When looking to replace your patio door, there are multiple options and styles to choose from and even more windows and doors companies that are looking to provide you with installation services. Choosing the right patio door for your home will depend your usage, design and aesthetics, location of the door and space constraints.

Arguably the two most popular patio door styles are French doors and sliding patio doors. To help you choose the right patio doors for your home, we outline both door styles below.

French Doors VS Sliding Patio Doors


  • French doors are a double door system, where both doors are hinged on opposite sides. They swing to open and close, while sliding patio doors glide along a track, side to side to open and close.
  • French patio doors can be designed to open either outward or inward. When both doors are open fully, you are given a wide, unobstructed opening. Sliding patio doors glide or slide left and right to open or close.
  • French doors look stunning in homes with a traditional architectural design.
  • Sliding patio doors incorporate a sliding screen door that can help keep bugs out of your home when the main door is open, allowing you to enjoy fresh air and added ventilation.

Which Style is Best?

Several factors need to be considered before you can choose the best patio door style for your home. Here are some factors you should consider.


The most significant difference between French and sliding patio doors is their design. If you are looking for patio doors with a broader or wider opening, French doors may be perfect for you, as when a sliding glass door is fully open, the space is narrower than that of a French door.

The Style Factor

French patio doors provide more of a traditional style and design feel, where sliding doors are a more modern style. If you are looking for that traditional style, or a door that can add character to your home, a French door can help you achieve your want.

Hardware Configuration

The windows and doors contractor you partner with to complete your patio door replacement project will have different hardware options for you to choose from for your new door. However, the hardware for each of these door styles is significantly different. French doors utilize a traditional door knob where as a patio door will have a handle.

Space Requirements

French doors will require more space than a sliding patio door as they need to swing open. If you are tight on space, a sliding door is the best way to go, as they require significantly less space. However, when getting quotes from the various windows and doors companies, inquire if both style doors would work in your space. You may be surprised with what they come up with.

Deciding the best patio door style truly depends on what your needs are for your home. New French door and new sliding patio doors both have the ability to enhance your home’s aesthetics, while providing the comfort and convenience associated with new doors. Before you make you final decision, take some time to look into several windows and doors companies. Check their online reviews as well as some of their previous jobs before you sign any agreements. After all the installation of your new doors matter just as much as the style.