Bi-fold sliding doors are great. When closed, they provide sweeping views out from your property; when open, they completely open up the room in question to the great outdoors. Deciding to fit bi-fold doors is relatively easy — unfortunately, people often struggle to decide on the right bi-fold door material. There are plenty of options, but most homeowners come down to either timber or aluminium.
Here are just four reasons why aluminium works better.
Aluminium has a very good strength-to-weight ratio, which is why you'll often see it used in high-performance cars. That same exceptional strength is just as advantageous when you're looking at bi-fold doors. The natural strength of aluminium means frames can be made relatively narrow and hold much larger sheets of glass when compared to timber. By using aluminium instead of timber, your bi-fold doors will have more glass and less frame, so you'll enjoy a more uninterrupted view.
When powder coated, aluminium will last for decades. It doesn't expand or contact very much under changing temperatures, and it isn't going to rust or dent. Put simply, aluminium bi-fold doors are going to last for years with practically no need for regular maintenance. With timber, it's a different story. Timber can peel or bubble, and it contracts and expands significantly under changing temperatures — that's a big problem when you're dealing with the larger areas needed for bi-fold doors. Even if your timber bi-fold doors never sustain damage, they'll still require regular maintenance.
If you want the cheapest bi-fold door material, you can go for uPVC — however, this isn't the most stylish choice, and it doesn't tend to last very long. Aluminium bi-fold doors are a little more expensive, but not by much, and they're still more budget-friendly than timber. When you use timber, thick, high-quality wood needs to be used to provide adequate security and durability. If you need to keep to a budget, dropping timber in favour of aluminium is a good way to go.
Because aluminium is so strong and flexible, you can choose bi-fold doors with complex or unusual designs — if you want, the doors can be fully customized around your exact needs and wants. With timber, that becomes a lot tougher since wood isn't very flexible. Additionally, aluminium offers a wide range of colours and styles. If you like the look of timber, you can even choose a realistic wood grain to unite natural appearance with all the benefits of aluminium listed above!