marvel of modern mechanical engineering. Bifold doors are a kind of concertina, folding in upon themselves along a rail. The result is a ‘stacked’ section of doors at the far end of your entryway, with the opening itself being entirely uninterrupted by any hardware, frames or supports.
Whilst bifold doors may require a little more effort when it comes to installation (such as an uprated lintel), the end result is something truly magnificent. Bifold doors really come into their own during the summer, where lucky homeowners can create a seamless join between home and garden.
Bifold doors aren’t just limited to straight lines either. You can install a single bifold door solution on a corner, which creates an almost ‘floating’ effect of the ceiling above it.
A little like sliding doors, you do need to consider where the doors go when they’re fully open. Often, they’re low profile and can be folded flat together, so their footprint is humble. But the doors do need space to be tucked away when open.
We offer a vast range of all kinds of doors, and in many kinds of styles and finishes too. So hopefully now, understanding the features and requirements of each, you’re a little closer to making a decision. Of course, if there’s anything we can help you with, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.