How to decide: sliding patio doors vs French doors

Choosing new glazed doors for your home? As a leading glazed door supplier and installer, our customers often ask for our advice on which type of door is best. 

In this article, we’ll look at the difference between patio doors and French doors before weighing up the advantages of each option.


Types of glazed patio doors 

Glazed doors are available in a variety of designs, with two of the most common types being French doors and sliding patio doors. 

While both types of door have a lot to offer, each has its pros and cons. Comparing sliding patio doors vs French doors will help you determine which is the right choice for your home.

What’s the difference between patio doors and French doors?

When it comes to patio doors vs French doors, there are a few keys differences:

What are French doors?

Opening: French doors are hinged and can either open inward, into your home, or outward onto your terrace or garden. The decision on which way they open is down to personal preference as well as the available space.

Configuration: French doors are a symmetrical pair. They have a primary door and a ‘slave’ door that can be fixed shut. This means that you have the flexibility to have just one side open, instead of both.

Style: French doors have a more classical appearance. You can accessorise your French doors with a range of different handle styles. They tend to be suited to period homes and properties that have a traditional architectural style.

Effect: French doors will open up your space beautifully, making your room feel airy.

Options: French doors are available in a range of materials, finishes and colour options.

Our team is happy to talk you through our range of French doors. With years of experience in installation, we can offer guidance on important technical details including threshold heights. Click here to view more information about our bespoke French doors 


What are patio doors?

Opening: Sliding patio doors are Installed with a sleek runner mechanism. They are an ideal solution for homes with limited space. Sliding patio doors open neatly in line with the wall of your home (whereas French doors need an area of ‘clearance’).

Configuration: Sliding patio doors can have a 2-6 pane configuration, depending on look and size of opening. On sunny autumn or spring days, you have the option of opening your sliding patio doors just a little to let in a cool breeze.

Style: If your home has a modern, minimalist style, then sliding patio doors tend to be the better option. 

Effect: As well as thinner frames, they also have less distracting and obvious door handles.

Options: Sliding doors are available in a range of materials, colours and finishes.

Our sliding patio doors are available in aluminium, PVC-U and timber. When you choose us to install your sliding patio doors, we will provide you with everything you need. Click here to discover our stylish range of sliding patio doors.

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Choosing between sliding patio doors vs French doors

Now that we’ve established the difference between patio doors and French doors,it comes down to your preferences. These four considerations could determine which type of doors are best for your home: 

1. Think about the natural light 

Sliding glass doors typically have a slimmer frame, so they will allow more natural daylight to flood into your home.

2. Consider your view

Sliding patio door frames have minimal sightlines and can provide an unbroken view, whereas French doors consist of two panels with thicker frames, split in the centre. 

3. What style is your home?

The wider, heavier frame of a French patio door has a more traditional appearance, which may be more in keeping with an older style property. Sliding patio doors are a neater choice. The panels of the door slide over each other, along the same plane as your wall. When open, this creates a minimal look with a more modern appeal which is ideal for contemporary homes.

4. Practicality and space

Because of the way they open, sliding patio doors require less space than French doors.  Sliding doors are ideal for homes where space is at a premium, whereas French exterior doors will need significantly more space. Both our French doors and our sliding patio doors offer durability, robust security and energy efficiency, so from that perspective either is a great choice.


Trust us with your patio door replacement

Here at Benchmark, our door specialists are on hand to guide you. We can provide you with advice, to help you decide between patio doors vs French doors for your home. Or perhaps you’ll opt for our popular sliding, folding doors.

We welcome you to view our extensive range of doors, windows and conservatories at our Lancing showroom. Alternatively, please get in touch with a member of our team today on 01903 334145. We look forward to hearing from you.

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