In many homes and structures, you’ll notice that the size of the toilet and bath tend to be smaller than most bathrooms. So much so that the idea of having a door installed in the bathroom can be almost tricky since you will need an ample amount of space to move around when using the bathroom. Naturally, you will need a specific type of door that can provide both the privacy and space efficiency.
Most clients opt for a sliding door on the notion that it will create a seamless, concealed look. But even sliding doors can take up space especially if the size of the door is equal to the size of the space. Not to mention the possibility of it getting exposed to water and getting warped and damaged.
Fortunately, there is another type of door that is slowly becoming popular with many HDB bathrooms and even storage spaces. We are referring to the bi-fold door.
The bi-fold door, as its name implies, is a type of door that folds in the middle and can create an opening. It is also called folding sliding doors because it utilizes a track system that is roughly the size and length of the door width. They have the appearance of two thin doors attached to each other via special hinges that allow the panels to slide and fold neatly against each other.
What makes the bi-fold door unique is the integrated, seamless look it has when it comes to creating the illusion of a concealed room. That being said, many designers often employ this type of door for small bathrooms, laundry spaces, wardrobes and even as terrace doors. Here are a few things you need to know about these doors and some of the most popular and unique design ideas for bi-fold door for toilet.
1. BI-FOLD DOOR 101
Before we delved into the application of the bi-fold door for toilets, let’s talk first about the basics of the bi-fold door and getting a good understanding of what it’s made of, it’s overall aftercare, its pros and cons and pricing.
- Composition– Bi-fold doors are different in a way that while most doors have a standard thickness of 4cm to 5cm, the bi-fold door is at least 3cm thick. This allows the doors to fold easily without putting too much strain on the track. It also helps balance out the weight of some doors that incorporate glass in their design. A very interesting thing to note about bi-fold doors is that they feature multiple locking points as well as top of the line hinges that make the bi-fold door secure and sturdy.
- Materials– Some of the most popular materials used in bi-fold doors include wood and aluminum; the latter due in part to its strength and lightweight composition. Some doors also have different types of glass incorporated in the design to give a more light and modern look. Some of these glasses include frosted, clear, tempered and tinted glass. On occasion, some glasses can also have designs etched into them.
Let’s talk about the Pros of the Bi-fold Doors
- Maintenance– While most doors require careful maintenance such as oiling the hinges and wiping the dust and mildew accumulated by the dampness of the room, this particular door does not complex maintenance and is generally easy to clean, either with a damp cloth or a soft detergent.
- Easy to Install– Many designers and suppliers will agree that the bi-fold door, especially toilet bi-fold doors, are quite easy to install. It’s best to consult an expert on these doors when installing however, as it requires precision when installing the track system and the door itself.
- Easy to Open– Because bi-fold doors simply fold out, it is quite easy to open without having to apply that much pressure, thanks primarily to the track system.
- Various Openings– the best thing about the bi-fold door is that you don’t necessarily have to open it all the way. You can open it to a certain point and still be able to move about.
Like with most things, there is also a downside to it. The bi-fold door is no exception. Here are a few cons about it.
- Lack of Space– while we did mention the bi-fold door for toilets to be the most efficient and favorable door for small spaces, one must not forget that the bi-fold door is made up of two frames of equal halves that could easily obstruct certain parts of the space and make it even smaller.
- Potential Leaks– Most doors have a threshold , which is located at the bottom, that help conceal gaps to prevent insects and pests and potential water leaks entering the room. However, the bi-fold door omits having this in order for it to work. This could lead to potential infestations and quite possibly, water leaks from your toilet and bath. Most designers often suggest having an elevated threshold or a slightly sloped flooring to prevent this.
- Pricing– It is expected that bi-fold doors are quite costly. Most bi-fold doors would range from $218 to $368. This is due in part of the materials being used in making the door such as glass, aluminum and wood; the manufacturing of the signature track system and hinge and installing the finish product. Another factor that contributes to the cost of the bi-fold door is the design and size. There are some who opt to have two pairs of bi-fold doors installed; others also prefer having intricately carved doors as their bi-folds, etc. As with most building elements, it is advisable to consult with a specialist as they can advise you on what materials can be used based on your budget, preference and overall size of the room’s space.
2. Popular Design Ideas for Bi-Fold Doors
Now that we’ve tackled on the basic of bi-fold doors, you are now ready to try out some of the most interesting and otherwise beautiful design ideas when installing your own door.
- Paneled Doors– You can never go wrong with a classic paneled door. This is ideal for classic to contemporary interiors. When making your paneled door, remember that size is very important. To give off the illusion of a narrow door, make the panels tall and slim in order to elongate it. You can also apply this if you plan to make multiple panels.
- Shutters– This bi-fold door for toilets is quite popular as it gives off a contemporary and modern feel. It also provides the needed ventilation and privacy. Some popular finishes for shutter type bi-fold door include white, natural oak, walnut and occasionally black.
- Glass– This classic look gives off a modern feel. Many homeowners and designers have an affinity for glass doors because of its somewhat breezy and soft look. This is often associated with the industrial and cosmopolitan style. This is often accompanied with a slim aluminum frame in either black, white or metallic finish or a wooden frame with the wood being either beech wood, oak, walnut and even teak. You can opt for frosted glass, tinted glass, clear glass and even two toned glass. You can even make your frame have interesting patterns cut like diamonds, scrolls and window panels.
- Whimsical Patterns– This is a good idea to try if you happen to have children. Instead of having boring plain doors, why not paint a pattern or a painting in your bi-fold door. You can paint interesting scenes or even bright patterns such as swirls, florals and even geometric shapes. You can use pastel colors such as light blue, pale yellow or mint greens; cool colors if you prefer having a calming effect. You can also use this technique if your toilet is located in the hallway. You can have your bi fold door made to look like an accent wall with interesting prints and designs. You can make it look like a metallic chevron, a fretwork art, stripes, etc.
- Dual Drama– Now if you are fortunate to have a much bigger bathroom, but still want to use the bi fold door, you can do so by installing two pairs to make a unique toilet folding door. This can add a lot of classy drama by creating a door akin to a French door.
- Checker Board Panels– Another unique design for doors is making a checker board panel. This can be achieve in two ways. One wherein one panel will have two colors and the other panel having a mirrored image of the other panel. You can also elongate the panels and make it look like a monochromatic paneled door. You can even combine wood and glass so that it would have both light and ventilation for your toilet
In conclusion, when deciding on having a bi-fold door for toilets made and installed, always consider the pros and cons and consult specialists. Always think of it as an invested piece that will last a good long time. And when it comes to designs, there is no limit to your imagination. You can also ask a designer to help design a unique door that can make your toilet and bath a worthwhile conversation starter.