Having trouble deciding what type of patio door to choose for your home or cottage?
On this page we describe the differences as well as the pros and cons of the three most popular patio door types: Sliding patio doors, French doors and Garden doors.
Sliding Patio Doors
A sliding patio door typically has one fixed window pane and an operable door that can be opened or closed by sliding it horizontally on a track that is built into its frame. When installing the sliding door you can choose which side will be fixed and which side will be operable. Another popular configuration for a sliding door is to have two doors that open and close horizontally from the centre of the frame, and two fixed window panes, one on each side of the frame.
Pros of Sliding Patio Doors:
- Sliding doors take up very little space when opening and closing
- Lower cost than hinged doors
- Easy to operate
- Low maintenance
- Allow for more natural light to enter the room
Cons of Sliding Patio Doors:
- You can only open one door, which can be an issue if you are planning to bring large furniture into or out of your home.
- Sliding patio doors are not as elegant or luxurious looking compared to French Patio Doors.
French Patio Doors
If you are looking for a more elegant design and have the space for it, French doors are the way to go. This patio door type uses two doors mounted on hinges that open from the centre of the frame. You can choose between several configurations including having both doors open toward the exterior or both doors open towards the interior.
Pros of French Doors:
- More elegant and luxurious design with a large variety of styles to choose from
- The option to have a much larger open space when both doors are open
- Higher cost than sliding patio doors
- Requires more space (interior or exterior) to open the French doors
A Garden door is a type of French door, however only one door is operable and the other door is fixed, meaning it cannot be opened. You can specify which door will be fixed and which one will be operable. Like French doors, garden doors are mounted on hinges, so instead of sliding they swing open towards the exterior or the interior depending on your preference.