What’s the Difference Between French Doors and Patio Doors?
French doors or sliding patio doors, which should you choose?
There is a wide variety of patio doors in the market today, but the two most prominent ones are French patio doors and sliding patio doors.
The best approach when choosing the most appropriate one for your home is to bear in mind your personal needs and preferences.
Though both French doors and sliding doors come in varying sizes, there are notable differences as explained below.
Differences in design
Also known as swinging patio doors, French patio doors open inwards or outwards from the centre. An open French door allows for maximum access to the entire width of the opening. Their intricate details make them a favourite for properties that have a traditional architectural style. French doors have a wider door frame as compared to gliding patio doors
On the other hand, sliding patio doors also referred to as gliding doors are slid open or closed as the name suggests. Most sliding doors come with a sliding screen door giving you the option of leaving your door open without worrying about annoying bugs.
Because of their design, sliding doors in openings which are big enough for only 2 panels, as compared to their French counterparts, will only offer about 50% of the opening for access to the outside.
This reduced access is due to the fact that the doors need to slide past each other in the frame and only one side can be fully open at a time.
Which other factors should I consider while choosing between the two?
Most people work on a budget, therefore you have to factor in the element of cost while making most purchases. The costs of these doors vary depending on the area of your door opening.
But if you look at the cost per square meter, then the sliding door is usually a little cheaper when compared to a French door set.
Because these doors access the outside of your house, you should ensure that they are enhanced with extra security features. On the sliding doors, make sure they have anti-lift devices & multi locks to prevent them being levered open & anti-bump or snap 3 lever lock cylinders to prevent forceful entry.
For French doors, go for one with 3 to 5 locking points. Cover splines are highly recommended to cover the gap where the doors meet in the centre, usually the weakest point.
There are other factors to consider such as the thermal efficiency of the doors. As with such a large area of glass, the last thing want is all your heat leaking out or cold coming in though the glazing.
Low-e oxide coated glass is good for energy efficiency, as are 20mm gap double glazed (or even triple glazed) sections. The use of an inert gas, such as Argon, within the sealed glazed units is another method of increasing the overall energy rating of the doors.
Whichever way you go you cannot go wrong with either French or Sliding patio doors as they allow the maximum amount of natural light into your home.
The answer lies within your needs, preferences, and budget. Good luck as you pick the most appropriate one for you.