French Doors – A Comprehensive Guide

6 min read Doors

French Doors – An Introduction To Style, Functionality & Buying Tips

French doors, with their symmetrical design let in lots of natural light. It’s no wonder they have been the go to door for centuries. The iconic multi-pane doors exude vintage charm while offering modern functionality.

Considering French doors for your next remodel? This guide will cover everything you need to know, from types and installation to care and maintenance. Read on to learn how these beautiful doors can enhance your home’s aesthetics and your quality of life.

More Than Just a Door

Unlike normal doors that simply open and close, these doors feature a design harkening back centuries to sun-drenched chateaus.

What is the difference between French doors and double doors?

Their most defining look is that of a symmetrical pair of doors with glass panes extending most of their length. This allows for an unobstructed outward view when closed and a wide-open airy feeling when open.
Double doors are made usually of a solid wood or other sold material.

The seasoned wood and multitude of windows infuse homes with elegance. Beyond aesthetics, the ample glass enables daylight to suffuse interior spaces, creating brighter, cheerier rooms.

French Patio Doors

French Doors vs. Double Doors: Spotting the Differences

While they share some similarities, there are a few key differences between French and double doors. French doors feature thinner stiles and rails to allow maximum glass space. Their rectangular top shape echoes traditional French architecture.

Weather stripping helps insulate and prevent drafts. Double doors typically have thicker surrounding wood, less glass, and often feature arched tops. French doors open outward while double doors open inward. Overall, French doors aim for an airier, uninhibited feeling pairing indoors and outdoors.

Types of French Doors: Finding the Perfect Fit

There are a few main door types to choose from when selecting the perfect set for your space:

  • Interior Doors – Offer an attractive divider between rooms. Often used for closets, offices, and master suites.
  • Hinged Patio Doors – A classic choice for exterior patio doors opening onto patios, decks, and gardens. Can be single or double French door style.
  • External Doors – Traditional design made of durable materials like Hard timber, uPVC and aluminium. Feature weatherstripping and high energy efficiency.
  • Swinging Doors – Hinged single doors that swing open individually without a frame. Used in tight spaces.
  • Bifold and Sliding Doors – Doors that fold and stack or slide side-to-side on tracks. Perfect for small spaces.
White French Patio Doors

A Closer Look at Hinged French Patio Doors

Arguably the most popular style, hinged patio doors effortlessly extend indoor living space to the outdoors. The two tall doors swing open independently onto gardens, patios, and decks. Timber, aluminium or uPVC french door frames withstand weathering.

Advanced glass keeps interiors comfortable in any season while allowing sunlight to filter beautifully into rooms. Available in stunning single and double door options.

Exterior French Doors: A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

For a traditional look with modern efficiency, exterior doors are the perfect choice. Here’s an overview of factors to consider when selecting your set:

  • Materials – uPVC, wood, and aluminium are common. Composite offers durability without constant maintenance.
  • Energy Efficiency – Check insulation ratings and weatherstripping quality to prevent heat loss. Energy Star models will reduce bills.
  • Hardware – Look for durable finishes like brass, chrome, or satin nickel. Keyed locks provide added security.
  • Size – Measure your doors carefully to ensure the doors will fit the rough opening size. Custom sizing is sometimes available.
  • Installation – Often installed by professionals who know what they are doing, given the need for precise alignment and flashing.
Rosewood French Doors

Enhancing Your Home

Whether your style is rustic farmhouse, modern industrial, or traditional suburbia, these doors impart elegance. Looking for a stylish anthracite grey, bold black or classic white or a hundred other colours! All will provide a seamless flow to your garden and outdoor space all year round.

The plentiful windows and slim dividing rails create an almost continuous expanse of glass that blurs visual boundaries.

Interior sets can open up floor plans and usher in brightness. Exterior sets allow interplay between indoors and outdoors, framing lovely exterior views. Let these doors infuse your rooms with timeless style.

Practical Tips for Maintenance

Regular maintenance keeps your investment looking pristine. Follow these tips:

  • Inspect weatherstripping and hardware for damage annually. Replace as needed.
  • Clean the glass regularly with a specialty cleaner to prevent streaks and buildup.
  • Reseal exterior wood doors every 1-2 years to prevent moisture damage.
  • Lubricate hinges every few months to prevent squeaking and sticking.
  • Ensure the track is clear of debris before closing sliding doors.
  • Check for small cracks in glass and reseal as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs.
Composite Front French Doors

Enhanced Security

Modern glass door installations are constructed with durable materials, along with innovative security modifications. They’re strong, impact-resistant and reinforced with steel. Featuring security hinges, toughened safety glass and hook-bolts, our range of external glass doors will give you peace of mind that your home, possessions and family are protected.

  • PAS24 accredited
  • Multi point locking mechanisms
  • A cloaking feature conceals the lock to prevent access to locking points
  • ‘Secured by Design’ certified

Insulation

Double glazed french doors, with a 20mm argon filled gap, Low-E glass, a warm edge spacer bar, multi-chambered profiles and double-draught resistant seals, will keep the warm in and cold out!

uPVC French Door handles

Frequently Asked Questions About French Doors

Curious if French patio doors are the right choice for your home? Here are answers to common questions:

  • How much do large doors cost to be installed? Costs can vary for a professional installation based on materials and labour. uPVC french doors will cost less than aluminium french patio doors.
  • How energy efficient are French doors? High performance glass and weather sealed frames make modern French doors very energy efficient with minimal heat loss.
  • Can the doors open in or out? Most are designed to open out onto a porch or patio, but they can open in if space allows.
  • How difficult is it to install French doors? Installation difficulty depends on the building material. Pre-uPVC or steel units are easiest as a DIY project.

Conclusion

With their classic design showcasing glass panes from floor to ceiling, it’s easy to see why French doors are a coveted architectural feature. They infuse homes with beauty, brightness and visual symmetry while offering modern conveniences like energy efficiency.

If you’re looking to add the “wow” factor to your living space, these doors deliver style and functionality all rolled into one beautiful package.

Bring some joie de vivre to your home with a gorgeous set of French doors!

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