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Bi-fold doors are manufactured in a variety of styles and wood types, and though typecast as closet doors, many beautiful applications for bi-fold doors can be done. For instance, French (glass) bi-fold doors may be used to highlight the separation of a study, dining area, library, or den from a surrounding room or area. This makes for a break with clean straight lines which causes a visually stunning effect when combined with the changing shades of light shining through the glass. If privacy is needed you may want to use solid panel bi-fold doors.
When installing a bi-fold door unit special track and hardware must be used. The width of a single panel used in a bifold door is commonly 12”- 18”. This results in a lighter panel that can be hinged together with another panel by using surface mount hinges. Surface mount hinges are just as billed, no mortising required.
For the heaviest doors, those of 1 ¾” thickness, we recommend our highest grade of bi-fold hardware made for heavy duty applications. The bi-fold unit hangs from a track and is attached by hangers. When calculating the opening size needed, you must take into consideration that depending on the type of track and hardware used, additional inches must be added to the door height for the unit to function properly.
I recommend that you select the track and hardware that you will be used for installation first and then study the directions to make sure that you get the correct height unit for your door opening. Todays bi-fold track and hardware is far superior to what you remember constantly squeaking, jambing, and falling off the track at your grandpa’s house. The advancement of track and hardware development over the years make the operation of a bifold door unit as smooth and quiet five years from now as it is today.
Our 111FD Track & Hardware is similar to the 100FD Series except uses a compact 111 track, and is designed for lighter weight doors. Surface mounted pivots and hangers, no hole drilling required. Positive pivot locks securely hold door panels in place and are fully adjustable. Hangers feature a quick disconnect clip system facilitating easy mounting or dismounting of door panels and are height adjustable in case of settling. Shock absorbing hinges self locate and automatically align doors. Heavy (14 / 16 gauge) zinc dichromate plated steel parts. Track can be cut down to fit any smaller size opening.
Our 100FD Track & Hardware is a commercial or residential grade folding door hardware system designed for use with heavier than normal doors. Patented “tricycle” hangers with large ball bearing wheels, ride smoothly and quietly on convex shaped rails with precision single point contact. Hangers feature a quick disconnect clip system facilitating easy mounting or dismounting of door panels. 14 / 16 gauge zinc dichromate plated steel parts.
The 200FD Track & Hardware is one of the finest commercial grade folding door systems made. Ideal for commercial and architectural applications where smooth, trouble-free operation and long life is a necessity. The heavy duty extruded aluminum I-beam track is made to the most precise specifications, and the large four nylon wheeled ball-bearing hangers are manufactured with Johnson’s lifetime warranty in mind. Heavy-duty pivots and pivot guides are designed to hold heavy bi-folding door panels firmly in place and are completely adjustable. Heavy gauge steel components are zinc plated for a quality appearance. Hinges not included.
The first mention of bi-fold doors that I could find goes back to the dedication of the Temple of Solomon around 953 BC. As you can see, quite a few centuries passed between this historical reference and the following. A noted architect said that closets have not been the same since the 1950′s. He said that the minute the bi-fold door was invented, closets got smaller, and the walk-in closet disappeared. It is hard to determine when bifold doors first gained acceptance and popularity within the scope of modern architecture, although I believe it was sometime after closets became a fixture in living design.