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Internal bifold doors: Timber vs uPVC vs Aluminium

Timber internal bifold doors are designed to be fitted internally. In some instances, uPVC and aluminium are also chosen, though aluminium and uPVC are traditionally used for outside-facing situations. Interior doors have different requirements than external doors, and each material has its own benefits and drawbacks. In this guide, we will discuss what you should look for in the perfect internal bifold doors.

In this guide:

Summary

 

Timber

uPVC

Aluminium

Made for internal use?

Yes, specially designed for internal use

Unlikely

Unlikely

Maintenance

  • Requires little maintenance
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Requires little maintenance

Style

  • Offers the widest range of styles
  • Can be varnished or painted in a wide range of colours
  • Looks cheaper than alternatives
  • Some options available in finish and colour
  • Has a distinct metallic look
  • Comes in a wide range of powder-coated finishes

Glazing

  • Single glazed 4mm toughened safety glass
  • If external – double glazed
  • If external – double glazed

Durability

  • Durable
  • Can be easily re-finished to match a change in room decor
  • Durable
  • Not easily re-finished
  • Durable
  • Not easily re-finished

Price

  • Low to mid-level
  • Mid-level
  • Most expensive

Made for internal use?

Internal doors have a different set of requirements than external doors. For example, thermal efficiency is incredibly important for external doors. This means they are fitted with double glazing, which increases the door depth. Deeper doors take up more space when they are stacked, which can cause issues in smaller rooms. For internal doors, double glazing isn’t necessary and can be seen superfluous with increased costs (and loss of space). Security through the use of multipoint locks are also unnecessary for internal doors.

Many uPVC and aluminium doors that are stated to be ‘internal’ are actually designed to be external doors. They contain many of the unnecessary requirements, which increases their price. This means you’re paying extra for additional features you do not need. External doors can also cause difficulty when fitted due to high thresholds, which can become trip hazards.

Vufold’s internal timber bifold doors are specially designed to be fitted internally. They can easily be fitted flush (same level as the floor) and do not contain unnecessary utilities. Instead, they utilise new technology and designs to save space and create a modern look for your home.

Maintenance

Maintenance includes things like painting, repairing or replacing doors. Internal doors require much less maintenance than external doors, as they do not have to face intense weather damage.

Timber

  • Timber is low maintenance
  • Repairing or changing door colour to suit a décor change is easily achieved
  • Occasionally clean with a damp cloth to keep them in good condition

uPVC

  • uPVC is very low maintenance
  • Repairing or changing door colour to suit a décor change is very difficult
  • Doors can also expand in the sun making them difficult to operate, so try to keep the doors out of direct sunlight area’s
  • Occasionally clean with a damp cloth to keep them in good condition

Aluminium

  • Aluminium is very low-maintenance
  • Doors are powder coated and so won’t require refinishing however damage or changing the colour of the doors is very difficult.
  • Occasionally clean with a damp cloth to keep them in good condition.

Style

Style can be the deciding factor for a lot of people. You want your internal bifold doors to complement the interior rooms. This can sometimes be tough to achieve, so it is worth physically seeing the material beforehand, to ensure you will have a match.

Timber

  • A popular choice as it’s one of the most stylish materials.
  • Very versatile—its natural aesthetic works with almost any living space, whether contemporary or traditional.
  • Can be stained or painted in virtually any colour, offering a huge range of finishes.
  • If you’re looking for a bifold to match your room tones, timber is probably the best option.

uPVC

  • Can be unattractive and cheap-looking.
  • A more limited range of finishes.
  • Many people try to use a type of colour or wood effect on the material, but this will cost extra and won’t improve the look all that much.
  • Rarely used for interior doors.

Aluminium

  • Can be powder coated with different finishes.
  • Wood-effect finishes can be used on aluminium but these can often look cheap.
  • Aluminium bifold doors are often made with thinner frames, which can complement a room but can detract from it too.
  • Rarely used for interior doors.

Glazing

Internal bifold doors do not need double glazing. They can make the doors deeper which will take up precious room when they are stacked as well increase the weight (and price).

Timber

  • All Vufold’s wooden internal bifolds use single glazed 4mm toughened safety glass.
  • Every pane of glass is compliant with European standards BSEN12150 and BSEN12600.

uPVC

  • Generally designed for outdoors, so will likely be double glazed

Aluminium

  • Like uPVC, Aluminium will likely be double glazed

Durability

If your internal bifold doors will get lots of use, you will want to ensure the material will withstand it. Resistance to damage and general wear and tear is important to increase the longevity of your bifold doors.

Timber

  • Vufold doors use timber engineering to make doors that are much stronger than standard solid timber, increasing durability.
  • A strong and sturdy bifold material which doesn’t sacrifice appearance.
  • Vufold internal stainless steel hardware offers silky-smooth operation is fully adjustable and is cycle tested to the equivalent of 40 years opening and closing.

uPVC

  • Resistant to damage but not structurally strong can feel flimsy
  • Hardware is usually of Low quality and is rarely adjustable.

Aluminium

  • Resistant to weather damage, which is great for external bifold doors but makes no difference when used inside the home.
  • A strong metal, meaning it can support thinner frames than the other choices, if that is the style you want to go for.
  • Robust hardware that is long lasting but rarely adjustable.

Price

Price will always be one of the main deciding factors for homeowners. If you are working on a budget, the price will obviously dictate your choice. Some materials offer a wide price bracket, which means bifolds for any budget!

Timber

  • Cheap options as not full of features not required.
  • A wide variety of doors at every level of budget.
  • Budget timber bifolds available.
  • Some Vufold doors are more competitively priced than UPVC

uPVC

  • A cheap option.
  • You get what you pay for in quality and aesthetic.

Aluminium

  • By far the most expensive interior door.
  • High manufacturing costs mean higher price points.

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