How to lock a bifold door

Updated February 21, 2017

Bifold doors are often used for wardrobes and pantries. They are a space-saving solution in areas where swinging doors would require too much clearance space. These doors are available in single or paired units, and are often left unlocked. Some homeowners may decide to lock bifold units to keep children or other family members from accessing their contents. Whether you need a simple childproof lock or a more long-term solution, there are a number of ways to lock these doors using basic tools and equipment.

Childproof locks

Use simple zip-tie child locks to keep kids out of a space closed with bifold doors. Wrap each loop of the lock around one of the knobs or handles, then press the two loops together to zip them up and lock the door. Press the lock release to open the door.

Consider top-mounting child locks to lock single or double doors. These units slip over the folding portion of the door and prevent it from opening. To install a top-mounting lock, open the door and place the lock on top of one side. Close the door and slide the lock over to cover the door's folding section. Slide the lock off of the folding section when you want to unlock the door, and slide it back on to relock. Some units have integral wands to help users who cannot reach the door of the opening.

Create additional clearance space for top-mounted locks if needed. These locks require about 3 mm (1/8 inch) of space between the top of the door and the frame. Look for the adjustment screw or nut at the bottom of the door (near the pivots). Turn this screw or nut to raise or lower the doors.

Bolts and keyed locks

Use surface bolts at the top of each leaf of a bifold door to add more security. These bolts are screwed to the face of the door near the edge that is farthest from the hinge or pivots. The strike for the bolts is installed on the frame or the wall above each door. Users can slide the bolts up and down to lock and unlock the door. Look for extended bolts for shorter users.

Cut out a section of the door casing or trim using a hacksaw as needed to accommodate these surface bolts. You may also shim the bolts away from the door using a piece of timber.

Add a hinged hasp lock between two leaves on a pair of bifold doors. These locks are keyed to provide a high level of security for bifold units. One end of the lock is installed on the face of one unit, while the other end is installed on the face of the other unit. The hinge between the two lock sections will flex with the bifolds, but will prevent them from being opened without the key.

Use a padlock to secure single bifolds. Install a hasp so that one end sits on one side of the folding section and one sits on the other. The lock body itself should cover the folding portion of the lock. Insert a padlock through the hasp to keep the door locked except when opened with a key.

Things You'll Need

  • Bifold door lock
  • Surface bolts
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Hacksaw
  • Barrel bold
  • Hook or padlock
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.