20% Off Your Installed Project this May. Plus $0 Down, 0% Interest, 0 Payments for 12 Months*

Before and after of a sliding patio door converted to French doors.

Can I Replace My Sliding Doors with French Doors?

If you’re wondering, “Can I replace my sliding doors with French doors?” the answer is yes. Some people prefer the look and function of French doors vs. sliding doors. Learn more about each type of patio door to see which fits your home best.

What are French Doors?

French doors have hinges to swing in or outward. They take their name from French windows. Many years ago, French architects created side-by-side casement windows to add sunlight to rooms. As the style entered the U.S., it morphed into doors to become French doors. French doors differ from sliding glass doors because they have a wider profile. The wider profile creates a bold look. French doors also have traditional design appeal that fit classical styled homes. Adding window grilles to French doors accent traditional details.

If you like the look of a French door but prefer a sliding door, Marvin Replacement has sliding French doors available.

Benefits of French Doors

French doors have timeless style that many homeowners enjoy. Custom French doors can fit perfect in spaces like laundry rooms to add sunshine. Bedroom French doors that open to a deck or patio add elegance with the benefit of refreshing natural light.

Exterior view of a Marvin Replacement French door in Bahama brown finish

Pros of French Doors

  • Expand Outdoor Living: Custom exterior French doors increase your indoor/outdoor living spaces through a variety of configurations. A two- panel French door creates a wide opening for an easy transition from the indoors to the outdoors.

  • Bring Natural Light: The big glass area of a French door adds warming natural light to illuminate rooms. A study showed 70% of homeowners said access to natural light is a top contributor to the feeling of well-being at home.

  • Energy Efficient: French doors seal tight to prevent air leakage. They also open and close quick to prevent hot or cold air from escaping. If you live in a hot climate, you can choose window tints to curb solar heat gain.

Cons of French Doors

  • Need Space to Swing: Marvin Replacement’s Inswing French Doors open into a room. They need space to swing open and close. The way a door swings can mean thinking about how to arrange a room.

What are Sliding Doors?

Sliding patio doors open and close by moving along a track system. Marvin Replacement Sliding Patio Doors have heavy duty rollers for smooth operation. Our patio doors can come in two, three, or four-panel configurations. You can also choose whether the door opens from the middle or at the end with our three-panel doors.

Interior view of a white four-panel Marvin Replacement Sliding Glass Door.

Pros of Sliding Glass Doors

  • Space-Saving Operation: Sliding glass doors save interior and exterior space because they don’t need to swing open. Sliding patio doors open a room to a variety of décor ideas because they won’t interfere with furniture.

  • Wide Scenescapes: Marvin Replacement Sliding Glass Doors can span up to 16-feet wide so you can capture backyard views better. Whether you enjoy watching birds stop by or you’ve cultivated a colorful garden, a sliding glass door can capture those vivid views.

  • Slim Profiles: Our slim sliding patio door frame profile ensures bigger views and more daylight. The subtleness also blends with your home to complement color schemes.

Cons of Sliding Glass Doors

  • Maintenance: Marvin Replacement Ultrex fiberglass patio doors need next-to-zero maintenance. But, patio tracks need routine inspection. They must remain free from obstructions for smooth operation. An easy patio door cleaning tip is to use a soft bristle vacuum extension to clear the track of dirt and debris.

Interior living room image featuring a 2-panel Marvin Replacement Inswing French Door

French Doors vs. Sliding Doors: Key Differences

  • Appearance: French doors have wider bottom rails than sliding patio doors. The wider rails create a distinct look with nods to traditional styles.

  • Door Handles: Marvin Replacement French door handle options include our Cambridge Collection. Cambridge handles have an extending curved design for a touch of sophistication. Our sliding patio door handles have a curved design that doesn’t extends as far.

  • Operation: French doors and sliding doors operate different from each other. French doors swing on a hinge while sliding glass doors roll along a track to open and close.

Things to Consider When Replacing Sliding Doors with French Doors

When replacing a sliding glass door with a French door consider material, cost, and installation.

Patio Door Material

Patio doors materials include: wood, vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass. Marvin Replacement patio doors feature Ultrex fiberglass because of the strength it offers. When you compare Ultrex fiberglass vs. vinyl, you’ll see Ultrex fiberglass is 8x stronger than vinyl. Wood has classic appeal but can need routine maintenance. Aluminum conducts energy well. That means hot and cold air can pass through the material easier than materials like fiberglass.

French Door vs. Sliding Door Cost

Patio door replacement costs always factor into a decision. Patio door costs vary based on the home and the type of project. The type of material you choose for your patio door can affect the price, too. You have options, like financing to help pay for a French door or a sliding glass door.


When replacing a sliding door with French doors, think about space and functionality. Since French doors swing, they need room to operate without obstruction. You could need to rearrange furniture to ensure a clear swing path.


Installation is another factor when replacing a sliding door with a French door. French doors tend to fit in smaller areas. They aren’t always as wide as sliding glass doors. Marvin Replacement builds custom French doors to fit openings and provides professional installation.

When replacing a French door with a sliding door, there are more installation needs. Replacing a French door with a sliding patio door needs careful measurement. French doors have narrower sizes than wider sliding patio doors. You can also replace a sliding patio door with a sliding French door for an easier install.

Close up view of French door handles and locking system.

Patio Door Options + Patio Door Hardware

Both French doors and sliding patio doors have many configurations with a slight difference. Marvin Replacement Inswing French Doors max out at three panels wide. Our sliding patio doors extend four panels wide for a total of 16 feet. If you like the expansive look of four patio doors and French door style, our sliding French door has a four-panel configuration.

Our patio door features and options vary between French doors and sliding doors. Our French doors feature a multi-point locking system. Our sliding patio doors also have a multi-point locking system. We have an optional footbolt lock available with our sliding patio doors. You can use the footbolt with the door closed, or when you have the door open to prevent it from moving.  


Is it easy to replace a sliding door with French doors?

Replacing a sliding door with French doors is possible. The installation requires precise measurement. An insert replacement makes it easier because the entire frame doesn’t need removal. A full-frame project can involve a few more installation steps.

You May Also Like

inswing french door

Exterior French Door Buying Guide

French doors have an elegance that other patio doors can’t match. Learn the differences between French door styles to help find the right one for your home. 

See french door options  
inswing patio door framed by double hung windows

Marvin Replacement Windows + Doors Value

Searching for the best replacement windows and patio doors for your home can mean a lot of research. Check out our tips on how to find the best windows and doors for your home.

See Window and Door Tips  
Man uses a reciprocating saw to cut a window frame

How Do I Get Replacement Windows + Patio Doors Installed?

What does replacement window and door installation look like? Find out how Marvin Replacement installs windows and doors.

Picture new windows and doors  

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!