Barn Door VS French Door: Differences Explained By Real User

Last Updated on January 25, 2023 by Heenan

Looking to add some flair to your home and impress people?

The right door type can add to a house aesthetically and functionality-wise.

You may have heard people discussing barn doors and French doors.

What makes each of them so unique, and which one is better?

There are so many questions. Don’t fear, for this article is here to answer all those questions.

We’ll give you information on the two doors and illustrate some of their uses.

Barn Door VS French Door: The Comparison

Barn Door VS French Door

Best Barn Door
SmartStandard 36.5 x 84 in Sliding MDF Barn Door with 6.6FT Sliding...
Best French Door
Sliding French Double Pocket Doors 72 x 80 inches Clear Glass 12...
SmartStandard 36.5 x 84 in Sliding MDF Barn Door with 6.6FT Sliding...
Sliding French Double Pocket Doors 72 x 80 inches Clear Glass 12...
Editor's Rating
Prime Status
Best Barn Door
SmartStandard 36.5 x 84 in Sliding MDF Barn Door with 6.6FT Sliding...
SmartStandard 36.5 x 84 in Sliding MDF Barn Door with 6.6FT Sliding...
Editor's Rating
Prime Status
Full Review
Best French Door
Sliding French Double Pocket Doors 72 x 80 inches Clear Glass 12...
Sliding French Double Pocket Doors 72 x 80 inches Clear Glass 12...
Editor's Rating
Prime Status
Full Review

What Is a Barn Door?

What Is a Barn Door

If you visit the countryside or a farm, you might come across barns or houses fitted with barn doors.

Basically, barn doors are sliding doors, i.e., you open them by sliding them away and not by pulling them.

They use a rail system attached to a wall that allows the doors to slide open or close.

An interior or exterior header is needed to support the rail system properly and also the door.

Barn doors have three different styles. Single barn doors feature one door that slides left or right to open or close.

Double barn doors feature two doors that move in opposite directions to open.

Bypass barn doors consist of two doors, with one door sliding over the other.

The first style is often used in homes, while the others are seen in barns.


  • Barn doors take less space to open
  • They are quite easy to install using a barn doors hardware kit
  • A wide variety of designs for barn doors are available
  • Barn doors don’t require much maintenance


  • They aren’t noise-proof as they must have a gap between the door and the ground

Best Barn Door

SmartStandard 36.5 x 84 in Sliding MDF Barn Door with 6.6FT Sliding...
83 Reviews
SmartStandard 36.5 x 84 in Sliding MDF Barn Door with 6.6FT Sliding...
  • DIMENSION: Width: 36.5",...
  • WATER-PROOF &...
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE: Our glass...


  • It comes pre-drilled, so installation is fast and easy
  • The item comes with all the screws and parts needed to attach it
  • Made out of high-quality spruce wood and is very durable
  • The spruce wood smells nice and is great for homes
  • It provides high sound insulation and some heat insulation


  • Can be scratched by pets

First, let’s look at the sliding barn doors courtesy of SMARTSTANDARD. This sliding door comes pre-drilled and is thus already set for installation. You will only need a screwdriver and hammer, making this sliding barn door a good choice for easy installation.

It measures 36×84 inches, and the design allows you to flip it on either side. The material used to construct this sliding barn door is spruce wood.

Spruce wood is a great choice since it has a naturally soft and smooth texture. It possesses a great finish, and the color makes it usable in a large variety of homes without looking out of place.

In addition to looking, spruce wood provides a great degree of sound insulation. It is great for homes as it prevents outside noises from entering the room and helps to create a peaceful atmosphere.

Spruce wood also smells good, giving your home a nice odor. The door itself is also very sturdy and durable and can last a long while without being damaged.

You can easily paint this door if you want it to fit your house better. Also, you can drill a handle into the door for easier operation.  If you need a great sliding barn door that is easy to install and is made out of high-quality wood, this is a great pick.

What Is a Barn Door Used for?

Barn doors are versatile and can be used in many places, provided you can attach the rail system.

One thing that might prevent you from making use of a barn door is whether the aesthetic matches your home or not.

However, it should be noted that barn doors have good design choices.

Kitchens often make use of chalkboard barn doors to hide pantries.

Laundry, dining, and storage rooms can also use barn doors and are effective since barn doors save space.

Office rooms also make use of barn doors for the same reason.

What Is a French Door?

What Is a French Door

French doors originated during the 17th century in France. Their design includes two doors with handles that allow the doors to be opened from the middle via either pulling or pushing.

The two doors open in opposite directions and then latch together. And the primary design consists of a wooden frame with glass panes inside the frame.

French doors often feature very fine craftsmanship, and recent ones have more secure locking mechanisms.

Interior French doors are a great way to go about it if you want to make your house look classy.

They can’t be fitted in every room since they take up more space than the average door.


  • It gives a house a very traditional and pleasing look
  • The windowpanes allow for natural light to enter
  • You can control the amount of wind entering the room with these doors
  • They have secure locking mechanisms


  • Installing French doors takes time and is more expensive

Best French Door

Sliding French Double Pocket Doors 72 x 80 inches Clear Glass 12...
5 Reviews
Sliding French Double Pocket Doors 72 x 80 inches Clear Glass 12...
  • ✔️ SET INCLUDES- 2 white...
  • ✔️ SLIDING DOOR- Pocket...
  • ✔️ WOOD DOOR- Door made of...
  • ✔️ CUSTOM SIZE — Door...


  • The eco-veneer finish makes the door scratch-resistant
  • You can trim parts of the door to adjust the size
  • It provides a great deal of sound insulation
  • Opaque frosted glass is scratch-resistant
  • Made out of pine, so very durable


  • It is somewhat time-consuming to install

This is a French door designed mostly for bedrooms and bathrooms but can still be used in other places. It is a set with 2 24 by 80 inches doors and frames for walls around 5 ½ inches. The doors are made of solid pine and have an eco veneer for a smooth and stylistic finish.

Pine is already a very strong material, so this door is physically very strong and can serve your house for a long time. The eco veneer finish helps make it look even better, as well as make the door easier to clean. These doors are very easy to keep clean and maintain while also being eco-friendly.

The door can be trimmed at both the top and sides, which allows you more options in size for your home. Although default purchases come with square knobs, you can order custom knobs for them. The door has sound insulation and blocks a good deal of sound from neighboring rooms.

Opaque glass is used, which makes it ideal for bathrooms and bedrooms. The glass is very high quality and sturdy. It won’t get scratched easily. It is a bit harder to install than the other French door we have covered, but it is an incredibly beautiful addition to any home.

What Is a French Door Used for?

Primarily French doors are used to provide a doorway to your house’s patio. Ideally, placing it near the patio is a good idea since it allows natural light to enter your room and keeps it well-lit during the day, saving you some money on electricity bills.

Similarly, you can also use French doors as a doorway to balconies for similar effects.

French doors can also be lined in a row across the length of a wall.

This can be done in your dining room or living room to enable a great view of the outside if you want to.

A more creative use can be to attach French doors in corners of a room to serve as a makeshift window.

Barn Door or French Door: Which One Is Best for you?

People often compare barn doors and French doors and wonder which is better. Let’s see some comparisons first:


In regards to installation, barn doors are the easier ones to install. A barn door or pocket door hardware kit can easily help you install a barn door without much hassle.

French doors take up more space and so can’t be installed as easily.

You need to make sure there’s a sufficient room or make enough room to install them, and the process is much longer. French doors also tend to be more expensive to install than barn doors.


Barn doors save more space than French doors and can be used in storage rooms and pantries.

French doors require more space to open but also double as windows letting light and air enter if situated near a patio or balcony.


French doors are noise-proof or, in most cases, have excellent noise reduction.

You won’t usually hear people on the other side of a French door.

Barn doors usually don’t have that luxury as they have a gap at the bottom, allowing sound to travel.

As you can see, the different doors have different uses and situations where they’re better.

It’s best to understand them before hastily installing either one of them.


Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the discussion between barn doors and French doors:

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

Answer: Yes, it can. You need to convert your door into a barn door. This can be done using a barn door hardware kit.

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

Answer: It depends less on the door and more on whether the wall can accommodate it. Generally, with the help of a pocket door hardware kit, you can convert a regular door into a pocket door, but the wall needs to be spacious enough for the door to slide into.

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

Answer: The standard size is usually 80 inches by 36 inches though many manufacturers allow you to make custom sizes.


French doors and sliding barn doors have different uses and very few areas where they overlap.

You should take some time to consider each offer’s different advantages and functions before trying to install them.

A well-placed French door can improve the lighting and ventilation in your house, and well-placed barn doors can save you a lot of space.

Let us know in the comments how much you liked our barn door and French door comparison guide.

Related Resource:
Step-by-step guide to install an exterior sliding barn door.

Meet the Authors

Heenan, Cannon, Mack, and Theodore are four outdoor enthusiasts. Each of them is a handyman and off-road adventurers. Dealing with different tools, automotive accessories, products related to home like sealers are some of their day-to-day tasks. They run this website to share their thoughts on various items they think are good or bad for others. Learn how they started as The Handyman Guru, and why they decided to start this blog..

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