French vs. Sliding Doors

Bedroom with sliding doors

When you’re looking to add a door with glass panes to your home, you’ll find that a lot goes into making the right decision. French and sliding doors are both great options with several benefits in common, including more natural light in the household and an overall increase in home value.

Throughout the years, manufacturers have implemented new multipoint locking systems on both French and sliding doors to increase their security so you can make your decision without worrying about safety.

French doors tend to be more expensive, but both can vary greatly in price from several hundred to more than a thousand dollars due to their potential for customization. If you read about both types of doors and decide you like characteristics of both, you should know that many manufacturers now make sliding doors with a French door frame to give you the best of both worlds.

What Is a French Door?

French doors consist of two door panels that both open on hinges like traditional doors: typically inward. They have high customization potential and can have any number of panes, from two to 24 or more. They’re a more traditional glass door approach often seen in homes with a classic architectural style. While both doors can open, you can usually choose to lock one or the other side into place if it suits your needs.

The pros of French doors include:

  • Frames that make it obvious when doors are closed
  • Several elegant styles to suit your home, like wood or steel
  • Extravagant window designs and customizable panes
  • Quick access to a wide opening, allowing large pieces of furniture and equipment in and out with ease
  • Conveniently allow for heavy social traffic in and out of the room during gatherings
  • Low threshold is easy to step over, making tripping unlikely
  • Higher and more controllable ventilation capabilities through two opening panels

The Cons of French Doors

French doors require a lot of open space when they swing into the house, which isn’t ideal for small rooms or areas with furniture that could get in the way of the door. Depending on the quality of your hinges, they could need adjusting more than the track on sliding doors.

Through the space where the two panels meet, French doors can be more vulnerable to air and water leakage than overlapping sliding doors.

What Is a Sliding Door?

Sliding doors typically have two panels: one fixed and one mobile. The mobile panel slides horizontally along a track and can be opened with just a light touch to give you easy and immediate access to the great outdoors.

The Pros of Sliding Doors

  • The track makes them user-friendly and alleviates any worry about the door’s weight.
  • Sleeker, more modern look than French doors
  • Narrower frame allows for a more open layout, more sun and a feeling of direct access to the outdoors
  • Comes with a sliding screen door so you can leave the door open and enjoy the air without bugs
  • Takes up less space when open and fixed sections come together instead of opening outward or inward
  • Track makes it easy to adjust if any house foundation shifting occurs

The Cons of Sliding Doors

Though it’s not as big an issue in today’s sliding doors as it used to be, the amount of glass surface area in a sliding door can sometimes create the illusion that the door is open. This has caused dangerous, sometimes fatal accidents from people trying to walk through closed doors. The tracks also rise slightly off the ground, which can cause people and pets to trip.

Additionally, since only one panel of the sliding door is open, you would have to remove the doors altogether if you needed to move something large through the space.

Partner With Sunshine Contracting Corp. for Your Door Installation

No matter how much thought you put into your choice, door installation can make or break the experience. You could choose the perfect patio door for your home and end up regretting the decision if it isn’t installed properly. At Sunshine Contracting Corp., we have 24 years of experience offering a commitment to top-notch customer service and quality installation at an affordable price — no matter what decision you’ve made in the French door vs. sliding door debate.

Contact us for details and estimates and finally get that door you’ve been dreaming about!

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