French Doors vs. Sliding Glass Doors: 8 Things to Know Before Choosing a Patio Door

Fatima Buzdar

October 29, 2023

Struggling to choose the perfect type of patio door that’ll give the perfect touch to your home? Your search for the ideal door solution might just end here!

Within the variety of options, the sleek sliding glass doors and the timeless charm of French doors are the contenders. However, the choice is a bit tricky, isn’t it? We’re here to simplify the unique strengths and considerations for each type of door.

Join us as we draw the comparison of French doors vs. sliding doors and explore the difference between French and sliding doors so that you can confidently decide between French doors and sliding doors and ensure the perfect door is installed for your patio!

French Doors vs. Sliding Doors: What Are the Differences Between Sliding Patio Doors and French Patio Doors?

Both types of patio doors offer their own advantages in different aspects, which we’ll explore in this section. Consider how these fit into your preferences and needs.

1. Appearance

The primary difference between French and sliding doors is, of course, design. The sleek sliding doors lean towards the modern side, while the design of French doors is more traditional.

Sliding Door

Sliding glass doors are generally constructed with large single-pane glass framed by materials like aluminum, wood, or vinyl. They slide open horizontally on tracks, supported by rollers. Thanks to this design, they’re excellent for rooms that are small or full of furniture. With a sleek appearance, they are best for modern homes and urban styles.

French Door

French doors usually have multiple glass panes framed by wood or metal. Some modern French doors may instead incorporate a single-pane glass. They add a classic touch, fitting well with traditional home designs.

2. Cost

Sliding doors are usually an economical option, while French doors could be pricier.

Sliding Door

The price tags on sliding doors vary based on factors such as panel count, material, size, glass type, and additional features. They generally lean towards an affordable side, especially when compared to French doors. This is because their simplicity of design results in lower manufacturing and installation costs.

Vinyl variants are the most budget-friendly, while wooden ones sit on the higher end. Size and features like double or triple panes, soundproofing, built-in blinds, and enhanced impact resistance can drive up the cost.

French Door

French doors usually come with a heftier price tag due to their intricate design. Factors like size, material, additional features, and glass type significantly influence the final cost.

Wood stands as the priciest option, while fiberglass and steel are more economical. The presence of decorative options like grille patterns or beveled glass also increases the pricing.

3. Installation

Sliding doors are installed more easily than French doors, which may need precise alignment and structural adjustments.

Sliding Door

Thanks to their straightforward design, sliding doors usually promise a quicker and less labor-intensive installation. They need ample horizontal space but typically require minimal structural changes.

French Door

Installing French doors can be a bit more intricate due to their double-door design. Ensuring proper alignment is crucial. This might entail some structural tweaks to ensure an apt fit and secure installation.

4. Durability

Sliding doors are generally low-maintenance, while steel-framed French doors, especially wooden doors, may need more extensive maintenance.

Sliding Door

Sliding doors offer commendable durability, especially aluminum which is a reliable, fade-resistant, and low-maintenance choice. Vinyl likewise is durable while being cost-effective. Rollers and tracks, given proper care, can last a long while without issues. Their horizontal operation makes them less vulnerable to weather conditions like high winds.

French Door

Steel-framed French doors excel in durability, albeit requiring some maintenance. However, wooden frames need regular painting and staining to preserve their integrity. Additionally, outward-opening doors can be vulnerable to wind damage. Over time, hinges may need adjustments due to natural wear and tear as well.

5. Lifespan

Both door types, with quality materials and care, promise a substantial lifespan.

Sliding Door

With proper maintenance and quality materials, sliding doors can serve homeowners anywhere between 30-60 years. Aluminum variants are especially long-lasting.

French Door

Traditional French doors, depending on their materials, can last between 40-70 years, given they’re well-maintained. Wood and metal options tend to have extended lifespans.

6. Security

Standard sliding doors can be vulnerable, but you can enhance security with multipoint locks and shatterproof glass. French doors often come with multipoint locks for better security, and to enhance their security, shatterproof glass is also recommended.

Sliding Door

Standard sliding doors usually feature a basic latch, lacking advanced mechanisms like deadbolts. However, they’re vulnerable to being tampered with.

To bolster security, consider adding multipoint locks to the sliding exterior doors, which lock at multiple points along the door height.

Additionally, it’s recommended to opt for shatterproof glass to deter forced entries. With it, the glass remains in place on a sheet when broken, deterring intrusive entry.

French Door

Exterior French doors frequently come equipped with multipoint locks, enhancing their security. Just like with sliding doors, integrating shatterproof glass can further beef up protection.

7. Maintenence

Regular maintenance ensures both door types operate smoothly and look their best. It’s recommended to maintain both once or twice a year.

Sliding Door

It’s recommended to maintain the door once or twice a year.

For smooth operation, regularly clean sliding door tracks to remove dirt and grime build-up. Periodically lubricate the tracks and rollers. Monitor the weather stripping, as it may need replacement every few years.

Broken seals leading to moisture accumulation in glass panes, and bent rollers can all hinder door functionality and should be promptly addressed.

French Door

Similarly to sliding doors, they should ideally be maintained and inspected once or twice a year, and any issues should be resolved as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Routine cleaning and maintenance are vital for French doors. Address issues like chipping paint, warped wood, and hinge misalignments promptly. Regular lubrication ensures smooth movement, and keeping seals intact prevents drafts.

8. Energy Efficiency

Both sliding doors and French doors offer triple or double-pane glass options for better insulation.

Sliding Door

Sliding glass patio doors are designed with tight seals, particularly around the locking mechanism, and decrease the heat transfer through the door frames. It effectively prevents drafts and air leakage. The doors are also available with double or triple-pane glass options. These multiple layers of glass are separated by insulating gas, which acts as a barrier against outdoor temperature fluctuations. 

French Door

French doors typically feature double or triple-pane glass, which provides excellent insulation. The multiple layers of glass create an insulating barrier that minimizes heat exchange with the exterior, ensuring your indoor environment remains comfortable. They also form a tight seal when shut.

Is It Better to Have Sliding Doors or French Doors?

Choosing between sliding doors and French doors for your patio comes down to your preferences and budget. Sliding doors have a modern look and are often more budget-friendly, while French doors offer a classic appearance but can be pricier due to their intricate design. Both types of patio doors are durable, energy-efficient, and offer robust security options.

Ready to Choose a Patio Door? Look No Further Than Us for Installing French Doors and Sliding Glass Doors

Deciding between the modern flair of sliding glass doors and the classic elegance of French doors can be challenging. We went over the differences between French doors and sliding doors by drawing the comparison of French doors vs sliding doors for factors like.

At a glance, sliding doors offer a sleek appearance, ideal for contemporary homes with space constraints. They are typically more affordable and can last between 30-60 years with proper care. On the other hand, French doors, with their traditional touch, are perfect for classic home designs. Although they might come with a higher price tag, they can boast a lifespan of 40-70 years. Both options offer commendable durability, and energy efficiency, and can be secured with additional features.

Ready to make a choice or still have questions? Get in touch with our experts today for a consultation and seamless installation tailored to your preferences. We prioritize your satisfaction above all else and offer products and solutions of premium quality. Your dream patio door for your home is just a call away!

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