What Is the Difference Between French Doors and Patio Doors?

Patio doors come in a huge variety of styles, but the most common are exterior French doors and sliding patio doors. Both options have a lot to offer; so, when it comes to comparing French and sliding patio doors, the best way to determine the right door for your apartment is to consider your needs, preferences, and the specifics of your home.

To help you choose the right patio door for your home, we’ll bring up the pros and cons of each door style so you can make an informed decision.

French Doors

This kind of door adds noble lightness and a special charm to the interior. What are the advantages of French-style doors?

  • Distinctive style. French doors give a more classic vibe, especially doors with small sections. Due to their sophisticated appearance, French doors are more commonly used in homes with traditional architectural styles.
  • Design feature. French doors are a translucent structure, in which the base combines the function of a window and a door. It is the presence of the passage (doors) that distinguishes French doors from panoramic patio doors.
  • Opening mechanism. Unlike traditional hinged doors, French doors do not recommend opening into a room. With this approach, you save space and promote a smooth flow into and out of the house.
  • Installation. Panoramic French doors (in the classical sense) are installed in houses on the ground floor or in apartments with a balcony. In cottages, such doors serve as a passage through which you can enter the courtyard, terrace, patio, winter garden, veranda, or pool.

These characteristics of French doors determine the appearance of different types based on:

Design features:

  • One-piece structures (a distinctive feature is the absence of partitions in the window frame)
  • Sectional structures (dividing door partitions gives it a more durable look and more rigidity to the whole structure)

Glass design:

  • Transparent
  • Matte
  • Stained glass

Patio Doors

For the most part, this door system is successful due to its convenient design, original construction, and ergonomics.

Among the distinctive features of sliding patio doors are:

  • Panoramic overview. There is a possibility to manufacture larger patio doors than those with a standard opening.
  • Maximum natural light. Due to the larger glazing area in one structure, your home will be filled with more light, which will emphasize its style and interior design.
  • The sliding opening mechanism saves space in the interior.
  • Safety and tightness. It is possible to install modern anti-burglary systems, reinforced fittings, alarms, magnetic sensors, and video surveillance for this door design.

Patio doors, like French doors, can be made of various materials: metal, plastic, wood, combined, and composite materials. Both of them can have a square or rectangular shape and a different opening mechanism. But when it comes to door durability, traditional hinged units can be far less unreliable than their sliding counterparts.

As you have noticed, there is plenty to choose from. Such a variety of types of French and sliding patio doors is due to their advantages and market demand. While they both have many benefits from installation, the main difference between these types of doors is their opening mechanism.