What Are Traffic Doors?

One element that some people miss when they install bifold doors is having a traditionally opening door, or a ‘traffic door’. Some bifold configurations include traffic doors, others don’t. But there’s no reason you can’t have a traffic door with your bifold door configuration if you plan for it.

With traffic doors you can truly have your cake and eat it too with both a sleek looking set of bi-fold doors as well as a conventionally opening door. 

Let’s dive into exactly what they are and how they work.

What Are Traffic Doors?

In your configuration of aluminium bifold doors, the traffic door is basically an every-day door built into the aluminium door system – it can be opened independently from the other folding doors.

NOW Aluminium Traffic Doors

In essence, it allows you to use a door for access inside and out, without needing to open any of the other doors at the same time.

As an example in the above photo, the bifold door is a 3-part with a traffic door on the left. This traffic door can be used independently as a normal back door, without having to open the other two panels at the same time. When you do want to open the whole door, it simply slides away with the other doors.

A traffic door can be either hinged to the end of the door-frame, or attached to the end of a row of sliding doors.

Do I Need Traffic Doors?

Traffic doors are great when you’re looking for the functionality of a conventional door without losing the aesthetics of a beautiful set of bifold doors. 

For example, in winter you may not want to be opening more than one door every time you want to go outside as it would unnecessarily bring in a cold. But a traffic door means you can quickly pop in and out, like with a normal back door.

But as the weather gets warmer, your traffic door can connect with your bifold doors to open up fully. It truly is a best of both worlds option.

Are Traffic Doors Secure?

NOW Aluminium traffic doors are 100% secure. We only use top of the line locking systems with all products we sell and we ensure that our traffic doors are just as secure as all our aluminium bi-fold doors.

A bifold door with a traffic door, is no less secure than one without a traffic door. The only difference is you wouldn’t have a traditional lever/lever handle in a configuration without a traffic door.

Why You Might Not Need a Traffic Door?

If you have a kitchen door or a back door providing access to the outside of the house, separate from your bifold door, then often there is no need for a traffic door. The bifolds can either be left fully closed or fully open as and when the situation dictates, because your other doors are for general access (rather than the bifold door). 

The more traditional door can be used as the passageway in and out of the property and your bifold doors can simply be for looking out into your garden on a beautiful winter’s day.

While our traffic doors are designed to integrate as seamlessly as possible with your set of bifold doors, some customers just prefer how their doors look without an added traffic door. And in situations like this, it’s really down to personal preference.

Understanding configurations with and without traffic doors

The principle as to whether your chosen bifold door configuration will have a traffic door or not is a simple one, but can sometimes we hard to get your head around at first.

The principle is: only configurations with an odd amount of doors sliding one way can have a traffic door.

The above principle means that any bifold door with a total that is an odd number, will automatically have a traffic door.

To further illustrate this, please see the below examples:

3-part bifold door (303), all 3 sliding to the left, 0 going to the right:

3 part bifolding door by NOW Aluminium

In this configuration, the total number of doors is odd (3), so it will always have a traffic door no matter the configuration.

4-part bifold door (422), 2 sliding to the left, 2 sliding to the right:

4 part bifolding door

This door can’t have a traffic door, as the 2 doors sliding either way are even.

4-part bifold door (413), 1 door on the left, 3 sliding to the right:

4 part bifold door

In this configuration, despite the total number being even, we have got an odd number of doors on each side, meaning you could have your traffic door on either the left as one door, or on the right as part of the 3. In this example, it is on the left.


If you’re looking for some added flexibility with your bifold doors then traffic doors may be a fantastic option for you.

For more information, why not get in touch with our team today – alternatively, you can specify a traffic door in our supply only trade bifolds and supply only residential bifolds online configurator where you can receive an online quote in seconds!