Sliding vs. French Patio Doors: What to Choose?

Patio doors play an important role in improving a home’s overall value, seamlessly connecting indoor and outdoor spaces without compromising insulation and security. They can come in a variety of designs but they come in two main styles: sliding and French doors. Patio doors are available in a variety of styles, but two of the most popular options are sliding and French doors. Which one should you choose? Let’s find out.


The Sliding Patio Door

This patio door is characterized by one or two large panels that operate by sliding on rollers along a track. These panels are mostly comprised of glass areas but may be divided into smaller sections with grilles or muntins.


  • Ease of operation. As sliding patio doors use rollers on tracks, they are very easy to operate, requiring no more than a gentle nudge to move. The entire weight of the moving panel is supported by the track so you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to open or close sliding patio doors.


  • Space-saving. Because there are no panels that swivel in or out, the sliding patio door does not need a lot of space to be fully opened. This makes it an ideal option for homes with smaller spaces near entrances. A French patio door requires clearance to open, whether it swings in or out, so it can only be used in areas with free space around doorways.

The French Patio Door

French patio doors feature a pair of moving panels that swing inward or outward depending on where its hinges are placed. Because of their more intricate appearance, they are more commonly used in homes with more traditional architectural styles, but they can complement modern home styles as well without problem.


  • Ease of Access. Remember the space-saving advantages of sliding door I told you earlier? It’s not a complete loss for the French door. While it may require some clearance for its panels to fully open, a French door can open as wide as its entire width. Sliding doors can only slide to the left or right as much as their frames would allow them. French doors may need space but they make full use of what they are given.


  • Ventilation. As it opens fully, a French door allows you excellent ventilation. With both door panels operable, you can open your French door however way you want so you can let in as much or as little breeze you want. If you’re worried about insects and other pests, you can have a screen door installed. This will keep vermin out of your home without impeding air flow.


What to choose?

Both sliding and French patio doors have a lot to offer. The best way to decide on what will be best for your home is to consider your needs and preferences. Don’t hesitate to talk to your local contractor. Given their expertise, they will be able to offer you valuable insight on whether a sliding or French patio door will be most suitable for you.

Author Bio:

Will Johnson is a general home improvement professional for Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey-Metro New York, backed by over 10 years of experience in door repairs and installations. When he’s not contributing to the company blog, he enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring trails on his bike.


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