What is the Difference Between Sliding & French Patio Doors?

What is the Difference Between SlidingView of living room with windows overlooking scenic Wisconsin landscape and sliding glass doors leading out to patio. & French Patio Doors?

If you’re looking to take your sunroom, deck, or patio to the next level, investing in patio doors can go a long way toward accomplishing that. And if you’ve already begun your quest for those perfect patio doors, you’ve likely come across the two more popular options available on the market: sliding and French patio doors. Naturally, you may be wondering how these two styles differ and which is best suited for your home. Let’s take a look at how sliding and French patio doors vary from one another in terms of:


Perhaps the most apparent difference between sliding and French patio doors is how they function. As their name suggests, sliding patio doors move laterally along a rail. French patio doors are typically installed in pairs and operate on hinges, opening outward or inward. Sliding glass doors are ideal for areas in the home where there is insufficient space for doors to swing open or where foot traffic is high. Conversely, if there is ample space between your indoor and outdoor living areas, French doors make for a nice addition.

Door Frame Thickness

Sliding glass doors tend to have thinner frames than French doors, allowing them to offer more expansive, unobstructive views of the outdoors. In this respect, the style that best suits your specific home comes down to personal preference. If a modern, sleek aesthetic is something you’re looking to work toward for your home, sliding glass doors may be the more sensible option. However, if you’re looking for patio doors that offer the elegant, classic look, French doors are the way to go.


Another aspect where French doors and sliding glass doors differ is the situations each is best suited for. Most French doors are offered in a two-panel setup. And although sidelites can be added on either side of French patio doors, this style may not serve as the best option for wider door openings. Sliding glass doors, on the other hand, are ideal for larger setups, as their simple gliding motion make them easy to operate regardless of their size.


Most French doors are configured where both doors can be opened, while sliding glass doors open on one side and remain stationary on the other. If you are one who likes to take full advantage of the cool outdoor air from time to time, you may consider opting for French doors.

Sliding Glass or French Doors? We’ve Got You Covered With Both!

Whether you’ve decided on sliding glass doors or French doors for your home in Central or Northeastern Wisconsin, RBA of Greater Wisconsin is the name to call on for state-of-the-art products and equally impressive installations. As a proud Renewal by Andersen® subsidiary, we carry all of the popular patio door styles offered by this top brand, including sliding glass doors and French doors. Our Certified Master Installers have been factory-trained and -certified to install our patio doors and their impeccable work comes backed by a limited warranty.

Reach out to the RBA of Greater Wisconsin team today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Hear From Our Customers

We love our new windows! It’s beautiful, just what we wanted! No more leaky windows and matches my other windows perfectly!

Oshkosh, WI

RBA did an excellent job and fast! 5 windows in 3 hours from the time they arrived, did the work & cleaned up. It was as if they had never been there, other than having these excellent replacement windows in place!

Green Bay, WI

Absolutely great experience. The installation team was very professional. We have also decided to replace two more windows next spring!

Appleton, WI
$499 OFF Each Window*
$999 OFF Each Patio Door
12 Months No Payments, No Interest!
Claim These Savings
Custom Built In USA
Lead Safe