What blinds are best for bi-fold doors?

If you’ve recently extended your home, or follow any interior design/homebuilding trends you can’t have missed the fact that bifold doors are the go-to type of window for practically any home nowadays. With black or grey frames, these huge pains of glass let the light flood in, give your kitchen/ extension the feeling of space and generally as they cover the whole of the back of a house they help to open up access to the garden. That is why these would be excellent blinds to use in the kitchen. Not only are they a practical way of letting in lots of light to your home or new extension, but they also look great in a home. Adding a set of bi-folds to the back of your home helps to open the house out into the garden, and if you’re lucky on a warm summers day you get the full benefit of having them.


But, and it’s a big but, how do you cover such large windows? Curtains don’t fit in with such a modern and stylish window and frame. So it’s down to blinds to take up the job of covering your new bifold doors. Where these doors stack onto each other you can’t really install blinds onto the doors if they stick out, but with our perfect fit blinds, you’ll be able to install slimline blinds into the frame.


What are our options?


So firstly we need to see if the doors open outwards or inwards. Generally, most bi-folds stack together at the side of your opening and stack onto each other. If they fold outwards into the garden then we have access to the inside recess either side of the windows. This is great as we can install blinds into the top of the window recess or into either side as this space is not being taken up by the window.


If they open inwards then we need to consider installing them onto the face of the lintel above the window. This is not a bad option as they are kept up and out of the way, although it will prevent you from installing vertical blinds over the bifold doors. This option is also what we would recommend if you have a sliding patio or bifold doors. You’ve only got the option to install outside of the recess to still allow the doors to open.


So looking at the image below we have highlights where to install your blinds. The top yellow line is where you would install outside of the recess and onto the face of the lintel. The two yellow squares on the left and right side of the window is where you would install inside the recess, but you would need to install a central bracket in the middle to support the other end of the blinds. A window this size would need to be split into 2 roller blinds minimum. 


Roller Blinds for bifold doors


So if you’re looking for roller blinds, you’ll need to first check the width of your doors – most fabrics and blinds can be made up to 300cm wide, so you can get away with 2x roller blinds on a 6m wide set of doors. This is great as you can then choose to have the control chains on the left and right of each blind out of the way. Once you start splitting a set of bifold doors into 3x blinds you’ll have the issue of a control chain dangling in the middle of your opening – not the best!

If you’ve got a width of over 6m then firstly lucky you! But we could advise you look at vertical blinds as we can make these up to 3m wide, so two of these with controls at either end could span a gap of 6m! That’s some serious glass.

In terms of fabric, dimout blinds are generally fine as bi-folds come off the back of a house where privacy is still required, but you won’t be needing to fully block the light with blackout roller blinds.


Venetian Blinds for bifold doors


Venetians are slightly trickier as an option only because with a maximum width of 240cm wide, you can’t cover such a wide gap between them. That and the weight of the blinds mean that if you’re using this set of doors repeatedly, the constant raising and lowering might become a bit of a chore. What you’ll also need to bear in mind is that these blinds, unlike rollers, have a stack height. That is whereas you pull the blind up, the slats will layer up and add considerable depth to the blind. So a wooden blind that is 200cm long will have a rough stack height of 23cm. So if you were installing these inside of the recess, you’ll have 23cm of blind stacked at the top of your window. With a roller blind, the fabric goes around the tube so your maximum depth of that blind inside a recess is about 8cm-  much more compact and out of the way. Obviously, we’re not saying don’t order wooden blinds for a bifold door – but it’s something to consider.


Vertical Blinds for bifold doors


As mentioned earlier, these are a great option for really wide bifold doors as the track that vertical blinds run along can be made up to 3m wide! That will give you up to 6m of coverage. With verticals, you can have the fabric stack (bunch) either on the left, right or split down the middle and collect evenly at either end. With this you can also put the controls on either the left or right, giving you the option to keep them out of the way. With vertical blinds, you get the flexibility to angle them to let more or less light in, which means you can simply swivel the fabric to the open position instead of having to fully open the blind.


Perfect Fit for bifold doors


Quite probably our favourite type of blind for bi-folds, these are thin profile blinds that clip onto the window itself, 4 brackets sit between the rubber beading and the glass and then a frame housing the aluminium slats clips onto these. You can then tilt and angle the blinds as required and lift them up and down by their handle. This is the smartest option in our opinion, but one thing to note is that the frame of the Perfect Fit blinds will protrude slightly from the frame so they might not fold fully flat as before. This won’t damage the blinds, and in reality, across a whole opening, missing a few centimetres off the opening doesn’t make a massive difference. These blinds are also great for patio doors and UPVC windows – so think conservatory windows too.