A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Best French Doors for Your Home
French doors are everything you could ask for in a door. They are not only elegant, stylish, and great at making your home more energy efficient, but also allow for a lot of natural light from the outdoors to enter your home.
And as a result of the premium yet simplistic look they can bring to your home, there's no surprise that they have become among the most popular option for many homeowners across America.
If you are considering investing in a French door for your home, we will cover everything from the different types of interior and exterior French doors available to the materials you can go for, how much French doors can cost you, and other useful information.
But before we do any of that, let's first look at what French doors are and what has made them gain the popularity they have today.
What is a French Door?
Unlike most traditional doors, a French door is much lighter in construction and simpler in design. What makes French doors different and in such high demand compared to other door designs is that they are predominantly made out of glass, which typically extends throughout most of the length of the door.
Originating from France, French doors are equally as popular amongst the French for the interior and the exterior of the house. Since U.S. homes are typically bigger than those in France, we have made sure to give our customers various customization options depending on their needs, budget, and preferences.
Types of Interior French Doors Available
When it comes to interior doors, French doors can be installed in almost any space of the house. Below, we'll go over some of the most popular interior spaces our customers buy French doors for.
For the Bedroom
French doors are the perfect choice for anyone looking to open up their bedroom space and make it appear larger and brighter. Still, if you share your home with other people, the lack of privacy that French doors typically come with can be an issue.
For the Bathroom
French doors are increasing in popularity among homeowners who want to make their bathroom space feel more open and modern. However, due to the high levels of humidity, water, and steam typically present in the average bathroom, you can't go for just any interior French door.
For the Kitchen
If you spend most of your time cooking or in the kitchen, a French door can add a classy touch to the space and create a bridge between the kitchen and the dining room without losing the view.
French doors for kitchens can be very inviting, even when the door is shut. This allows for your entire space to feel like its open, even when it isn't.
For Dividing a Room
Another great way to use French doors at home is to divide an existing room. For example, you can use French doors if you have a large living room and want to convert part of the room into a study room or an office.
That way, you can turn a single room into two different rooms and create privacy without blocking any of the natural light from spreading through the entire space.
Types of Exterior French Doors
When it comes to exterior French doors, they can be used for both the front and the back of the house. Here are two examples of using French exterior doors within a typical American home.
French patio doors are an extremely popular option for homeowners that want to make their indoor and outdoor spaces feel and look more connected. Not only that, but patio doors are also a great choice if you want more light inside your home.
Besides their elegant look, French patio doors are also very practical, allowing you to walk in and out of your home easily.
Front of House Doors
Thanks to their appealing look, French doors are also a popular choice amongst homeowners for the front of the house.
Aside from the aesthetic design, French doors are also made with modern security measures, such as using impact-resistant glass instead of fiberglass. Front-of-house French doors can also be customized to give you that much-needed privacy.
Types of French Door Designs
When it comes to French doors, there are a few different designs you can choose from, depending on your space, budget, and needs.
Single-hinged French Door
Single-hinged doors are the most typical and standard choice for rooms where a single door is used. This type of door design can swing both inwards and outwards and drastically brighten your interior space by letting through more natural light.
Double-hinged French Doors
If you have a larger property, double-hinged French doors are another popular choice. Such design is often used for patio doors, bedroom doors leading to balconies, and dividing a larger space into two different rooms.
Double French doors for the interior are often designed to open in either direction, while for the exterior of the house, this type of door design mostly opens outwards as it is specially made to help with the compression of the seal for better insulation and greater energy efficiency.
Sliding French Doors
Sliding French doors, also known as pocket French doors, are one of the most popular options for patio areas and bedrooms with balconies. This unique door design features a sliding mechanism so that when the door is opened, it disappears into the wall.
French doors with a slide mechanism are not only great for taking up almost no additional floor space when they are opened but also allow for an unobstructed view into your garden.
Best Materials for French Doors
Depending on your needs and the look you want to achieve, you can pick your French door to be made out of several different materials. Below, we will explore the different types, along with an analysis of the good and the bad of each one.
Fiberglass French doors are a popular choice if you live in a climate that changes drastically with each season, since fiberglass can withstand temperature changes and have good energy efficiency. However, for many homeowners, particularly those concerned with design, the lesser quality of fiberglass is a downside when compared to the high quality and beauty of steel French doors.
A vinyl French door is another cost-effective option. It has good energy efficiency numbers, like fiberglass, but isn't as sturdy or durable as a steel French door.
Besides that, vinyl French doors can also be made to look like wood, so if you're after a low-cost option that also looks authentic, you can't go wrong with vinyl.
Wooden French doors are also popular. However, they are impractical in many cases. They are not as waterproof or durable as either the lesser options of vinyl or fiberglass, or the better option of steel, since they can easily be damaged and scratched, and are more difficult to maintain.
Steel is the best material to use if you want an aesthetically pleasing French door that is also durable and sturdy. And while steel French doors have a rugged look, they remain one of the most popular options for homeowners looking to achieve that modern look in their homes.
In terms of drawbacks, steel doors are a great thermal conductor, so the door can reflect the temperature it is exposed to more than a French door made out of another material, unless it is properly insulated. Steel doors can also be difficult to paint if not handled by a professional, which may eventually lead to rust.
How Much Do French Doors Cost?
French doors, including installation, can vary in cost depending on the design, size, type of glass, and material used, as well as the overall quality of the product.
For example, single-hinged vinyl French doors for the bedroom will cost significantly less compared to steel sliding patio doors, but with a substantial difference in quality.
If you decide to go for high-quality French doors made by us, you can expect a single or a double French door to cost you between $2,000 and $5,000, with significantly larger or more elaborate French doors, which may cost upwards of $10,000.
When it comes to high-quality French doors, they will undoubtedly pass on the value to your property, so when it comes to selling your home, you can easily recoup and even profit from your investment.
Pros & Cons of French Doors
Like any other type of door, French doors too come with their set of pros and cons. Below, we will look at the most crucial ones you should consider.
Pros of French Doors
- They let in a lot of natural light
- They can increase the overall value of your property
- They can be used inside and outside your property, allowing you to achieve the look you want throughout your home
- They are elegant, aesthetically pleasing, and allow for your entire space to feel like one
Cons of French Doors
- They may offer little privacy, although frosted window treatments or shades or blinds can be added to compensate
- They require some maintenance, depending on the material you choose
- High-quality French doors can be expensive, relative to the lesser-quality options