Internal bifold door tracks: types, hardware and FAQs
Internal bifold doors (also known as internal folding doors) use specialist hardware and a track system to operate. In this guide, you will find information on the different types of internal bifold door tracks used along with answers to frequently asked questions.
In this guide:
- What are internal bifold door tracks?
- Top-hung or bottom-rolling—what is the difference?
- Bi-fold door hardware
What are internal bifold tracks?
Unlike standard interior doors, internal bifold doors need more than just hinges to operate. Tracks hold and guide the bifold door rollers as the panels/doors open and close.
Bifold door tracks consist of two different sections the main track and the guide track. You will find two main terms when researching bifold tracks—top-hung and bottom-rolling. These refer to where the bifold door’s main track is located.
Top-hung or bottom-rolling—what is the difference?
All internal sliding doors require a main track to operate. However, where this track is fitted varies between door brands, and each location has its own benefits and considerations.
Use this section to help decide whether your internal sliding doors should be top-hung or bottom‑rolling.
What is a top-hung track?
Top-hung bi-fold doors ‘hang’ from the main track which is located in the frame head. The rollers are attached to a hinge which is in turn fixed to the top of the access and middle door. The roller is enclosed in the main track so it is impossible for the doors to come out of the track during operation. The bottom track is used as a guide only (if at all).
- Lower threshold—the main rolling hardware sits in the frame head above the door. The guide track is therefore at the bottom, it is a slimmer profile than the main track. This results in the threshold also being lower, making it easy to install flush with the floor, which not only stops people tripping over but looks better too.
- Smooth operation—with top-hung bifolds, the door's weight hangs from the top, which means they require less force to move along the track. You can literally push them with your fingertip.
- Low-maintenance—debris is highly unlikely to collect in an upper track, meaning the tracks will require less cleaning and maintenance.
- Keeps doors secured—with top-hung tracks, the doors cannot fall out of the track, which means they offer an added layer of safety.
- Installation—when fitting the bifolds, the main track must be securely fastened over the full length of the doorset, you will need to drill holes upwards into the supporting lintel which can be awkward.
What is a bottom-rolling track?
Bottom-rolling bifold doors are the opposite of top-hung. All of the door’s weight is carried on the floor. The main track is located in the bottom threshold of the frame. The rollers are attached to a hinge that is fixed to the bottom of the access and middle door.
On a bottom–rolling system the guide track is located in the frame head. This guide track prevents the doors from falling outwards when the doors are open.
Aluminium doors are almost always bottom-rolling. This is because they are designed to be used as external doors and are heavier due to double glazing etc. (which is considered unnecessary for internal doors).
- Installation – fewer holes are needed in the guide track located in the frame head.
- Requires less support—heavy top hung door systems usually require a lintel for the doors to hang from, bottom rolling systems need less support as the weight is carried on the floor. However internal doors are light enough to require minimal support to use a top-hung track.
- Jamming/blockages— because the main track is based on the lower part of the doorset, small items and debris can fall in and block/damage the roller, causing your doors to jam.
- Track dipping—if the main bottom track isn’t perfectly level and/or is poorly supported, the track can start to dip. This stops the doors from feeling smooth in operation and can if the dip is enough, allow the doors to fall out of the top guide track.
- More maintenance—you will need to regularly clean the bottom track to keep the doors operating smoothly.
- Higher threshold—as the main track is generally larger than the guide track, bottom roller systems usually have a higher threshold at the bottom of the doorset. This can be a trip hazard and while not impossible, it’s much harder to install flush with final floor levels.
Do internal bifold doors need a track?
Yes, all bifolds need some form of track as it is the track that guides the door rollers. However, some door companies refer to their products as ‘trackless’ folding door systems. Trackless systems always use a top-hung system and do not need any bottom guide track running across the floor of the room.
What are trackless bifold doors?
Trackless bi-fold doors have no bottom guide track. If you choose top-hung bifold doors, you don’t need to use a bottom track. If you choose this option flooring can run seamlessly through both rooms to increase the feeling of one large space when the doors are open. However, if you do install a bottom track that is flush with the floor, this will add support and give your doors a smoother operation.
Bi-fold door hardware
Vufold uses only the very best hardware, manufactured in architectural-grade stainless steel. Our hardware has been cycle-tested to the equivalent of 40 years opening and closing.
When you purchase internal or external bifold doors from Vufold, all fixings are included in an installation bag.
Bi-fold hardware includes the following:
- Top and bottom pivots—enable the doors to rotate and pivot outwards as the doors fold up. They are fully adjustable for fine-tuning after installation.
- Half offset hinges—allow the doors to fold together easily.
- Intermediate carrier—the roller assembly that glides smoothly along the top track, allowing the doors to slide and fold together.
- Straight hinge—attaches the access door to the middle door.
- Slide bolts—made to be easy to operate, these bolts fasten the doors in the closed position.
- Tubular mortice latch and keep—a simple closing device commonly used on internal doors that have no lock. The mortice latch is located in the door and the keep is in the frame.
Vufold is unique in using seals/gaskets on all its internal bifold doors:
- Rubber O gaskets
- Q-lon or brush seals
These seals help reduce noise transfer between rooms and also prevent annoying light gaps between the doors.
Adjustable bifold hardware
When fitted correctly, all of Vufold’s bifold sliding doors open and close perfectly. Over time certain things may affect how well the doors operate, settlement or movement within a building, frequent use over a long period of time can all result in less than perfect operation.
All bifold doors will need fine-tuning at some point in their life. Many standard bifold doors are difficult to adjust and may require a specialist. Vufold uses cutting‑edge hardware that makes adjusting your door incredibly simple. This hardware is included as standard.
How do you install internal bifold door tracking?
With aluminium and good quality wooden Internal bifold door sets, the tracks should come pre-installed into the relevant frame parts. In these instances, the frame parts will just need assembling as per any provided instructions.
On lower quality timber systems, the bifold door tracks and frames can be universal to cover a range of different sizes. The installer then needs to cut the parts down to the correct size. Great care should be taken to ensure they are cut to the correct length.
Vufold Internal doorsets all come with the bifold door tracks pre-installed.
Can you reverse bifold doors?
Potentially, you could reverse Vufold internal bifold doors but we would not advise it without careful consideration. External bifold doors can rarely be reversed once installed, the doors would need rotating through 180 degrees placing the keyhole above the handle rather than below it.
It’s important to always pre-plan and think carefully how you want your bifold doors to look, which way they should open and where the doors will stack when open.
How do you remove bifold doors from a track?
In the unlikely event of an issue with your bifold doors that means you need to remove the doors from the tracks. This can be a hassle. However, with Vufold internal bifold doors, this process is easy.
To remove a three-door bifold door from a track, follow these basic steps:
- Open up all 3 doors so they are stacked to one side.
- Support the access door so it cannot drop onto your floor or fall over.
- There are 3 hinges with 4 screws in each connecting the access door to the middle door. remove all 12 screws.
- The access door can now be moved to one side.
- Support the middle door again to ensure it cannot drop or fall over.
- Remove the 4 screws located in the intermediate carrier hinge.
- Moving to the opposite side of the middle door proceed to undo all 12 screws from the three intermediate hinges.
- The middle door can now be moved to one side.
- Support the pivot door then undo the 4 screws in the top pivot hinge followed by the 4 screws in the bottom pivot hinge
- The pivot door can now be moved to one side.
- The rollers can be removed from the top main track by simply sliding them in the opposite direction to the stacking of the doors.
- There is a section of track on the far side machined that allow the rollers to slide out.
Always consult an expert if you are unsure.
Are bifold doors top-hung?
As mentioned above, bifold doors can be either top-hung or bottom-rolling. All of Vufold’s Internal bifold doors are top-hung as we believe this system offers many benefits, including a smoother operation when opening/closing.