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Sliding Door vs French Door

Sliding Door vs French Door : What’s the Difference?

Sliding doors and French doors are two types of doors that are often used in homes. They both have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the right type of door for your needs. But before we jump on to their key differences, let us first get an overview of what Sliding doors are as well as what are French doors.

What are Sliding Doors?

Sliding doors are a type of door that opens horizontally by sliding along a track. They are commonly used as patio doors and in homes with limited space, as they do not require room for swing. Sliding doors can be made of wood, glass, aluminum, or PVC, and may be finished with a variety of stains or paint colors. 

Most sliding doors have two panels, but three-panel doors are also available. The panels are mounted on rollers that allow them to glide smoothly along the track. Many sliding doors also have a locking mechanism to provide additional security. 

What are French Doors?

French doors are a type of door that is often used to provide access to a patio or balcony. They are typically composed of two side-by-side door panels that open outward, with each panel having a width that is roughly half of the overall door width. French doors can be either hinged or sliding, and they are often made of wood or glass. 

French doors can be used for both interior and exterior doors, as they allow for an abundance of natural light to enter a room. French doors originated in France, hence the name, and they have been used for centuries. Today, French doors are popular all over the world for their beauty and functionality.

Sliding Door or French Door : Key Differences 

Sliding doors and French doors are both popular choices for homeowners looking to add some natural light and airflow to their home. But which one is right for you? Here's a quick comparison of the two door types to help you make a decision.

  • View

Both Sliding doors and French doors open to the outdoors. Sliding doors often have large glass panels that provide an unobstructed view of the outdoors. However, because they slide open parallel to the wall, they can only be installed in areas with sufficient clearance. French doors, on the other hand, can be installed in areas with limited space because they swing open into the room. As a result, they offer a somewhat limited view compared to sliding doors. 

  • Design

Sliding doors are more modern and sleek looking, whereas French doors have a more traditional design. Sliding doors can also be more energy efficient since there is no gap between the door and the frame when they are closed. This design makes them an excellent choice for homes with limited space, as they do not require any additional clearance for opening.

French doors, on the other hand, allow for more natural light to enter a room since they have decorative glass panes. This design allows for increased ventilation and natural light, making them a popular choice for patio doors and other openings that overlook outdoor living spaces.

  • Cost Comparison

Sliding doors are typically more affordable than French doors, as they require less materials and labor to install. However, French doors can add more value to your home, so they may be a better investment in the long run. When comparing the cost of sliding doors and French doors, it's important to consider the materials used, the size of the door, and the installation costs.

  • Security and Energy Efficiency

Sliding doors tend to be more secure than French doors, as they're less likely to be forced open from the outside. Additionally, sliding doors typically have better weather stripping and seals, which means they're better at keeping out drafts. As far as energy efficiency goes, French doors tend to be the more efficient option. This is because they typically have double-paned glass, which helps to insulate your home against heat loss. 

  • Configuration Variety

When it comes to configuration, sliding doors are available in single or double styles, while French doors are usually only offered as double door sets. This means that if you're looking for a wider opening, a sliding door may be the way to go. However, if you're working with limited space, French doors might be a better option since they don't require as much clearance for opening.

  • Space 

Sliding doors are typically much wider than French doors, as they need to be able to slide open without hitting obstacles. As a result, they require a fair amount of open space in front of them in order to function properly. French doors, on the other hand, take up less space overall since they open inwards. Additionally, French doors can be installed in smaller openings than sliding doors, making them a better option when space is limited.

  • Convenience

Sliding doors are more convenient to open and close, since they simply require lifting the handle and pushing or pulling the door. French doors, on the other hand, require you to turn a knob in order to open them. In addition, sliding doors take up less space than French doors, since they open and close without protruding into the room. However, French doors provide a wider opening, which can be helpful when moving furniture or large items. 

  • Maintenance

Sliding glass doors, for instance, require regular cleaning of the tracks in order to prevent dirt and debris from build-up. French doors, on the other hand, tend to be more low-maintenance in this regard. In terms of upkeep, French doors may also require more frequent polishing due to their exposed hinges and hardware. Ultimately, both types of doors require some amount of maintenance in order to keep them looking and functioning their best.

Still unsure which door to select from the two? Contact our experts today to assist you in selecting the perfect door for your home!


If you need a door that doesn't require any extra space to open, a sliding door may be the best option. Whereas, if you're looking for a door that brings in lots of natural light and makes a grand statement, French doors may be the way to go.

Ultimately, the decision of which type of door to install will come down to personal preferences and the specific needs of your home.

FAQs on Sliding Door or French Door

  • Are French doors more secure than sliding doors?

French doors are generally considered to be more secure than sliding doors as they have multiple locking points that can make it difficult for intruders to force their way in. Also, French doors are typically made of solid wood or metal, which is more difficult to break through than the glass used in most sliding doors. 
  • Are sliding doors good for winter?

Sliding doors can be an effective way to stay warm and save money during the winter months. When properly insulated, sliding doors can act as an effective barrier against cold air, helping to keep your home warm. Additionally, sliding doors can help to reduce energy costs by eliminating the need to heat a large space.


Author: Shabana kauser

Shabana Kauser, the Director of Emerald Doors, brings over 20 years of invaluable expertise in the door industry. Her visionary leadership has steered the company to new heights, offering an extensive range of internal and external doors while prioritizing quality and customer satisfaction. The website's glowing reviews stand as a testament to her commitment to excellence. To learn more about Emerald Doors, connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.