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What are Some Different Types of Folding Doors?

M.R. Anglin
M.R. Anglin

Folding doors are so named because they fold open instead of swing open like a normal door does. These doors are best used when space is limited or when a person needs to use the space right beside a door. Many types of folding doors are bi-fold doors, but there are also multiple folding doors called accordion doors.

One type of these doors commonly found in homes is a bi-fold door. They can be installed when space is too small for an ordinary door. For this reason, these are the type of doors used in closets, laundry rooms, and pantries. They can also be used to separate two rooms in a home.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Bi-fold doors are two narrow doors attached by a hinge in the middle. These doors are installed along a track so that the door slides open. When opened, the two doors fold along the hinges and slide to one side. A bi-fold door can also be used in pairs. Two bi-fold doors are put together on one track and when opened, each door folds open either side of the track.

Multi-folding doors are also called accordion doors. Like bi-fold doors, accordion doors fold to one side. However, accordion doors have multiple panels that fold together like an accordion. Their unique design means that they use less space than a bi-fold door, but it also means that they must be made of thin materials. Accordion doors can either be installed on a track or can be rolled away from one place to another.

Some doors, called acoustical doors, are used in order to insulate against noise. These types of doors are used in churches and office buildings or where ever soundproofing is needed because of a speech or presentation. Though they do provide some soundproofing, these acoustical doors are still made of thin material and cannot provide total soundproofing.

Folding doors can also be used as exterior doors and can be made with glass. Some of these doors emulate French doors but save space by being able to fold away. Having such a door allows the homeowner the benefit of an unobstructed view as well as enabling them to utilize as much space as possible.

Manufacturers of folding doors are coming up with new and unique ways to market their products. One of these products is a folding door bookcase. Such doors look like a normal bookcase at first glance but are able to fold up and reveal closets, rooms, or even a wall safe.

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Discussion Comments


My pantry has a bi-fold panel door. The wood matches the living room wall panels, and it looks like it came with the house, but it didn’t. The pantry originally had a solid door, but we replaced it with a more attractive one.

I don’t have a whole lot of space in my kitchen. I had to put a shelf in the space where the solid door opens into, so I needed a folding door for easier access. Now, I have no trouble opening the door that stays on the track.


When we moved into our new house, we noticed that the bathroom door was an accordion door. I hated that! It was thin with slats, and it did not provide the level of privacy you would expect in a bathroom.

I got my husband to remove it and place it on the closet, which incidentally, did not have a door. It seemed much more appropriate there. I have always seen accordion doors on closet doorways, but never on bathroom entrances.

The house also had an louvered accordion door on the laundry room. This was fine with me, because air could circulate better that way.


I had been wishing for a way to separate my dining room from my den that didn’t involve a traditional door. My husband surprised me with a folding bookcase door. It is an absolutely awesome invention!

The bookcase is made of cherry wood. It has several shelves, which I have adorned with various candles, ceramics, and magazines. Though it appears to be one solid bookcase, it folds in half to reveal the room behind it.

When my friend came to visit, I didn’t tell her about the bookcase door. She saw it and asked me why I blocked off my dining room. When I folded the bookcase, she gasped in disbelief. I love surprising people with my unique door.


My sister has some beautiful timber bi-fold doors that separate her kitchen from the living room. She talked her husband into getting them, because the noise from the television programs he watched interfered with her train of thought while cooking.

They are a beautiful reddish-brown color, and the top third of the doors have glass panes. A red rose with green leaves decorates the middle of the glass, and lines are etched in it to make it look like an actual window.

She doesn’t have to listen to his annoying shows anymore while preparing meals. She can turn on her radio to some relaxing music, and the food turns out much better this way.


If you have a patio you should look into buying some metal folding doors, or folding glass doors. They really offer a lot of light into the home and look great when they lead out onto a wooden deck.

Our home backs out onto a forest, so we really like being able to open up the doors fully in summertime and let the nice breeze come in out of the forest. It also makes it very easy for use to entertain guests as the folding doors turn our kitchen and outdoor space into one grand area. My wife absolutely loves entertaining so the folding doors turned out to be a really good investment.


I have a new home and I just installed some lovely folding French doors and some wood folding doors. We put the French folding doors in the living room, to make a bit of a grand entrance into our dining room, and the wood folding doors at a bit of character to our master suite.

I think the biggest benefit of folding doors is that they add a really fantastic design element to your rooms without you really having to do much. Plus, they are great for privacy. I love being able to cut our dining room off from the living room, as it keeps the kids at bay.

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