The bifold traffic door and why its useful

When it comes to choosing the right design for a new set of folding sliding doors, the bifold traffic door is one of the most useful features you can add to the door set. Designed to give your bifold even better functionality and make living with the doors easier, traffic doors don’t add to the cost of your doors yet have lots of useful features. Here’s everything you need to know about traffic doors, also called access doors.

The bifold traffic door explained for homeowners and the trade

picture of an open door showing a bifold traffic door
The bifold traffic door is designed for easy entry and exit through a bifold door set

In simple terms, a bifold traffic door lets you open just one of the bifolding door panels, without having to fold the doors back partially or fully. These doors are also called access doors, pass doors or lead doors.

Many people assume the best thing for a bifold to do is fold in one direction with all the doors stacked together on one side. Whilst this is a very popular way to design how your bifolds should open, a bifold traffic door has many advantages in both small and larger folding sliding door sets. Before we explain where to have a traffic door, here’s several scenarios where it makes a lot of sense.

You only have one garden access patio door

Many properties such as terraced houses, and one or two-bedroom homes only have one set of doors going out to the garden. With smaller homes extended at the back, there remains only one door leading to the patio or garden, and no other side or back doors. A bifold traffic door is highly recommended in these types of installations.

Frequent garden access is required

Some homeowners use their garden doors more than others. Properties are designed with the parking at the back so you use your rear gate to get into your home through the patio doors.

Other people use their garden doors more often to take out the washing, let out a pet, take the rubbish out, and let the children play in the garden. If you use your back doors a lot, then the bifold traffic door lets you open just one leaf without folding the other panels back every time. With an external lock and handle, they also make very good access doors into your room.

Your door is often open for ventilation

Maybe you don’t have other windows in the room or you like to open your door for air to flow into the room. Again, being able to open just one panel makes a lot of sense here.

Your bifolds remain closed most of the year

The reality is our bifolding doors are fantastic in the summer, but they’re closed most of the year. Therefore, having a traffic door makes your bifolds work just like normal doors on colder days, without having to partially unlock and concertina open the doors.

When you can have a bifold traffic door

A traffic door is available on a bifolding door set having three panels or more. You can have the opening panel hinged as a separate door on the frame side with the remaining panels folding on the opposite side.

It’s also possible to still have your door panels all folding back in one direction with the traffic door hinged on the moving mullion side.

Doors with an even number of panels can only have the traffic door hinged on the moving mullion or anywhere in the door set that’s split either equally or unequally.

It’s not possible to have a bifold traffic door on two panel doors. If you have a smaller opening and are thinking about a bifold, you’ll find doors hinged and opening outwards a better solution.

Do all bifold doors have a traffic door?

No, the choice of whether to have this functional extra feature is down to you when you configure your doors. As explained earlier, any bifold door set with three or more panels can have one.

How do you open a bifold door from the outside?

Only with a traffic door can you open your doors from the outside. This is because many two, four or six panel doors all folding in one direction have a different method of locking.

With a traffic door, therefore, you have a lever handle on the outside and a key cylinder to unlock the doors.

Two panel bifold traffic door – and why its not available

As we mentioned earlier, two panel bifold doors can only concertina open and they use a top and bottom locking method to secure the doors.

As a result, it’s not possible to have a two panel door with a traffic door. Three panels and upwards is fine.

More information on bifold doors and getting a quote

Trueglide are specialists in the trade supply of quality folding sliding doors for builders, property professionals or homeowners wanting to buy direct. Contact us today for information about choosing the best possible folding sliding door solution. 

Our doors are perfect for the replacement of dated patio doors or a new build opening. All come with a choice of colours, bifolding door opening options, a range of glass, handle colours and fast lead times.