Folding doors vs sliding doors: Pros, Cons, & Differences — VETRINA WINDOWS

Pros, Cons, & Differences — VETRINA WINDOWS

To connect your indoor and outdoor spaces, both bifold and sliding doors are popular choices for modern home and business renovations. The style you choose will be based on your budget, aesthetic choices, and the amount of space available on your property. 

This article will cover the differences between bifold and sliding doors, as well as the benefits and downsides of each. 

If you are looking to modernize your residential or commercial space, you need a company that specializes in creating unique doors, windows, and facades. Vetrina Windows and Doors manufactures custom aluminum window and door systems for homes and businesses, including precision bifold doors. 

To learn more about what Vetrina can do for your property, request a quote today. 

Differences Between Bifold & Sliding Doors

There are a few key differences in the designs of bi-fold doors and sliding doors. They open differently, let in varying amounts of natural light, and each has a unique look that can make them the focal point of your living or commercial space. 


The main difference between bifold doors and sliding doors is the way that they open. Sliding doors use two or more large panes of glass that are placed on a track or frame. When opening the door, one of the glass panels slides and fits behind the other.

Bi-fold doors use multiple glass panes that fold against each other like an accordion. The door panels are connected by hinges and move along a track to open. You can choose to have them open to the inside or the outside, and the panes will stack against one another. 

Bifold doors, when fully opened, create a sense of connectedness between your indoor and outdoor space. If you have a large outdoor patio that you want to be integrated into your indoor space for entertaining guests or serving customers, bifold doors offer a larger opening for you to move freely between the two spaces.

Thermal Efficiency

In terms of thermal efficiency, bi-fold and sliding doors are both effective at keeping heat trapped inside your home or business during the winter. In some cases, the additional frames in bi-fold doors can lead to more heat escaping, making sliding glass doors better at keeping your home at a consistent temperature. 

However, if your bifold door is built by a manufacturing company that specializes in bifold doors, you should have no issue with losing heat, no matter which style you choose. 


When considering aesthetic choices, there are a few factors that may lead you to choose one style over another. As we stated, bifold doors are often preferred by property owners who wish to frequently open up their doors to connect their indoor and outdoor spaces. Fully opening your bi-folding doors gives you a completely unobstructed view and access to the outside. 

If you intend on keeping your doors closed the majority of the time, you may prefer sliding glass doors. Sliding doors have fewer frames than bi-fold doors, giving you more natural light and a clearer view of the outside when the door is shut. However, it’s important to remember that at least half of your opening will always be obstructed in some way by sliding panels. 


Bifold doors offer easier access than sliding doors. They allow you to open up the entire wall, while conventional sliding doors only allow for around half of the space to be unobstructed. 

Bi-fold doors also have an option for you to open up one panel for everyday access rather than opening up the entire door. They are also more wheelchair accessible and less of a tripping hazard, as they don’t have a high track the way that a sliding door might.


The cost of your door will depend on the size of your space. If you are trying to cover an entire wall, sliding doors can be more expensive, as it can be costly to purchase large panes of glass. 

Bi-fold doors can be more cost-effective as they require less glass, but the intricacies of custom framework can drive the price up. On average, residential sliding doors can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500, while bifold doors can range from $100 to over $2,000 per linear square foot, depending on the number of panels. 

For commercial properties, both sliding doors and bifold doors will typically be more expensive than in homes. Request a quote to learn more about the specific cost of doors for your property. 

Pros & Cons of Bifold Doors

The pros of bifold doors include:

  • Uninterrupted views when opened

  • Ideal for residential and commercial properties built for indoor and outdoor flow

  • Increases property value

  • Completely customizable in color, hardware, and operation

  • Multiple locking points allow for more security

  • Aesthetically pleasing

The cons of bifold doors include:

  • When closed, the frames can obstruct views and natural light

  • Must be installed by experienced professionals

  • Can potentially have thermal and drainage issues

  • Take up space when opened

  • Can be more expensive than sliding doors depending on the size

Pros & Cons of Sliding Doors

The pros of sliding doors include:

  • Excellent views when closed

  • Thin frames can allow for unobstructed views and more natural light

  • Available in a range of sizes, prices, and customizations

  • More thermally efficient

The cons of sliding doors include:

  • Less accessible than bifold doors

  • Window panes are always visible and obstruct the flow of space

  • Can become expensive in larger spaces

Bifold or Sliding Doors for Commercial Spaces

When choosing glass doors for your commercial property, you should consider the pros and cons of each and how they relate to your unique business. However, Vetrina often recommends bi-folding glass doors over sliding patio doors for a few reasons. 

We commonly work with restaurants that want to open their space to include an outdoor dining area. With bifold doors, you will have the benefit of fully opening up your space to allow customers and employees to move freely between your indoor and outdoor space. 

Bifold doors fold in on each other, allowing for easier access overall. In a commercial space, you want your property to be easily accessible to your customers. Bifold doors don’t need a large lip or track, making them more wheelchair accessible and less of a tripping hazard compared to sliding doors. Additionally, sliding doors run the risk of causing accidents due to the obstruction of the glass panes. 

Bifold vs. Sliding Door FAQ

Are Bifold Doors More Secure Than Sliding Doors?

Bi-fold doors are often more secure than sliding doors. While sliding doors offer only one locking point, bifold doors have multiple locking points at each hinge or frame. This can make it more difficult to break into spaces with bifold doors, which can prevent burglaries. 

Do Bifold or Sliding Doors Increase Home Value?

Whether you choose bi-fold or sliding doors, updating and modernizing your home with a new door will increase the property value. However, you can boost your home’s value by choosing a door that makes sense for your space based on both functionality and aesthetics.

For a home with less space, you may be better off choosing a sliding door that doesn’t take up additional space when opened the way a bifold door might. However, bifold doors can create a focal point or “wow factor” in your home if you find a design that successfully transforms your space. 

Summary of Bifold Doors vs. Sliding Doors

Ultimately, the decision to choose bifold doors or sliding doors will stem from which factors you value most in your home or business. If you plan on keeping your door closed and need a door that won’t take up additional space, a sliding door may be better.  

However, If you believe that accessibility, security, and openness are important, you should consider a bifold door. Bifold doors can increase the value of your home or create a flow of space that attracts more customers to your business.

At Vetrina Windows and Doors, we create customized doors, windows, facades, and hardware for homes and businesses. Since 2007, we have been manufacturing beautifully-crafted contemporary systems right in the USA. 

If you are interested in a complete bifold door system for your business or home, request a quote or call Vetrina today at (888) 342-9097.

Which is Best for Your Home

Whether they are bifolding or sliding, glass doors are some of the most popular features in modern homes and in remodel projects. Manufacturers have taken doors that used to be reserved for commercial spaces and made them small enough, lightweight enough, and strong enough to be used in our homes. Both bifolding and sliding doors have many positive qualities, we’ll compare them in this post.

Use the links below to skip ahead:

  • Bifolding doors vs sliding doors
  • Comparing bifold and sliding patio doors
  • The pros and cons of bifolding doors
  • The pros and cons of sliding doors

Bifolding doors vs sliding doors

What are bifold doors?

Bifolding doors fold against themselves like accordions. Hinges connect between two and seven panels, and they move along a track. They’re excellent at drawing your attention to your patio’s entrance and the scenery outside the doors.

Bifold exterior doors are similar to folding closet doors and room dividers but they’re bigger and heavier. They also look more refined and are ideal for people who enjoy entertaining guests and want a grand opening between indoor and outdoor spaces.

When you open bifold doors, the panels fold against each other until they collapse at the end of the track. Inswing doors fold to the indoor side of the track, and outswing doors fold and stack outside your home to maximize the amount of indoor space available. Some bifold doors include a standard door at one end to make going in and out easier.

What are sliding patio doors?

Sliding doors use two or more large panes of glass that slide sideways to the end of a frame. The panes of glass fit behind each other, and they can be larger than the ones in bifold doors, giving you a more unobstructed view.

Sliding and bifold doors cost about the same amount if the panes of glass stay small. However, with larger panes of glass, sliding doors will be more expensive. The frame material you choose influences price as well. For either type of door, you can choose wood, composite or engineered wood made from small pieces glued together, uPVC, or aluminum. Aluminum is usually the most costly, and uPVC is the least expensive.

Comparing bifold and sliding patio doors

Why choose bifold doors

According to Grand Designs Magazine, bifold doors can open up to 90% of the area they cover. This makes them ideal for small spaces as well as larger ones. With many bifold doors, you can open almost an entire wall in your home to the outside.

Bifold doors also work better for creating a level threshold, so there’s no lip for guests to trip over. They’re also more convenient for wheelchair users. With a custom design, you can use bifold doors to create impressive curves and even go around corners.

Although bifold doors will be more expensive than sliding patio doors, they can change the way your entire home feels and really open up the home to the patio.

The pros and cons of bifold doors