15 Oct 2018

Bifold doors vs Sliding doors

Choosing between sliding doors and bifold doors for your self-build, extension or renovation can be one of the first decisions you make on your project, because they are almost always one of the most visible elements of your finished home.

At IDSystems our advice is always impartial, the choice is what works best for your home and the way you wish to use the doors, after all we manufacture and install award-winning versions of both types of systems including theEDGE2.0, our ultra-slim sliding door with incredibly slim 20mm intermediate frames, and the SUNFLEX SF55, our German made, superior quality aluminium bifold doors.

Choosing the right system for you

Getting the choice right can be tricky, sliding doors offer larger panes of glass and narrower frames, but, unless you opt for doors sliding into a pocket, you will always lose a proportion of your opening to the fixed frame that the doors slide behind.

The beauty of bifold doors is that, especially for openings under 4m, they open completely up to create a seamless connection between house and garden, breaking down the boundaries and bringing the outside in.

Unlike other bifold door suppliers we don’t just offer one product, our range includes 6 different systems, each one handmade in Germany by SUNFLEX and each one designed with a particular requirement in mind.

German made

Also unlike other bifold door systems when we say our doors are German made, we mean just that. Others on the market may claim ‘German made’ doors based on the fact that the profile of the system was design in German, even though the doors could be put together anywhere else in the world to varying degrees of quality and performance. Each SUNFLEX door is designed and manufactured at SUNFLEX’s own factory just outside Cologne and, quite simply put, SUNFLEX don’t make doors for anyone else and nobody else makes doors for them.

For more than thirty years SUNFLEX has led the global market in the design, development and manufacture of bifold doors. Today they are widely regarded as the most advanced systems available, with each product made to the highest quality and featuring a wide range of unique features and system options.

Security and quality as standard

As you would expect of a highly-engineered German system the SUNFLEX bifold door range comes with security and quality assured. The SUNFLEX systems are the only German made bifold doors to hold the prestigious BSI Kitemark™ for quality, whilst also holding the Secured by Design police preferred security specification award and exceeding the requirements of Building Regulations Document Q (PAS 24:2016) testing.

Unique features across the range

Each SUNFLEX bifold door system, regardless of the material/s it is manufactured from is packed full of unique design features including the exclusive panel catch technology that holds first door in place on odd numbered door configurations. Combined with an innovative stacking clip that secures the system when the doors are fully opened, this technology not only prevents the doors accidentally moving in the wind when open, but also protect the hinges and running by preventing the doors from being operated incorrectly.

Each SUNFLEX bifold door also includes a unique part-vent position that allows the system to be opened slightly for ventilation purposes without having to unlock the lead door. For aluminium bifold doors it is also possible to integrate a tilt & turn window within the door panel, ideal for where bifold doors are the only glazing in a room.

A choice of track options

Unlike other bifold door systems on the market the SUNFLEX range comes with the choice of three track options, from a non-weather rated flush track used on internal installations where a consistent floor level is required, through the hugely popular low-threshold track with a DDA compliant 14mm upstand ideal for urban and suburban locations, to the fully weathered track that features a 35mm step up between outside and inside and provides the ultimate in protection in even the most exposed locations.

Aluminium bifold doors

Our range of aluminium bifold doors includes the SF45, SF55 and SF75 systems. The SF45 is non-thermally broken and used for mainly used for internal purposes, while the SF55 is our Build It award-winning system and the most popular product in our range. If advanced thermal efficiency is your requirement then the SF75 is the system for you, featuring an industry leading combination of incredibly low U-values and protection from wind and rain.

Aluminium’s incredible strength and lightweight construction make it a highly versatile material. Aluminium bifold doors offer a contemporary and modern look and provide a maintenance free solution, with each product enjoying narrow 115mm sight lines. Each of the SUNFLEX aluminium bifold door range is available in more than 200 different colours.

The SUNFLEX SF55 and SF75 doors utilise the latest in thermal break technology, separating the internal and external faces of aluminium to provide excellent thermal properties, enabling SUNFLEX to manufacture some of the most advanced energy efficient systems available.

Flexibility in design

Each system is fitted with unique running carriages that mount to the door frame rather than the hinge, which provides the smoothest operation, enhanced security and neat visual appearance. Panels can be made up to 1,200mm wide and 3,500mm high.

The doors may be folded to the left or the right (or both), open to the inside or outside. They can have panels all folding the same way or split with a number folding to each side. The SF55 and SF75 systems can be double or triple glazed, utilised as a single door, French doors and from 2-panel to 22-panel bifold door on three different track options. They can even include a moveable corner post to create an eye-catching complete opening.

Thermal efficiency and weather performance

Both the SF55 and SF75 enjoy industry leading protection from wind and rain. The doors are independently tested and achieve Class 9A (900Pa) for water tightness and Class 4 (600Pa) for air permeability as a result of their continuous interlocking triple gaskets which are fitted to the front and back of each panel.

The SF75 is amongst the most thermally efficient aluminium doors of any type on the market, let alone aluminium bifold doors, achieving an incredibly low U-value from just 0.9W/m²K when triple glazed, thanks in part to its patented multi-chamber polyamide break technology that sits between the inner and outer frames of aluminium to prevent cold bridging.

Composite bifold doors

The SUNFLEX range of SF55c and SF75c composite bifold doors offers the perfect combination of a hardwearing, maintenance free aluminium bifold door with the beauty of natural timber on the inner face of the door.

The outer frames carry all the same unique features and innovations as the equivalent aluminium doors, whilst offering options for both the timber choice (Meranti, Nordic Pine, American White Oak, Larch or Douglas Fir) and the cladding style (moulded, plain or squared), perfect for matching almost any style of interior décor or design.

Composite bifold doors are ideal for more traditional properties and renovations or for adding character and style to more contemporary extensions and self-build homes.

Timber bifold doors

The SUNFLEX SF75h is the most advanced timber bifold door on the market, offering narrow sightlines of just 122mm (narrower than some manufacturers’ aluminium bifold doors). Manufactured from 3-ply engineered timber, where three timber sections are bonded back together with opposing grains, the doors are significantly more stable than traditional timber bifold doors.

This triple laminate process reduces the risk of the doors warping or twisting and makes the ultra slim sight lines possible, which in turn reduces the weight of the panels aiding the long term usage and reliability of the system.

The timber bifold doors are available in a choice of timbers which can then be stained, oiled or painted to meet the exact requirements of your project and match other timber on the interior or exterior of your home.

Want to learn more

You can see examples of SUNFLEX bifold doors at the IDSystems showroom in Norwich, the Building Centre in Central London or on the IDSystems stand at exhibitions across the country. To download the latest brochures, for more information about the IDSystems range or to discuss your project requirements in more detail call us on 01603 408804, email info@idsystems.co.uk or visit www.idsystems.co.uk/products/bifold-doors/.

info@idsystems.co.uk     www.idsystems.co.uk/products/bifold-doors/      01603 408804

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