What’s the difference between sliding doors and folding doors?

When it comes to industrial doors, there’s a wide range to choose from. From roller doors, sliding doors, sectional doors and high-speed doors, there’s definitely a door for every need and situation.

But most industrial doors fall into one of two categories: sliding or folding. What’s the difference? In this post, we’ll discuss sliding and folding doors and also tell you about their advantages.

What are sliding doors?

Sliding doors operate as their name suggests – they open by sliding across. They’re usually fixed onto a rail or a track that keeps them in place. When you need to open the door, you just slide it across, or if the door is large, then there will usually be an automated system that will let you open the door at the touch of a button.

Sliding doors come in two varieties: horizontal sliding doors and vertical sliding doors. The horizontal kind open by sliding either left or right while the vertical variety open by sliding upwards.

What are folding doors?

Folding doors, unlike sliding doors, open and close in a concertina, fan-like fashion. This means that when they’re open, they look like any other door, but when closed, they can be folded away into a very small space.

Folding doors are usually made from aluminium or steel sections, with optional glazing sections that can let light through or let customers see the products inside.

If you do choose a folding door, then you’ll also get to choose between a single stack or bi-folding doors. With a single stack, the door simply folds all the way to one side. With bi-folding, there are two doors that are split centrally and fold to both sides. Whichever you choose, sliding doors are an excellent solution.

What are the advantages of sliding and folding doors?

Sliding and folding doors have several advantages over other types of doors. Read on to find out what they are.

  • Space. First of all, both sliding doors and folding doors are great solutions when space is limited. That’s because they both take up so little space. This is in contrast to swing doors, for example, that need to swing open and therefore require a lot of free space.
  • Low maintenance. Another advantage of sliding and folding doors is that they require minimal maintenance. This is thanks to the fact that they have few moving parts. While both sliding and folding doors can operate smoothly for years, folding doors hold a slight advantage here as there is no need for a roller door housing.
  • Safety. Sliding and folding doors are a very safe type of door because the open to the side rather than outwards. This means there’s less chance of a vehicle getting hit by the door.


Here at Norton, we have doors with a variety of fixtures and operations to suit all your business requirements. No matter what size door you need, we have sliding and folding doors to fit any size opening. So whatever type of door you need, Norton is here for you.