Get the space-saving convenience of a sliding door with all the traditional beauty of a French patio door. French-style sliding patio doors have wider stiles and rails, which makes them an appropriate choice for traditional architectural styles. French-style patio doors operate on a track and require virtually no interior or exterior space for opening. They are available with either a right–hand or left–hand operation. You will need to decide which is best for your room and situation.
A French-style sliding patio door is a great way to:
- Open up a room to the outdoors
- Bring in more natural light
- Add an entry that looks beautiful from both inside and outside your home
Look for Quality
Choosing a French-style patio door is different from choosing an interior French door because the patio door will likely be exposed to the elements. When buying a sliding door, consider the following:
- Frame Materials — Consider durability and maintenance. Some of the best materials from a durability and low-maintenance point of view include vinyl and fiberglass. If your door will not be protected from the elements, such as with an awning, you should consider a more durable frame material.
- Appearance — A French-style patio door has the appearance of a traditional French in-swing or out-swing door, while functioning as a sliding glass door.
- Operation — Check how smoothly the rollers move in their tracks and how much effort it takes. The door should feel snug in its tracks, but move easily. It should feel more like it's floating than sliding.
- Security — Examine the locking system. Hardware selections vary, and the best doors will feature quality hardware. Locks should meet or exceed local forced–entry code.
- Energy Efficiency — Make sure the French–style sliding door you buy is well insulated and comes with the appropriate energy-saving glass and design to reduce your heating and cooling costs.
Grids or no Grids
For a multiple–pane look, a French–style patio door can often be ordered with a variety of grid options between the panes of glass. Interior and exterior snap-in grids also are available and can create an even more authentic look of a door composed of individual lites.