What’s The Difference Between French Doors and Patio Doors?

Many people now tend to use the expression patio door when referring to any door that opens up onto a paved patio area. But are they correct in doing so? Well technically, no.

Many people confuse patio doors for French doors. Traditionally speaking French doors are supplied in pairs, a left hand door and a right hand door. They are fitted inside an existing door frame using traditional hinges, and usually, open outwards. They can also be designed to open inwards if preferred. When both of the doors are open, you have complete, unfettered access to the open space within the confines of the door frame itself. Patio doors, on the other hand, can be fitted to much wider openings. This style of door works on a frictionless sliding basis.  

In regards to size, there is a limitation to the width of the doors, which is constrained by the maximum panel size available.   In terms of standard sizes available, they can be made to fit any aperture. Because patio doors sliding and overlap, you can only ever gain access to 50% of the aperture area, as one of the doors will always be closed, blocking that space. Because they don’t open outwards or inwards, patio doors are great for restricted spaces. Bifold doors are a neat way of solving this space issue.

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