Barn Door Vs French Door: Key Differences Explained

Barn Door Vs French Door

Barn door Vs French door debate is not that hard to solve as you might have been thinking.

It’s because a barn door is different from a french door, and each of them gives a different kind of look to your house.

However, knowing the definition of each of the doors, their uses, benefits, and pitfalls are vital for deciding on one.

In this article, I’m going to solve the puzzle for you.

Here I’m going to let you know about barn doors and its uses with its good and evil.

I will also define a french door with its uses, highs, and lows.

Finally, I will be comparing these two types of doors side by side and help you to make your decision.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s jump right in.

Barn door Vs French door: Key Differences

What is a Barn Door and its Uses?

What is a Barn Door and its Uses

A barn door is one of the most stylish forms of sliding doors these days.

If you want to increase the aesthetic beauty of your house, and at the same time looking for an easy to implement separating door, then a barn door is the one you should get your eye in.

Though a sliding barn door is not the right solution for your bedroom as it’s not that sound-proof, and it requires some space from the floor to the bottom of the door. That means it doesn’t provide enough privacy that your bedroom needs.

However, this type of door can be a perfect and stylish option to separate your living room from dining.

Here are some cool uses of barn doors I must mention –

  • To separate your living room from dining.
  • A chalkboard barn door for concealing your kitchen pantry.
  • For concealing your bathroom.
  • To give a unique look to your side table.
  • For hiding a TV.
  • To conceal dishwashers, washer-dryer in your kitchen.
  • Use for the storage room door to hide the unattractive items.

Now let’s see some of the benefits and pitfalls of using a barn door.

What We Liked
    • A barn door increases both aesthetic beauty and functionality features at the same time.
    • Buying and installing a barn door hardware kit is super easy.
    • One of the perfect types of doors to utilize any small space. That’s why it’s considered to be a big space saver.
    • It’s versatile.
    • A barn door requires low-maintenance.
    • You have different designs of barn doors to install for different parts of your room. For example – mirror barn door, chalkboard, rustic, for kids, small doors, oversized doors, etc.

What We Didn't Like
  • It hampers privacy.
  • Sometimes it can come off the tracks.
  • You need ample adjacent wall space to let the barn door slide.
  • Typically, doesn’t close as quietly as a traditional door.

What is a French Door and its Uses?

What is a French Door and its Uses

A french door was introduced way before a sliding barn door. However, it hasn’t lost its appeal to the homeowners yet by any means.

It was first introduced in France back in the 17th century. That’s why it’s called a french door.

Nonetheless, from time to time, so many other countries welcomed this type of door and made it famous.

Initially, it was not a door but a large window. Later, the Renaissance converted the large window to the French door.

This type of doors has mullions and muntins, and they can be opened either inwards or outwards, and extend in full stretch.

Here are some highs and lows of a french door –

What We Liked
    • It’s the perfect type of door to give your house a heritage look.
    • You have several sizes of french doors at different vendors to replace your existing doors.
    • One of the best types of doors to get natural lights into your room to get health benefits.
    • It saves your electricity bills by providing natural lights during the day time.
    • It’s easy to control the amount of breeze you want into your room with this door. It’s because you can open either of the panels or both panels as per your needs.
    • A french door offers versatility. You can use it both as an interior or exterior door.
    • This type of door is easy to customize.
    • It increases your home security.
    • A modern-day french door requires less maintenance.
    • It can be the right choice for bedrooms.

What We Didn't Like
  • When you open the door, it requires some spaces. That’s why it’s not a perfect solution for small spaces.
  • The wooden boards for load-bearing in the door center block the view.
  • The installation is costly.
  • It’s poorly energy efficient.
  • Pricier than traditional doors.

Barn Doors Vs French Doors – Which one is the better?

Both barn doors and french doors have their own characteristics to increase the aesthetics and functionalities of your house.

They are different from each other.

A barn door is a sliding door, but a french door is not a sliding door. French doors have two parts that pivot on adjustable hinges and have opening and closing in the middle.

Installing a french door can be expensive, but a barn door is not.

For your bedroom privacy, you would prefer a french door to a barn door.

A barn door offers more versatility than a french door.

If you want to bring a modern look for your house, then you should install a barn door. On the other hand, a french door will give a heritage look to your home.

So, yes, each of the types has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Which one is better?

In short, the answer is, it depends on your preference, application, the available space, etc.

First, see which one suits your requirements and budget. Go for that type without any second thought.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question #1. Can a regular door be used as a barn door?

Answer: Yes, of course.

You can convert a regular door into a barn door quite easily. You have to buy the barn door hardware kit.

Converting a regular door to a barn door by installing the barn door hardware is not hard at all. You just have to make sure that there is enough space for the door for the sliding.

Question #2. Can any door be used as a pocket door?

Answer: It’s a possible but not that straightforward process.

First of all, there should be enough opening (at least twice as wide as the door). On top of that, you need to have the room/space to hide the door inside the wall itself.

You may need to relocate the electric outlets or wires if there is any.

You must buy high-quality, pocket door hardware.

Question #3. What is the standard size for a French door?

Answer: You have the liberty to choose from different sizes of French doors.

Typically, the width of the French doors starts from 1’6” and ranges up to 3’ (by 2” increment).

The height of the French door ranges from 6’8” to 8’.

Most of the excellent manufacturers offer a size between 1200mm to 3000mm.

So many vendors customize the size as per your needs too.

Final Words

I believe you are now quite clear about the definition, uses, upsides, and downsides of a barn door, and a French door.

I also tried to compare these two types of doors side by side, that must help you to decide on any of the options.

I’m sure you didn’t miss out on the frequently asked question section to get the answer to a question you might have had.

Which one do you think is the best bet for you?

About the author

John Paterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.


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