Sliding Closet Doors vs. Bifold: Which One Is Better?

Sliding Closet Doors vs. Bifold

Closet space can make a world of difference in any living situation. Whether you have a huge wardrobe or not, that closet space can serve multiple functions and purposes. It can create a world of possibilities within your living space.

But finding the right closet door may prove to be a challenge depending on your style and the type of closet that you have. Two of the most popular options are sliding and bifold doors. Which choice is right for you? If you want to save space, bifold doors are the better option. Installing sliding doors, however, can be done more cheaply and can even implement mirrors to provide depth to the room.

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Sliding Closet Door vs. Bifold: What are They?

Before we get into the advantages and disadvantages of each type of closet door, we should probably know the difference first. A sliding door does just that: it slides along a track. The door easily moves from left to right at the user’s whim and, in some luxury closets, can even slide into the wall for additional access.

Bifold doors, meanwhile, do not slide. They instead (you guessed it) fold up. There are two panels that fold into one another when opened and expand when closed. Bifold doors can offer greater access to the closet space than most sliding doors, proving to be effective in smaller spaces.

The Pros of Sliding Doors

Let’s start with sliding doors. What are the benefits to installing a sliding closet door? There are a few worth mentioning and they vary depending on how comprehensive you want the installation to be.

A Modern Look

For those who value that modern, sleek look, sliding doors are the better option. For modern home sales, that kind of look is the one that tends to sell and even improve the resale value of homes. If you have a sale in mind, consider putting in sliding closet doors to amplify the appeal of the bedrooms or any other spaces that have closets.

Mirrors

One of the biggest benefits to using a sliding closet door is that it can be mirrored on the outside. Mirrored closet doors serve two purposes. They provide you with a full-length mirror to dress in front of and they can actually make the space feel bigger.

As for the former, no doubt many of us have attempted to dress in front of a bathroom mirror. While that works fine most of the time, it can also present challenges. Having a full-length mirror right on your closet can be hugely beneficial.

But the real benefit in having a mirrored closet door is in the aesthetic of the room. Having a mirror on your door can actually make the room look bigger. It amplifies the natural light in the room and adds depth as well. All of which comes together to create a room that looks bigger than it actually is.

A Plethora of Styles

A major selling point of sliding closet doors is that there is a huge selection to work with. You can get as creative as you want to be with materials, paint, and a variety of other surface finishes. No matter what your style, you can find a sliding door that fits your aesthetic needs.

Easy Installation

Since sliding closet doors operate on a track and not hinges, installing them is a bit easier to do. Even amateur DIYers can install a sliding closet door, allowing you to save on potential installation costs along the way.

The Cons of Sliding Doors

While there are more than a few positives to speak of, there are also a couple of downsides to going with a sliding closet door as well.

Space Access

Perhaps the biggest issue is that you can really only access half of your closet space at a given time. Unless you have your doors installed so that they can slide into the wall (which is much more expensive), it can be a pain to only get to half of your stuff at one time.

Staying on Track

Though it is not a major issue, there is a chance that your door could come off alignment on its track. Considering that is how the door slides in and out of place, coming off track could present a serious inconvenience.

While it is usually a simple endeavor to get the door back on track, it can lead to bigger issues. When the door comes off track, it could lead to the door falling. When you have a mirror on the door, that could mean a potential for breaking.

The Pros of Bifold Doors

So, now that we know about sliding doors, what is the verdict on bifold doors? What benefits do they bring to the table? Here are just a few of the perks of installing bifold closet doors.

Take Up Less Space

Because the doors fold up into each other, they take up far less space when they are open. For small areas where space is at a premium, bifold doors may be the best option. For small apartments in particular, bifold doors are the superior option.

More Closet Access

It also means gaining access to the entirety of your closet at once. Whereas a sliding door may only provide access to half of the closet, you don’t have the same issues with bifold doors. Who doesn’t like to be able to see their entire wardrobe when deciding what to wear for the day?

A Huge Array of Options

Much like sliding doors, bifold doors come in a huge array of options. They are made from materials like vinyl, wood, and even metal. You can also get panels that are louvered, solid, and even made of glass if you want to get really fancy.

The Cons of Bifold Doors

Much like sliding doors, bifold doors have more than a few positives. That said, they also have their downsides. Here is what you would have to contend with if you installed bifold doors.

Difficulty Installing

For the most part, even amateur DIYers can install sliding doors. The same may not necessarily be true of bifold doors. You have to install the hinges, pivots, and track in the right way to ensure that the door opens smoothly. Doing so incorrectly can leave you with a door that doesn’t open effectively.

Cost

This is somewhat of a double-edged sword. Bifold doors can cost either very little or a whole lot, depending on what you are using as a material. The cheapest bifold doors can run about $25 or so. The higher in quality, the higher the costs.

It is not uncommon to spend $500 or more on a bifold door depending on what the material is. Just plan ahead if you want to go with a nicer material in your installation.

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So, What’s the Choice?

When it comes to choosing a closet door, you really can’t go wrong with either bifold or sliding. It all comes down to the space in question and your personal tastes.

For smaller closets where space is at a premium, bifold doors may be the better choice. They take up less space when opened and allow for access to a greater portion of the closet than their sliding counterparts.

If you want a higher-end look, or to install full-length mirrors, a sliding door is a better fit. It has a better overall aesthetic and can be made of high-quality materials. The only bad thing is that you can access just half of the closet at one time.

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Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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