Which Is Best, Sliding Patio Doors or French Doors?


Patio doors offer the perfect way to bring the beauty of your backyard into your home. They come in two distinct styles: sliding doors and French doors. Both are stunning additions to your home, and choosing one option over the other can be challenging. If you opt for sliding doors, you can get a free quote from Maverick Windows – try it now to see if it’s within your budget.

And if you’re on the fence and want to know which type of patio door to go for, this write-up has you in mind. Even so, to determine the best option, we need to evaluate the merits and demerits of each. That way, you can be the judge.

Sliding Patio Doors

As the name implies, these doors open and close using a sliding mechanism. They are great for tight spaces as they don’t require a lot of extra room to operate. Similarly, they come in either two- or three-panel configurations, making them a great choice for large openings.

Sliding patio doors typically feature large glass panels that slide open, allowing you to enjoy expansive views with minimal obstruction. Similarly, they are easy to open and close, making them ideal for busy people who need a convenient way to get in and out of their homes. Their integrated track supports the heavy panels, ensuring they glide smoothly.

If you need a space-saving design, a sliding patio door makes sense as it opens sideways. Some of the other upsides of such doors include:

  • Improved ventilation – you don’t have to completely slide the doors open to let in the much-needed fresh air. A slight crack is all you need to let in the breeze.
  • Versatility – they come in different sizes and styles, making it easier to give your home a unique look.
  • Thermal insulation – most sliding patio doors are insulated, making your interior more comfortable.
  • Letting in natural light – If you want to give your home an airy look and feel, sliding patio doors are the way to go.
  • Safety – while these doors got a bad rap in the past for their security, modern models feature multi-point locking systems that offer reliable protection against intruders. The use of safety or shatterproof glass also ensures your family’s safety.

However, sliding doors require regular maintenance. Their large glass panes and track need to be cleaned frequently as dirt can build up and cause problems with their operation. If this happens, you may need professional help to take care of the issue. That said, isn’t regular cleaning a small price compared to the expansive views and other benefits of installing these doors?

French Doors

Unlike sliding doors, French doors swing open and close. They sport two hinged glass panels that swing inward or outward, allowing you to enjoy a wide view of your backyard. They usually sport built-in blinds, giving you more control over the amount of light entering your living space.

French doors boast a timeless look thanks to their classic design. As such, you can incorporate them into your space as they straddle the divide between contemporary and traditional home designs.

They also offer an elegant touch to any space, whether you install them in your living room or as an outdoor entryway – to create a transition between spaces. You may also use them to replace standard entry doors or as an attractive alternative to exterior windows. If you opt for such doors, you can enjoy the following other benefits:

  • Enhanced privacy – with two hinged panels, they offer more privacy than sliding options. For instance, you can close one of the panels while the other remains slightly open, offering a view of your yard or garden.
  • Little maintenance is required – their design makes them easy to use and maintain.
  • Easy access – when fully open, they offer more space to move in and out of the home than sliding doors.

On the downside, they are not a great choice for tight spaces as they require extra room to open and close. In addition, you may need additional hardware or protection when using them in windy areas as the panels tend to swing – making the doors susceptible to damage.

Also, unlike sliding doors which offer unobstructed views, French doors have a frame running down the middle – offering a less-than-ideal view of the outside. Opting for a French patio door also implies contending with poor energy efficiency as their frames usually allow in more cold air than sliding doors. Even when closed, the center (where the frames join) can still let in the air – unlike a sliding door’s overlapping frame.

So, based on these differences, which type of patio door do you think is the best? As you ponder, remember that each option has its upsides and downsides. Plus, your needs should always dictate your choice. Hence, consider aesthetic appeal and practicality (form and function) to determine the ideal option.




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