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What Is the Difference Between Sliding Patio Doors and French Patio Doors?

If you’ve been working on the backyard patio or deck of your Pennsylvania home recently to create an outdoor oasis, the right patio doors can help you complete the look. Sliding patio doors or French patio doors create a seamless transition from indoors to outside while also beautifying the interior and exterior of your home.

If you’re going to be going in and out a lot while entertaining in your backyard oasis this spring and summer, new patio doors will make it easy. But should you choose sliding patio doors or French patio doors? Let’s explore the differences between them, as well as how to choose the best patio door and window installation company.

How to Decide If You Need New Patio Doors

If your sliding patio doors no longer open easily, or if your patio doors have broken glass panes, or if it’s difficult to see the outside because of foggy glass, then it’s definitely time to replace those patio doors.

Likewise, if the locking mechanisms no longer function, or if you want to increase the safety of your home, you may want to replace that component, if possible, or simply invest in new patio doors.

New patio doors add convenience, beauty, and a greater sense of security to your home.

If you are considering window replacement, you may want to look to replace your patio doors at the same time to ensure a clean, uniform look. Tom Adams Windows & Carpets, in business for 66 years, not only provides the best replacement windows but is a National Award-Winning Service and Installation window, door, and carpeting company. We may be able to save you money if you invest in window installation and patio door installation at the same time, plus you can achieve a clean and consistent look across your home. We can even transform an existing window into a patio door, with options that fit openings from 5 feet to 12 feet wide.

You have choices when it comes to patio doors, and Tom Adams Window Company offers a wide range of options, including sliding patio doors and French doors manufactured with frames of wood, fiberglass, or vinyl, with energy-efficient models to help keep out the cold and privacy models with integrated mini blinds between the panes of glass in the sliding patio doors.

Sliding Patio Doors: Features and Benefits

Many people rely on sliding patio doors for easy access to their backyard or side yard. Sliding patio doors save space. Quality sliding patio doors easily glide along a track to open, so you can place furniture nearby without obstructing the door’s opening.

It’s important to mention that sliding patio doors are usually made of two panes of glass. Only one door slides open on its track, gliding in front of or behind the second, stationary door. But you can get 3- or 4-panel patio doors that can take up a 12-foot length of the wall and make your home seem bigger, as the outside will be easily accessible from the inside of your home. On the other hand, barn doors slide into openings in the interior of your home to save space between interior rooms.

Most patio doors also contain a screen door so you can let fresh air in while keeping bugs out. The best Sliding patio doors have multi locks as well as secondary hidden locks then ensure no unwanted strangers can break in through your patio door. Even the screen door locks to prevent pets and children from wandering outside and keeping strangers from just walking into your home.

Tom Adams carries sliding patio doors from major manufacturers such as:

  • ProVia Windows and Doors
  • Marvin Windows and Doors
  • Slocumb Windows and Doors

ProVia doors offer mini-blinds in four coordinating colors. These blinds sit between the glasses of your sliding doors to offer privacy, with no dust buildup, and provide light-blocking capabilities without the need for other window treatments. This saves you from obstructions of drapes and blinds from easily entering and exiting the home through your new patio doors.

Tom Adams also offers 3 different energy-efficient glass options in your sliding patio doors with Tempered Safety Glass. The frame and grids are available in your choice of color with up to 35 colors from white to black and stained wood in 12 colors.

In addition to the sliding door frame, which can be wood, fiberglass, or vinyl, your choice of glass influences the look of your new patio doors. Choose from a variety of internal or external grid patterns for a unique and classic to modern look and added safety.

Along with different decorative grids options that both beautify and accentuate your home, patterns on the doors ensure that people know when the door is open or closed, even if it’s so clean that it would otherwise be hard to tell.

French Patio Doors: Features and Benefits

French patio doors describe patio doors that open via side hinges, just like many of the other doors in your home. While the word “French doors” may call to mind a certain sophisticated design style, French doors can come in virtually any look to match any décor, including modern or contemporary designs. In wood or fiberglass, we offer endless design and color choices.

French doors can swing in or out to meet your needs. Perhaps you have more space on your patio than in the room leading to your patio—especially if your patio is off your kitchen. Doors that swing out will maximize your interior space. Our swing doors are best when the outside has an overhang the keeps rain from hitting the doors when swung open.

French doors are typically double doors, but we also offer triple door models. You can dress up French doors with a variety of designs, colors, grids, and transom windows. The design accentuates your home and keeps its functionality.

Unlike sliding patio doors, most manufacturers’ French patio doors do not include a screen door, so you’ll want to keep them closed most of the time to keep bugs out and for security. But Tom Adams has Phantom Screens that roll out to give French doors screen protection from bugs and keeps pets in or out of the home. These screens hide when you don’t need them and roll out when you do need them.

French patio doors may cost a little more than sliding patio doors because of the additional moving parts, hinges, and additional hardware. But the uniqueness and upscale look are unmatchable.

patio doors

French Patio Sliding Glass Doors: Features and Benefits

Yes, you can have the space efficiency of a sliding patio door with the heavier upscale rail look of a French Door. While most sliding Patio Doors have thin rails to maximize the glass in your door. The French Slider has the look of an entry door with all thicker rails around the perimeter of the door to give the look of an old-style door. In many cases from the curb, you have a look at French Patio Door but the ease of a Sliding Patio Door.

French Patio Doors vs. Sliding Patio Doors: Side-by-Side Comparison

French Patio Doors

  • Swing in or out
  • Come in a variety of designs and patterns to match any decor
  • Difficult and pricier to install than sliding doors
  • Timeless, Old World Charm and classic look many people love
  • Upscale Appearance- both Traditional and Modern

Sliding Patio Doors

  • Space-saving design
  • Sliding Screen helps keep bugs out while letting light in
  • Can include integrated blinds between Glass
  • Fewer design choices than traditional French Patio doors
  • Available in more choices of materials, including vinyl, fiberglass, and wood frames
  • Come with many energy-efficient glass variations

What to Look for Patio Door Installation

Whatever your choice in patio doors, you want a company that stands by its products and installations with an award-winning reputation and a solid labor warranty that accompanies the manufacturer warranty.

Tom Adams Windows and Carpets has three showroom locations, displaying over 40 different types of door combinations, so you can see and touch the doors of your dreams. Tom Adams also has a computer that will help design and price out that doors instantly, no waiting for non-responsive contractors. Tom Adams serves the Lehigh Valley, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester counties including Philadelphia. We also serve the New Jersey Shore and Mountain Homes in the Poconos. Would you prefer sliding patio doors or French doors in your home? Are you considering an upgrade soon? Email Tom Adams Windows and Carpets for a new design for your home.