Graphical Construction Glossary >> Doors. >> Door types >> Folding Doors

Folding Doors
Doors with multiple leaves hinged to each other to fold flat against the side of the opening when they are open
Multifold Door
A door with many panels hinged to each other, the weight of which are mainly carried on rollers in a top track.
Bifold Door
Doors having two pairs of leaves, the inner leaf is fixed to the jamb and the outer leaf is hinged to the inner leaf, and is further supported on a roller in a top track.

Not previously used much in residential construction these doors used be mostly seen in commercial buildings.
Not any more.
Today architects are more and more using one of the many types of folding doors around ordinary homes. The reason being that they can create large door opening with modern materials that for years have been too expensive for ordinary jobs.

bifold door
An ordinary folder and a Bifold Door

The basic folder at the top illustrates a few important points.

  • One leaf is hinged in the normal way to the door frame.
  • The other leaf is hinged to the free edge of the first leaf.
  • This leaf is further fixed to a supporting track and roller at the top of the frame and in addition it has a roller pin at the bottom that fits into a channel track at the bottom.
  • A specific type of multiform door is the Bi folding Door which has parts attached to each side of the framed opening.
multifolding doors
Multi folding Doors

Multi folding Doors. It is possible to increase the width of the opening and to add more leaves as shown above. So in certain conditions it is quite feasible to open up large sections of wall without the hassles of fixed panels or mullions.

centre hung doors
Centre hung doors.

Above is a sketch of a different layout. This is an option when heavier doors or wider openings are used. The centre support position means that the whole of the weight of the leaves are held by the track, rather than just one side.

aluminium folding doors
Aluminium Folder.

The photo above shows a modern aluminium set up at the top hanger. In this case the hardware is a combined butt hinge and roller hanger. At the bottom of the same pair of leaves is a combination hinge and roller pin. The pin at the bottom is not carrying and weight, is there to keep the door located in the correct position and for security when the doors are closed.

timber folding doors

Here's a photo of a common way of sealing the gap between two folders. The aluminium ones above use rubber or neoprene inserts to do the same job.

multifolding doors

In the sketch above one version shows the last leaf still open. This is a typical position in a lot of cases. I did a verandah - patio door like this a few years back. When the doors are closed and bolted, the last one becomes an ordinary day to day entrance door. In effect it is the live leaf. Entry is gained from the live leaf and then all the remaining doors are unbolted from the inside.

Quite often on commercial work the stack of leaves that are in the open position, are fitted into a special recess, pocket or as it is sometimes called, a docking bay in the wall.

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
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