Sliding Doors vs Folding Doors: A Professional Guide to Help You Choose

While swing doors are essential in almost every home, sliding doors and folding doors have been gaining popularity in Malaysia due to new technology that enhances their functionality and design. In this article, let’s explore whether a sliding or folding door is a better choice for your home. 

Sliding Doors

Many Malaysian homeowners are familiar with sliding doors as they are widely used – whether it’s for a landed property or a condo home. Sliding doors, as the name suggests, slide open and close along a track. They are available in various materials, including glass, wood, and metal, as well as aluminium making them a versatile option for different decor styles. 

Designed to save space and provide easy access to outdoor areas such as patios, balconies, and gardens, sliding doors can also be installed in various locations around the home, such as bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. 

Here are some of the top advantages of sliding doors that make them an excellent choice for Malaysian homes:

Pros: They are a space-saving element 

Many Malaysian homes may have limited space. Sliding doors are a great option for smaller homes as they do not require any clearance for swinging, allowing homeowners to save valuable floor space.

Pros: Sleek and elegant design 

As sliding doors are available in a range of materials, they can complement different interior design styles. Aluminium sliding doors are often a designer’s choice as they effortlessly create a modern and sleek look popular in Malaysian homes. 

Pros: Perfect for creating a brightly lit home 

A bright and airy home is a coveted feature in Malaysian homes as it offers the occupants a cosy and pleasant space to reside in. For those who are into Feng Shui, bright spaces with good ventilation may also denote a good flow of Qi, bringing a sense of harmony to the home. Here’s where sliding glass doors with larger glass panels allow for more natural light to enter homes, making them an excellent choice for homeowners who want to maximise the amount of daylight in their living spaces to create a beautiful home that feels and looks good.


Folding Doors

Like sliding doors, folding doors (or bi-fold doors) also slide across a track. However, they consist of multiple panels and can be folded back and forth. They are also made from a wide range of materials and can be tailored to fit different specifications in various locations around the home, such as balconies, patios, dining areas, and even as room dividers. 

Folding doors in Malaysian homes are a common element for both interior and outdoor spaces where there’s a need to optimise space and easy access. The simple push-pull or slide-and-fold action can quickly join or separate two rooms when needed. Let’s delve into the benefits of having a folding door:

Pros: They are great for compact spaces

As folding doors are designed to fold neatly against the wall or frame, they can be installed in small spaces where a regular swing door is not a suitable option. They allow homeowners to save space and create a seamless transition between two areas while ensuring the spaces can be closed up when required. 

Pros: Versatile and flexible for different applications

Folding doors can be designed according to the unique size, shape and form of a space. This makes it a highly versatile door for the home, especially if you have many ad-hoc areas. In Malaysian homes, where renovation is a norm, folding doors can effectively help connect your newly refurbished rooms or replace an existing door to enlarge a small area. 

Pros: Lighter materials for higher performance

Folding doors, especially aluminium folding doors, are usually constructed from lighter materials, which allows them to provide excellent heat insulation, noise reduction and corrosion resistance. Additionally, they are often fire-resistant, which makes them an ideal choice for many areas in the home, including the bathroom, kitchen, and balcony. Some folding doors can also be designed with laminated glass, ensuring plenty of natural light and unobstructed views, whether open or closed. 

Limitations of Sliding and Folding Doors 

Nevertheless, there are also disadvantages to having sliding and folding doors. Here are some things to consider:

Cons: Limited or narrow access 

If you have a small space, a sliding door may not provide enough space to move large objects in and out of a room as they can only be opened halfway. 

Cons: Needs frequent maintenance to ensure they function smoothly

Sliding doors would require regular maintenance to keep them operating smoothly. The tracks need to be cleaned and lubricated periodically, and the rollers may need to be replaced over time.

Cons: Security is a concern

As a sliding door is primarily composed of a huge glass pane, it can be easily shattered by intruders to break into the home. 

Fortunately, most of the disadvantages above can be mitigated – thanks to new advancements in sliding and folding door designs. At Window Elements, our premium quality aluminium sliding and folding doors incorporate high-performance features like multipoint door locking systems for enhanced security, first-rate safety glass and components for easier maintenance and smoother operations, and many more. Design is also prioritised, as all our doors and windows can be customised to suit your preference and unique home specifications.


Sliding Doors vs Folding Doors: Which One Should You Choose? 

Now that we have learned the pros and cons of sliding and folding doors, you may be wondering which would be the best choice for the home. Considering that both types of doors offer similar qualities, it all comes down to these few factors:

  • where do you want to install the door?
  • what do you want to achieve with the space?
  • how do you envision the overall aesthetic of your home?
  • what’s your budget for this project? 
  • how much maintenance are you willing to undertake? 

Here’s a simple case study: Imagine you have a mid-sized living room with a gorgeous garden view, but the current door doesn’t offer an unobstructed view. You want to upgrade to a larger glass door to enjoy the scenery while relaxing inside. In this scenario, choosing between a sliding or folding door will depend on various factors.

If the area receives a lot of sunlight during the afternoon, a sliding door may be the better option. You can easily slide it close when it gets too warm or bright, and it won’t take up any additional space in the room. However, if the garden connects to a cool and shady patio that you use throughout the day, a glass folding door could be an excellent choice. It provides wider access and a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors, making it ideal for gatherings and entertaining guests.

As you can see from the example above, both sliding and folding doors have their own advantages. Thus, each can be the ideal choice – depending on your specific needs and preferences. 

If you are still in a dilemma about whether to choose a sliding door or a folding door, our friendly and experienced team at Window Elements can help you make the right choice. Reach out to us, and we will be happy to guide you through the selection process!