Toilet Doors in Singapore (Bi-Fold Doors)
We didn’t opt for HDB’s OCS fittings and had to find our own bedroom and toilet doors in Singapore. The decision turned out to be good. We had the liberty to choose door designs that fit our theme, and not have doors that look like everybody else’s. More importantly, we could install the types of door we wanted – solid doors for bedrooms and bi-fold doors for toilets.
Different types of toilet door
We decided early on that we wanted bi-fold doors for our bathrooms. Perhaps that made the search easier. I know bi-fold door is an old school choice. It’s the kind of door you find in most old houses. So why didn’t we go for newer options like PD door, slide and swing, glass door, swing door, etc?
Let’s backtrack a little. In the very beginning, we simply wanted a foldable door. We stayed at a rented BTO that had all the OCS fittings, and the HDB swing doors are “huge” in relation to toilet size. Moreover, these doors swing inwards and I found it a squeeze to open the toilet door from the inside. I’m considered petite, by the way. With the swing area taking up so much space, one might need to rethink about the cabinet configuration and placement of sanitary fittings, such as towel holder.
Slide and Swing Door
Slide and swing door has always been known as the PD door to me. Later I found out that PD Door is also the name of the company that developed this door system. It’s like diapers being known as pampers. Nowadays, other than PD Door, there are other suppliers providing slide and swing doors. However, I suspect that the door mechanisms for these other suppliers might not be as good as the original.
Slide and swing door saves space like a simple foldable door. However, I’ve heard many stories of how guests would spoil the doors because they didn’t know how to open and close it, or thought it’s a foldable door. Sometimes, even the owners spoil the doors themselves too – forgetting that it’s a PD door or using too much strength. I assumed such door system might not be as strong as bi-fold or swing doors.
Fancy Foldable Door
I didn’t really want the “traditional” bi-fold doors. Hence, I went online, such as pinterest and door suppliers’ websites, for inspiration of fancy foldable doors. With reference to the photo below: I had preference for Solid Nyatoh/Timber Bifold with fixed open louvers (bottom right). Then a supplier told me that the wood is not good with water splashes and hence not ideal for bathrooms. So I looked at aluminium doors with open louvers (top right). The door design is nice but it is too expensive for our budget.
PVC Foam Bi-Fold Door
At HDB showroom: My Nice Home Gallery, we went to a showflat designed with safety features for elderly folks. That’s where we saw a bi-fold door with a handle (top left). Waterproof, foldable and the option to choose a pretty door skin to match our house’s design. It sheds off the “traditional look”, and yet remains functional.
I was searching high and low for this door because I didn’t know what it is call. Finally, I came to know it as the PVC Bi-Fold Foam Door. My search for suppliers became more refined and even so I barely managed to find two suppliers: Contat Decor and Ct5door.
Contat Decor’s Quotation as at May 2017:
- PVC Foam BiFold Door w/o Frame – 840mm x 2135mm = $420+GST
- PVC Foam BiFold Door w Frame – 840mm x 2135mm = $540+GST
We were not willing to fork out S$1000+ for toilet doors, and hence decided to settle for traditional bi-fold door. Perhaps we could get bi-fold doors with two panels instead of the usual four (bottom left). At least the door will look a little more modern and sleek.
About Aluminium Bi-Fold Doors
While we were at YongTat and Siong Door looking at bedroom doors, we checked out their bi-fold door options. Limited designs, and prices were also on the high side. Hence, we looked around for other suppliers and shortlisted Ministry of Door and Doctor Doors.
I didn’t know there were so many combinations of aluminium bi-fold door available. Here are a few specifications to customise your bi-fold door:
1. Door pattern
You can choose 2, 4, or 6 panels and decide if you want them to be evenly divided into rectangles, or unevenly into rectangles and squares, or in diagonals. The more panels you choose, the sturdier the door is.
2. Colours for the panels and frame
You can go for a monotone palette or mix and match different colours for individual panels. Moreover, you can choose a white or dark brown frame to match.
Ministry of doors is quite a popular choice for bi-fold doors because of their wide variety of designs. Other than plain colours, you can choose prints for your door. According to them, “they have proprietary printing technology that makes their panel the highest resolution printed panel with 3 or 5 years color warranty in the market”.
3. Types of Track
There are two types of track system: Door that comes in top hung track with roller or with top and bottom track. The former is more expensive than the common latter. This is probably due to the need for a stronger mechanism to hold the door only from the top.
We wanted to go for Ministry of Doors because of their design and printing technology. However, after a couple of WhatsApp messages replying standard questions, they went silent when we asked for further details. It’s the same cold response when we used different numbers. So we wanted to go to their showroom to see the samples and talk to them. However, they are only open on weekdays, not even a Saturday morning. This was inconvenient for us and so we gave them a miss.
We ended up choosing Doctor Doors (“DD”) but ironically, we also didn’t go to DD’s showroom. Their location was too far for us. We went ahead this time round because we saw our neighbour’s bi-fold door from them, and felt assured from their experience. Hence, we simply told Doctor Doors what we want over WhatsApp and they were quick in arranging the dates for measurement and installation.
Note: Doctor Doors is invoiced under the company “Combi Door Pte Ltd”, which has also another brand name. This is according to the worker who came to measure.
Specifications for our Toilet Doors
We chose top hung track even though DD told us that it’s not as lasting as the top and bottom. We considered our baby who would one day be crawling. Fast forward to present, she’s crawling now and it was a good choice. The bottom track might have cut her as she tried to crawl into the toilet. Moreover, without a bottom track, there’s less likelihood of us tripping over. Aesthetics wise, top hung looks better to us.
Doctor Doors advised us to get 4 panes because 2 panes are not as durable, especially for top hung doors. They suggested the standard 4 rectangles, saying that’s the most durable.
Isn’t this the typical bi-fold door I’ve been trying to avoid?! Now I know why so many households ended up with this, because it’s relatively more durable and cost effective among the other door patterns.
In order to blend these “traditional” bi-fold doors into our house, I tried to make them inconspicuous. Hence, the all-white panels and frame. However, I didn’t expect the rubber at the back of the door to be black. So when the door is open, the black lining is unsightly. And most of the time, the doors are open. -.-
Price and Installation Process
As at 8 June 2017, we were quoted S$240 for one bi-fold door with top roller, and thus S$480 for two. DD will only come to measure upon order confirmation.
After we placed our order with DD, they came down two days later to measure and collect 90% deposit, S$430. This percentage is their standard practice but on hindsight, I thought it’s quite ridiculous. We should have negotiated for a 50% deposit instead. You never know with renovation contractors these days.
The installation took place on another day and it took about 1-2 hours. They cleaned up the debris after installation. The whole ordering and installation process was quite fuss free.
So How Are The Toilet Doors?
We specifically had DD confirmed that the door’s lock is white over WhatsApp. However, we forgot to have them write it down in the order form. Thank goodness, they were willing to change the black locks into white without extra charge. However, the locks look a bit dirtied, scratched and off white. Better than nothing, if not, I have to live with the unsightly locks, along with the rubber lining!
Then, there’s the problem with the closing of the common toilet door. It rolls smoothly to a close, almost. As I tried to close it completely, I have to use the other hand to adjust the door to fit the frame. A few guests even thought my door was spoilt because they couldn’t close it with one hand, like everyone always do. DD said that it’s because the door is too big and thus the misalignment. Then why didn’t they tell us when they came to measure?!
Other than that, the doors are still in good working condition after half a year. And they are really functional – space saving and water resistant. So did it bother me that I didn’t get my fancy toilet doors? Nope, after a while these toilet doors sort of blended in and our house still look pretty! 🙂
If you are looking at bedroom doors as well, head over to my post: “Bedroom Doors in Singapore” Have fun!