The main way that patio doors and French doors differ is in the way that they both open. Whilst French doors are operated via a hinge and open outwards, patio doors are slid to one side. In terms of design, French doors have a more traditional appearance, however, patio doors have a more modern design.
Which is best French or patio doors?
This will depend on your individual requirements. However, to help you find which is best for you, we've compared the two options in various aspects:
Generally speaking, French doors tend to be a little bit more expensive. This is because the hardware, mechanisms and manufacturing methods associated with patio doors are a little bit more cost-effective.
The framework on French doors is slightly wider than it is on patio doors. Therefore, patio doors allow slightly more natural light into the home. However, the difference in real terms between a set of patio doors and French doors of the same size is negligible.
As previously mentioned, the design of French doors is more traditional, which means they suit period homes and other properties of that ilk. However, the more modern appearance of sliding patio doors makes them a great choice for contemporary homes. With that said, either option can be adapted to suit a range of architectural styles.
By sliding to one side, patio doors are a great way to maximise the use of your internal space. However, only half of the space that they take up can be open at one time. French doors, on the other hand, open outwards so they are restricted by their frames and nearby walls. Once open, however, you will have full access to the gap between the frames.
We can fit patio doors that are up to 480cm wide, essentially creating a glass wall in your home. The wider the doors, the bigger the opening space too. However, French doors are considerably smaller. As mentioned earlier, they can be installed up to 180cm wide but if they have sidelights in their design, they can be as wide as 300cm.
If you like the full opening capacity of French doors but you'd also like a wider set of doors, bi-fold doors could be just what you're looking for. Opened by folding them to one side to leave a completely open space, they can be built with up to 7 door panels and 480cm wide.