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What is the Difference Between French Doors and Patio Doors?

3 min read

Although french doors and patio doors both create an entrance to outdoor spaces, they are not the same. Despite their similar functions, they have distinct styles. Let’s take a look at the differences so you can decide which type of door is the best fit for your home.

The Difference Between French Doors and Patio Doors

Patio doors, also called sliding glass doors, have two panels: one is stationary and the other slides open. The pane of glass in a patio door is usually unobstructed so you can enjoy panoramic views.

French doors are technically a type of patio door. They also have two panels, but both are operational and open like a normal door. Typically, one panel is the main operator, with the ability to to open the other if needed. A hallmark of French doors are their multiple individual window panes that span the entire door.

Read more to learn about the different types of patio doors and decide which one is right for your Huntsville home.

What is a French Door?

French doors are long, rectangular doors with window panes that span the entire length of the door. Although the term originated in 1805, these doors date back to the French renaissance architecture. You can easily spot french doors that open up to a balcony in classic pictures of French architecture.

Today, you can find French doors in homes as both an entrance/exit door or as a way to transition from one room to another.

french door in a home

French doors help your room feel more open because they allow a lot of light into the space. No matter if you’re on the first or second floor of your home, French doors are a great way to create a seamless transition to a balcony or a backyard.

At Window World Huntsville, we offer the following french door styles:

  • Classic-Craft Mahogany
  • Classic-Craft Oak
  • Classic-Craft Canvas
  • Fiber-Classic Mahogany
  • Fiber-Classic Oak
  • Smooth-Star

What is a Patio Door?

Patio doors are any doors that slide open to an outdoor space, normally a patio or a garden. Patio style doors also provide a good amount of light into a room, while offering a scenic view of the backyard. You can purchase a patio door in three distinct styles: Classic, Contemporary, and French.

  • Classic Style Sliding Patio Doors – These classic doors include 5” rails that allow you to easily enter and exit through the doorway.
  • Contemporary Style Sliding Patio Doors – These modern doors include 3” rails that are known for their quiet, elegant movement.
  • French Rail Patio Doors – These beautiful doors combine the look of French doors with the space-saving functionality of sliding glass doors.
Vinyl French Rail Door

Which is Right For Your Home: French Doors or Patio Doors?

It all depends on your style and preferences!

Can’t decide which you like more? Consider our French Rail doors. They combine the space-saving features of sliding patio doors with the beauty of French doors. French rail doors are ideal for larger spaces, as they’re available in two and four-panel designs.

To learn more about our patio door selection, schedule your free consultation today! The professionals at Window World Huntsville will help you decide which type of door is best for your home and your budget.

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