How do you choose the best glass for bifolding doors? When planning to replace your dated patio doors or when choosing bifolding doors for a new extension, the choice of glass provides different levels of interior comfort and energy efficiency. It is also possible to get better acoustics and even protect interior fabrics from sun damage with the right glass. In this article, we explain some of the glass options for your bifolding doors.
Information about the best glass for bifolding doors
Whatever type of glass you choose, as a minimum you should get a safety glass. Usually, this is toughened glass and should conform to British Standards (BS6262) for thickness and type. It is a legal requirement for all doors to come with safety glass irrespective of their location in your home.
The UK Building Regulations also call for a particular level of energy efficiency in patio doors such as bifolds. As standard our glass is toughened safety glass, having a soft-coat low-emissivity coating, warm edge spacer bars and argon gas fill. This provides a centre pane U-Value of 1.0Wm2K on average as a glass unit. The overall U-Value taking into consideration the aluminium frame, type and size of door vary, but all our products meet or exceed the current requirements for a U-Value for doors of 1.8Wm2K.
The glass provided in our doors also comes at a thickness of 24mm or 28mm for a double glazed unit. Different brands of doors vary but with most modern products, 28mm is more common.
Glass options for bifolding doors
To help you choose the best glass for your new bifolding doors, you can upgrade to several different options. These give you choices for improved performance.
When you choose laminated glass in your doors, the benefit is improved security because of the way laminated glass behaves should it break. Toughened glass, shatters into many small harmless pieces. Laminated glass, just like a car windscreen, holds together. This is due to a plastic layer within each sheet of glass.
Laminated glass is also used in doors with high-security ratings such as PAS 24 or Secured by Design. So if you want enhanced security for your doors over and above the excellent protection of the standard toughened glass, laminated is a good option to consider.
Triple glazing is also one of the best glass choices for bifolding doors if you want even better thermal and acoustic performance. While the savings on energy efficiency over and above double glazing are not significant, they do make a difference to interior comfort.
There are only two drawbacks to having triple glazing. On occasion, glass clarity may be reduced, simply due to you looking through three pieces of glass instead of two. The other is additional weight. For windows and doors, some products may require heavier duty hardware to cope with the additional glass weight.
Choosing integral blinds for bifolding doors is very popular with homeowners as these provide several benefits. First of all, is the advantage over conventional aftermarket blinds. Integral blinds sit between the glass, never need cleaning and don’t gather dust. They also don’t move around when it’s breezy.
Another benefit of integral blinds is improved glass unit insulation as well as the privacy and shade they provide. Integral blinds are ideal as a contemporary solution where you don’t want to obscure your new doors yet need privacy at night and shade when it’s sunny.
These types of blinds come in manual or automatic operation, including electric and control via home automation systems. The blinds themselves come in a range of colours, raise and tilt just like normal blinds.
If your property is in a particularly noisy area, near the airport, a main road or town centre, acoustic glass can provide some benefits. There are several types of acoustic glass but usually, these comprise one thickness on the outside pane and a thicker piece of glass or laminated glass on the inner pane. There’s also glass with an acoustic interlayer between the glass.
Solar control glazing
For bifolding doors on south-facing elevations, solar control glazing is another upgrade to help you choose the best glass for bifolding doors. Solar control glass is either tinted or comes with a coating. The tint with solar control comes in blue, grey or neutral and you will see a slight darkening.
Solar control glass is ideal for maintaining a better internal temperature and also protects fabrics from UV damage.
The Pilkingtons Activ™ Range is one of several self-cleaning glass solutions for your new bifolding doors. Your glass has a special coating designed to break down dirt that’s washed away when it rains or when you get the glass wet. It can even work well with bird droppings and general organic dirt.
Self-cleaning glass also works to spread any dirt evenly over the glass surface. As a result, it’s easier to wash away. It’s worth remembering self-cleaning glass is not an absolute solution and you will need to clean your glass in the normal way from time to time.
More information about choosing the best glass for bifolding doors
Many of the glass options we explain don’t cost much more than standard toughened glass and can help you achieve the best in security and comfort for your home. The same glass options also apply to other types of patio doors such as sliding doors or French doors. Windows also benefit.
At Newlite Home Improvements we have access to some of the best glass manufacturers and processors giving you all manner of ways to choose the best glass for your new bifolding doors. Contact us for more information, a glass brochure and to find out more.