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What Are Folding Doors?

January 08, 2010

Folding doors are interior folding doors that resemble an accordion, hence their nickname of accordion doors. These doors are also called bi-fold because of their operation. They are frequently used in pantries, closet areas, maintenance rooms, and occasionally as bedroom doors.

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You will notice that these doors always come in pairs. Whether you fold both to one side or split it down the middle, there are always two doors involved. The mechanism here is two panels that are connected by central hinges. These doors are often hung from tracks overhead and suspended by rollers. The door area may also have several sections, folding in pairs.

The homeowner pulls on the knob which folds the door panels together and then pushes them off to the side, allowing the homeowner into the closet area. These doors are often used as alternatives to sliding doors and swinging closet doors. Though wood is most commonly used as building material, the slab may also be made of metal and glass.

Concerns About Folding Doors

Any drawbacks to these doors are relative compared to the advantages. While they offer some advantages over sliding doors and swinging doors, remember too that by design they receive some unusual stresses from everyday opening and closing.

Usually homeowners pull a doorknob outward. With bi-fold doors, pulling the knob in this manner adds stress to the track. If one pulls or pushes too much on this type of door, this could cause damage to the track.

On the plus column, this door allows more access to the closet or pantry area since sliding and swinging doors take up more square feet. Perhaps the best feature of all is the aesthetic value of these doors. They can bring a lot of personality to a house, especially when designed in louvered style, raised-panel style, mission style, or French door style.


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