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Question DetailsAsked on 7/12/2013

Bi-fold pull placement-what is the best practice?

Just had a bi-fold closet door installed. The contractor put the pulls in a normal door handle position . The doors were so hard to open, the handles fell out. He said he needed to put thru bolts on because he concluded that was the problem. The doors still don't open without a lot of "doing". Are the pulls just in the wrong position?

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5 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Not sure what you mean by normal door handle position - the pulls should be at standard door handle height, but mounts in or right nexdt to the folding seam in the center of the bifold - so the "pull" itself is just at the hinge-edge, preferably on the panel the pivot pins are on.

I am guessing yours looks like this link -

Open MUCH easier mounted like this -

or this (opening toward left)

Some people like mounting on the second panel (the one away from the pins) because your finger tips don't go into the hinge if you push it closed using the xxxx .

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Thank you LCD. What I should have said is handles are furthest from the pivot point. So when you try to pull straight on, the door remains in the flat/closed position not wanting to open. If you pull angling your hand so that it is opposite of where the door folds in on itself while pushing, you can force it open. The pulls are not near the center or middle of either panel. See linked picture.


Answered 7 years ago by Guest_91897621


As I thought - in that location, the pull is acting to close rather than open the hinge because it is pulling the "free" panel so the hinge wants to close, not open. The point of pull needs to be AT LEAST half way to the hinge from the "free" edge to even start to exert an opening rather than closing pull, and should be close to the hinge to make it easy to open, but not so close you catch your fingers in the closing panels.

I tried to find a picture of the classic bi-fold door pull but knobs seem to the be the "in" thing right now. Usually you use a much smaller xxxx (looks more like a drawer xxxx ) that has a through-bolt or screw that goes all the way through the door - called a Direct Pull Doorknob or Bifold/cabinet/wardrobe Pull (use that phrase at Amazon to see what they look like - same as used on cabinet and bureau doors and drawers), so it does not stick out so far when the door is open.

The traditional handle, which I cannot find correct terminology for (the pull we have) is a metal finger-hook pull-tab that mounts on the hinge-edge of the door, and sticks out a couple of inches from the door - looks similar to a sliding screen door handle, or can be a recessed pocket handle recessed in the door like a pocket door pull, except has a finger recess so you can put some pull outward on it.

Anyway, this is where the knobs should be -

smaller one are preferred because that way you don't get hip-bumped so often going through them. Mounted on the "free-edge" door like shown in the image makes them a hip-bumper when you open the door; if you mount them at the hinge edge on the pivot-edge door you avoid that but if you push on the xxxx to close the door with the hand closest to that side you are much more likely to get a finger caught in the hinged panels closing. I can't find anything in the uniform building code about one placement over the other, but if the code covers it I would say putting it so finger pinches are less likely (like in the image) would be the preferred one from a code compliance standpoint, not that a home inspector would be likely to catch something like that anyway.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Have to thank you for your time and input. This was EXTREMELY helpful...

Answered 7 years ago by Guest_91897621


Funny thing - I don't know why, but Angie's List evidently thinks the word K . N . O . B . is a cuss word. Anyway, that is that the xxxx word was, as you probably figured out.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


It goes at standard height (36" off floor) in the MIDDLE of the leading door. As a carpenter since 1979, I see these knobs misplaced so often. It just irks the daylights out of me to see them misplaced.

Answered 5 years ago by BobSmockus

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