How to Choose the Right Blinds & Shutters for your Bifold Doors

Abi Clewley

BY Abi Clewley

Published: 05 October 2023 Updated: 21 May 2024

Bifold door blinds buying guide

Bifold doors have become increasingly popular in the United Kingdom, adding elegance and functionality to homes. They offer a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, flooding interiors with natural light. However, along with the many advantages of bifold doors, come questions about privacy, light control, and insulation. This is where choosing the right bifold door blind or bifold door shutter becomes crucial. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of selecting the perfect window coverings for your bifold doors.

What are bifold doors?

Bifold doors (often written bi-fold door or bi fold doors), also known as folding doors or bi-folding doors, are a type of door system that consists of a frame with multiple panels that slide to open and close, folding onto itself. These doors are typically used to create large openings between indoor and outdoor spaces or to divide interior rooms. Bifold doors are popular for their ability to provide unobstructed views, maximise natural light, and create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor areas. They can open inward or outward.
Let's take a look at some key characteristics and features of bifold doors.

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Bifold door features

1. Multiple Panels: Bifold doors consist of two or more door panels that are hinged together. These panels can vary in number, but common configurations include two, three, or four panels.

2. Folding Design: When opened, the panels of a bifold door fold and stack neatly to one side, creating a wide opening. This folding action allows for maximum flexibility in terms of how much of the doorway can be opened or closed.

3. Tracks and Rollers: Bifold doors are equipped with top and bottom tracks and rollers that facilitate smooth and easy operation. The rollers allow the panels to slide along the tracks when opening and closing.

4. Glass Panels: Bifold doors often feature large glass panels that provide unobstructed views of the outdoor space. These glass panels can be single-glazed or double-glazed for insulation and to make the room they're in more energy efficient.

5. Materials: Bifold doors can be constructed from various materials, including aluminium, timber, uPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride), and composite materials. The choice of material can impact the door's appearance, durability, and maintenance requirements.

6. Security Features: Many bifold doors come with multi-point locking systems and other security features to ensure the safety of the property.

7. Indoor and Outdoor Use: Bifold doors are commonly used to create expansive openings in exterior walls, leading to patios, decks, gardens, or other outdoor areas. They can also be used as interior doors to divide spaces within a home, such as between a living room and a dining room.

8. Customisable: Bifold doors can be customised in terms of size, colour, and design to match the aesthetic and functional requirements of a particular space.

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Why are bifold doors a popular choice?

Bifold doors have gained popularity in residential and commercial architecture for their ability to create a sense of openness, provide natural ventilation, and blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living spaces. They are often chosen for properties where homeowners want to maximise the connection to nature and outdoor views while maintaining flexibility in how the space is used and can be a more practical option than sliding doors a large expanse of glass is involved.

Do bifold doors need blinds & shutters?

Bifold doors create vast expanses of glass, providing windows with stunning views and ample sunlight. However, there are situations where blinds and shutters can be beneficial.

  • Privacy: While bifold doors offer breathtaking views, they can also expose your home to prying eyes. Blinds and shutters can provide privacy when needed without sacrificing your connection to the outdoors.
  • Light Control: Excessive sunlight can lead to glare and discomfort. Blinds and shutters allow you to regulate the amount of light entering your space, making it more comfortable and functional.
  • Insulation: During cold weather, glass surfaces can become conduits for heat loss. Insulated blinds and shutters can improve the rooms energy efficiency by acting as an additional layer of insulation when closed.
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The benefits of blinds and shutters

Choosing the best blinds and shutters for your bifold doors can offer a range of benefits:

  • Enhanced Privacy: Enjoy your indoor space without worrying about onlookers.
  • Light Management: Adjust the level of natural light to suit your mood and needs.
  • Improved Insulation: Keep your home comfortable year-round while potentially reducing energy costs.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Blinds and shutters come in various styles, materials, and colours, allowing you to complement your interior décor.
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What to consider

Before making a choice between blinds and shutters there's a wide range of factors you should take into consideration. Let's take a look at them in more detail.

  • Operation of the Doors: Ensure that the blinds or shutters you select don't interfere with the operation of your bifold doors. Some designs are better suited for this purpose. Wide bifold doors can still be easier to open than the same size traditional sliding doors but it's likely you'll have additional panels to fold back.
  • Operation of the Blinds/Shutters: Consider whether you want manual or motorised blinds/shutters. Motorised options offer convenience and can be integrated into smart home systems.
  • Complementing the Benefits: Think about how your choice of blinds or shutters can enhance the advantages of your bifold doors. For example, thermal blinds can improve insulation, making your space more comfortable.
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What blinds are best

When it comes to buying blinds for bifold doors, you have a wide range of options and it's more a case of choosing the blind that's right for a combination of the door, the room and your own personal preference. Let's take a look at the different blind styles that are available.

Are there specialist bifold door blinds?

Intu Micro Hive and Micro Pleat blinds are specialised window covering solutions designed to complement the aesthetics and functionality of bifold doors. Similar in benefits to both Duette blinds and Pleated blinds respectively, Micro Hive and Micro Pleat blinds are a slimline version that can be fitted into the frame of each panel, allowing you to open the door without having to open the blind. Both Intu Micro Hive and Micro Pleat blinds are excellent choices for bifold doors due to their sleek design, ease of installation, and functional benefits such as thermal insulation and light control. They are designed to seamlessly integrate with the doors, ensuring that the doors can be opened and closed without obstruction. Additionally, their cordless or integrated operation options contribute to their safety and ease of use, making them a practical and stylish choice for enhancing your bifold door experience.

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Duette® honeycomb blinds

Duette blinds are an excellent choice for a whole host of reasons. Their unique cellular structure traps air, providing excellent insulation and helping to reduce heat loss by up to 55%. They come in various opacities, allowing you to control light and privacy effectively and a wide range of colours. Choose a motorised version plus a hub and you'll be able to control them by an app on your phone or even via Google or Amazon home voice systems.

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Roman blinds

Roman blinds offer an enormous range of fabrics, colours and textures, so they're an ideal choice if that angle is of prime importance to you. Simple to operate, you can opt for motorisation for effortless control too. Choose additional linings, such as a blackout to reduce light flow or an interlining for heat loss reduction. Mounted above the door frame, you'll need suitable clearance to raise the blind and still be able to open the door so bear that in mind.

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Pleated blinds

Pleated blinds give you a slimline look at windows and doors. Choose a special coating that reflects the rays of the sun and find that despite the large expanses of glass involved, your room won't become stiflingly hot in summer. They come in a variety of colours, usually with muted textural patterns and include sheers for a softer look.

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Roller blinds

Sometimes simplicity is a virtue and that's definitely the case with Roller blinds. Uncomplicated and fuss-free they're a solution that combine practicality and prettiness, with modern blinds being available in a huge range of colours and patterns, in much the same way as Roman blinds. The advantage they have over Roman blinds is they require less clearance between the top of the door frame and the ceiling, as the fabric rolls rather than stacks. Blackout roller blinds can help create a more snug look by reducing the light. You can even layer two blinds together, provided there's enough clearance, and this is a popular choice if you want one look for day, such as a sheer, and a different look for night, like a blackout.

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Other blind styles

Choose vertical blinds if you've little or no clearance above your door frame, as these blinds stack at the side. Offering versatile options for privacy, ranges often include practical vinyl wipe-clean fabrics, blackout and sheers.

Are there blinds that I shouldn't use?

While in theory you could have venetian blinds or even wooden blinds at a bifold door, the sheer weight of the number of slats that would be required to cover the width and height of a single door panel makes them virtually impossible to raise and lower.

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The best shutters for bifold doors

Shutters are a stylish choice for bifold doors. Here's why they might be your best option:

  • Versatile: Shutters offer both light control and privacy, with adjustable louvres to meet your preferences.
  • Durable: High-quality shutters can withstand the rigours of daily use and are built to last.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Shutters come in various styles, finishes, colours and materials, allowing you to find the perfect match for your home's décor.

What style of shutter is right for bifold doors

Tracked shutters are a type of shutter covering designed specifically for all kinds of doors, including patio, sliding and bifold doors. Tracked door shutters glide smoothly along tracks top and bottom, in much the same way as bifold doors do. and offer all the benefits above. Dependant on whether you choose wood, composite or vinyl dictates the way the shutters fold and whether or not they fold completely against the wall at the side or not, so bear this in mind.

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Conclusion

Choosing the right blinds and shutters for your bifold doors is essential for maximising the benefits of these architectural wonders. Consider factors like privacy, light control, insulation, and aesthetics when making your decision. Whether you opt for blinds or shutters, the right choice will enhance your living space, making it more comfortable and stylish.

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