Barn Door Vs French Door: The Key Differences Explained

Table of Contents

FramingNailersGuide is reader-supported. If you buy an item through the links on this site, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by John Patterson

The Barn and French door debates are not as hard to solve as you might have thought.

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

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 their uses with their good and evil.

I will also define french doors 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

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 sliding door forms.

If you want to increase the aesthetic beauty of your house and, at the same time, look for an easy-to-implement separating door, then barn doors are the ones you should get your eye on.

Sliding barn doors are not the right solution for your bedroom as it’s not that sound-proof and require 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 door type can be a perfect and stylish option to separate your living room from the dining.

Here are some excellent 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, and washer-dryer in your kitchen.
  • Use the storage room door to hide unattractive items.

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

What We Liked
    • Barn doors increase both aesthetic beauty and functionality features at the same time.
    • Buying and installing barn doors 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.
    • Barn doors require low maintenance.
    • You have different designs of barn doors to install for different parts of your room. For example – mirror barn doors, chalkboards, 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 doors slide.
  • Typically, it doesn’t come close as quietly as a traditional door.

Best Barn Door

BELLEZE Barn Door Review

What We Liked
    • Impressive durability and long-lasting
    • Can withstand rough weather quite well
    • Wood panels are cut with a miter saw for a better fit
    • Good quality for an affordable price range

What We Didn't Like
  • This door doesn’t do well with paint

This single sliding barn door constructed out of high-quality pine is a sight to behold. Designed to be used in bathrooms, bedrooms, and office rooms, the BELLEZE single sliding barn door has a rustic yet sleek look.

This makes it a popular choice if you want to spice up the interior look of your house.

Pine is an excellent material for constructing barn doors simply for its great durability and strength. It doesn’t get scratched easily or damaged. You can use this door outdoors, and it can withstand most weather conditions, so expect it to serve you well for a long time.

Despite being sturdy, pine is also soft and has a nice texture. It is very affordable and is a great budget pick for most homes.

The door is pre-cut with miter saws to ensure a comfortable fit in your home. It is also pre-drilled, so installation is less hassle as you only need to screw it on. This vertical-style 36 by 84 inches is a comfortable pick for many reasons, and the pine look has excellent appeal.

What is a French Door and its Uses?

What is a French Door and its Uses

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

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 into a French door.

This type of door 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 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 light into your room for health benefits.
    • It saves your electricity bills by providing natural light during the daytime.
    • This door makes it easy to control the amount of breeze you want in your room. It’s because you can open either of the panels or both 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 space. 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.

Best French Door

LTL Home Products 852730 Review

What We Liked
    • Bifold design helps to save a lot of space
    • The surface is very smooth and slick
    • Pivots are pre-drilled for easier and faster installation
    • The glass is scratch-resistant and isn’t damaged easily
    • Opaque glass makes it perfect for bedrooms

What We Didn't Like
  • The door is quite heavy, so it can be difficult to work with initially

Now let’s look at a French door from LTL. They are a well-known manufacturer of high-quality home products, and this door doesn’t disappoint. This French door is made of pine, measuring 36 by 80 inches.

As has been discussed before- pine is an excellent material for how durable it is, and it offers a great texture.

This door is smooth and slick to the touch. There are no finger joints, so there is less hassle when installing and using it. It features 1-3/8 inch clear stiles and rails for easier fitting. The pivots are also pre-drilled, so this French door is prized for its ability to install compared to other models.

Lite tempered glass is used for this item. The glasses allow a decent amount of light into a room and are scratch-resistant. It is also filmed in plastic which you can remove once you have painted or applied a finish to the door.

The door comes ready to be stained, painted, or varnished allowing for plenty of customization options for your house. It works well with many different types of houses and is very appealing to look at. Overall, as far as French doors go, this is a great pick.

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

Both barn 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: pivot on adjustable hinges and open and close in the middle.

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

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

Barn doors offer more versatility than french doors.

To bring a modern look to your house, you should install barn doors. 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 depends on your preference, application, 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 the regular door into barn doors quite easily. You have to buy the barn doors hardware kit.

Converting regular doors to barn doors by installing the barn doors hardware is not hard at all. You have to ensure enough space for the door to slide.

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

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

First, there should be enough openings (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 are any.

It would be best if you boughthigh-quality pocket door hardware.

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

Answer: You can 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 excellent manufacturers offer sizes between 1200mm to 3000mm.

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

Final Words

You are now quite clear about the definition, uses upsides, and downsides of barn doors and French doors.

I also tried to compare these two types of doors side by side, which must help you decide on any 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 Patterson

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.