What’s The Difference Between Patio Doors And French Doors?

Doors are a crucial component of any home or structure. Over time, you unavoidably will need door replacement to ensure the safety and aesthetics of the home. When thinking about the right door for your door replacement project, you will get to learn about different types of doors on the market. You may want to choose between patio doors and French doors. But before you do, it will be best to understand the differences between them to make an informed decision.

What Are Patio Doors?

Patio doors, in simple terms, are sliding doors that open out onto the patio area, garden or into the living area. Meanwhile, they slide to open or close. Patio doors can be installed in very wide openings. They run on a frictionless sliding basis. As a result, they are called sliding patio doors.

Patio doors come in different sizes, covering from 1600mm across to 4200mm across. Meanwhile, if you installed a pair of sliding patio doors that overlap, you will gain access to only 50 percent of the aperture area due to one of the doors staying in a closed position.

What Are French Doors?

French doors are a pair of doors installed inside an existing door frame using the traditional hinges. They are usually supplied in pairs, one right-hand door and a left-hand door. French doors usually open outwards, but they can be made to open inwards depending on your preference.

When both doors are opened, they provide completely wide and unhindered access to the open space within the limits of the door frames. Meanwhile, there is a limit to the width of the French doors, which is 900mm per door. Normally, the maximum width of a pair of French doors will be 1800mm across.

What’s The Difference Between Patio Doors And French Doors?

Choosing the right doors for your door replacement project is crucial. Therefore, below are the noticeable differences between patio doors and French doors:

  1. Patio doors are usually sliding doors while French doors are traditionally hinged double doors.
  2. Patio doors cover a much larger area of 1600mm across to 4200mm than French doors which can cover 1200mm across to 1800mm.
  3. Patio doors open and close on a sliding track while French doors open outwards or inwards.
  4. Patio doors are best suited for a large opening while French doors are perfect for small properties.
  5. Patio doors are perfect for restricted space because they do not open inwards or outwards


The above are the main differences between patio doors and French doors. If you are planning a door replacement project, consider the factors discussed above to make the best decision.

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