French doors are stylish and common for homeowners seeking to add a touch of elegance to their homes. When you think of French doors, the first thing that comes to mind is a set of double doors that opens in or out. The big question is, “Are French doors always double?”
Standard French doors are usually a pair, but this is not always the case. French doors can also come as single, sliding, and bifold doors.
With this, you don’t always have to limit your French door options to double doors. So why don’t you continue reading to learn more about French doors and decide if they’re the best doors for you?
Why Are They Called French Doors?
French doors became a norm in the 17th century. Its name stemmed from the fact that the doors were recognized during the French Rennaissance.
These doors started as large windows for a person to step through them. Later, designers picked the concept and narrowed the windows’ design to doors.
The air of elegance surrounding French doors didn’t come from its design alone. Its French architecture lent it its prestigious class, making it a popular option for upper-class houses back in the day.
Today, they no longer distinguish the wealthy from the poor, but they still retain their classy aura.
What Is the Standard Size for a French Door?
French doors are usually 6.6 feet high and 6 feet wide. However, this size varies, depending on the manufacturer. As a result, you see French doors between 6 to 8 feet wide and a few inches shorter than 7 feet.
These doors could also be made smaller or broader to fit your door opening. However, you’ll need a custom-made French door if you want something outside the standard range.
What Makes a French Door a French Door?
There are different door styles available for purchase. Nonetheless, if you want a French door, you should be able to identify them.
French doors are typically double doors mounted on door hinges that sit opposite each other on the frames. In simpler words, it’s like having two doors fixed in the same door frame, only that you open both from the middle.
Manufacturers make both doors with either one glass pane throughout the center or smaller planes between muntins.
French doors are ideal as patio doors or interior passage doors. Aside from being elegant, they create a spacious atmosphere within the home.
Are French Doors Always Made of Glass?
French doors are made primarily of glass. The glass could be a single pane or smaller individual planes. The number of glass planes in your French doors should depend on you.
One glass pane is perfect if you prefer enough natural light to enter the room even when the doors are closed. Smaller planes also let in natural light, but they have muntins between them, obstructing complete light passage.
Should French doors open in or out?
Most French doors open outward, though this isn’t an established rule. In other words, there are French doors that swing inward.
Before deciding if your doors should swing inward or outward, there are a few things you must consider. The first is the space that the door needs when turning in or out.
If you prefer doors that open inward, ensure nothing is obstructing its movement. The same thing applies if your door swings outward.
It’s also important to note that doors that swing inward are easier to break into than those with a reverse movement. So, if you’re considering security, settle for French doors that swing outward.
Also, note that you must replace doors with doors that move in the same direction if you’re replacing them. In other words, if your former doors swing inwards, your new ones must move inward. Changing the doors’ direction requires changing the entire frame and casing.
Must French Doors Be Double?
As earlier stated, French doors don’t always have to be double doors. Though the standard design involves a pair that opens inward or outward, others beat this rule.
A good example is the single French door. The design is typically the same as the standard design. However, in this case, instead of two doors, you have just one that opens either inward or outward.
Its design doesn’t make it any less attractive than the standard doors. This is because they still feature the same layout and panel structure.
Sliding French doors are another design that doesn’t follow the regular French pattern. Instead, they’re like standard sliding doors, sitting on a track that allows them to slide back and forth.
Sliding doors are also made of glass panels that let enough light into your space. Plus, they are less expensive than the traditional French doors. They are also easy to maintain; all you need is to clean their tracks.
Frech pocket doors are another interesting selection. These doors function like regular sliding doors with a track to glide open and close. However, unlike sliding doors that slide halfway, they slide into an interior pocket.
The pockets are fitted such that the doors seem as though they enter into the wall when open. Just like sliding French doors, you must keep their tracks clean for them to function efficiently.
Are Sliding Doors Better than French Doors?
Some homeowners prefer sliding doors as an alternative to standard French doors. Both Sliding and French doors have their advantages and downsides. It’s left for you to compare their differences and settle for a door type.
Both could be made of large glass panels that allow light to stream into your room. They also look elegant and could make your space look bright and airy.
Despite this, they are several worlds apart. First, sliding doors open halfway. Some come as double doors, with one sliding behind or in front of the other.
Other could come as double doors that you can open from the middle. These types, however, come with extra door pairs that they must slide behind or in front of. Whichever type you install, they take up more space than necessary.
On the other hand, French doors give you the freedom to open your door to the fullest. Since most swings inwards or outward, you can open both doors simultaneously, making it look like there’s no door at all.
The downside is that French doors need more space to operate. Unlike sliding doors that take up space in their door frames, French requires space depending on their swing direction.
Their style also differs. French doors have wider frames, lending your space a traditional, classy look. Sliding doors have narrow frames, making them look more modern.
Are French Doors and Patio Doors Different?
Finding the difference between a French and a patio door is quite tricky. The idea of a patio door is generally any door that leads to a patio or a courtyard. This is regardless of the door type – French, wooden, or sliding doors.
In other words, a French door is a type of patio door. The tricky part is that most people refer to sliding doors like patio doors. While this isn’t always the case, the thought of patio doors evokes the image of doors sliding open.
It also becomes more complicated because some French doors slide open; thus, they can be called sliding French doors. However, sliding doors have narrow stiles and rails compared to French doors. Conclusively, you could say that all French doors can be patio doors, but not all patio doors are French doors.