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Comparing Sliding & French Patio Doors

25 January 2021

Determining the configuration of your deck or patio door frequently becomes a showdown between sliding doors or French doors, which are manufactured with hinges.  By default, neither is better than the other.  However, taking the time to understand the characteristics, pros, and cons of each ensure that your final selection is one that you enjoy for the foreseeable future.  Here’s what you need to know!

infinity Inswing French, Double Hung

Space Considerations: The format of a room should be heavily considered prior to committing to a door style.  The closer in proximity the door is to furniture or other potential obstructions, the more it makes sense to opt for a sliding glass door over a French door.   However, French doors prove advantageous open wider and are ideal for scenarios where there’s a high frequency of guests continually making their way outdoors during parties.  French doors also create an opportunity for large furniture to be moved indoors and outdoors.  However, this layout commands more square footage to open and close.

Marvin French DoorDesign Deliberations: Both sliding and French doors permit an ample amount of natural light to enter a home.  However, the narrower frame of a sliding glass door allows more daylight to enter, while also allowing for expanded outdoor views.  Many interior designers steer homeowners towards French doors in historic homes because they tend to mesh better with this architectural style.  Both types of doors can be used in modern spaces, as the color and hardware dictate the vibe they provide.

Ventilation: Both types of doors are lauded for their ventilation properties.  Sliding doors absent of screens, do edge out French doors in terms of ventilation.  However, without screens, there is a high probability that insects will find their way indoors.

Price: The manufacturer, material, size, glass pack, and hardware all influence the cost of French and gliding doors.  However, when similar combinations are used, French doors tend to cost slightly more than sliding doors.

Weather Considerations: French doors also slam shut easier in heavy winds than sliding patio doors do.  French doors that swing out should be used with common in climates that experience heavy rain and snow, as this could allow heavy moisture to be inadvertently introduced indoors.

Infinity Inswing French Door

Ease of Use: Although they have a larger threshold, sliding glass doors are easier to operate.  The door is located on a track, requiring the user to step over it to enter or exit a room.  If a homeowner opts to swap out a sliding door for a French door, they should be advised that the threshold difference can influence the flooring already in place.

Watch a Twin Cities Sliding Patio Door Be Installed by the Craftsmen at Lindus Construction: 

Maintenance: Because of their frequent use, there is potential for the sliding mechanism of a glider door to come off the track or become stuck.  This is why it is advised that homeowners steer away from doors in the builder grade class.  Distracted guests and excitable pets can also run into the screen, bending it.  These factors give French doors a slight edge when it comes to maintenance.  The biggest areas homeowners should keep an eye on for maintenance are the hinges and the trim around the glass.

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