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What is the difference between interior and exterior french doors?

What is the difference between interior and exterior french doors?

Traditionally, French doors have been used to connect a home's patio or deck to the outdoors. They exude an air of refinement. But interior french doors are also becoming increasingly fashionable today. A den and a living room can be divided with them, as can a dining room from the remainder of the living area. These stunning doors open up a space and give it a lighter, more spacious sense.

When looking to renovate your home, you should know the different types of French doors, so that you don’t use the interior version for the outside entrance.

In this article, we look at how to know the types of French doors for exterior and interior use.  


One major difference between interior and exterior French doors is the size of the core. When compared to the interior version, exterior French doors have an insulated solid core that provides improved noise reduction, energy efficiency, and security.

French door

The interior versions are usually hollow-core with a thin veneer. They are great for separating spaces inside your home but are not strong or secure enough to be used externally.


Aesthetics play a key role in interior vs exterior French doors. The interior versions are more about appearance, while exterior models focus on security and practicality.

Exterior french doors are built to be sturdier, with stronger frames and weather resistant materials. They are also energy efficient. 

The interior versions are not built for the elements. For example, the white double interior doors provide a beautiful opening between two rooms but do not provide the same level of security that the front entry door types do. 

Materials Used

The material used in French doors varies depending on their location. The ones used for exterior entrances are usually made of heavy-duty materials like steel or wood to withstand all weather conditions.

Interior French doors are not built with heavy-duty materials because they are protected from sunlight and inclement weather conditions. That is why they are usually made of lightweight materials like vinyl or wood, metal and glass.

Installation differences

Interior French doors don’t require much in terms of installation. Interior French doors are usually pre-hung, so aside from the actual product, all you need is a drill and some screws. 

With the exterior models, however, you'll need to make sure the frame has been properly weatherproofed, that the frame is level and even, and that the size of the door is right for your entrance.

Can you use exterior French doors for interior? Not really, because in the long run, saving money by using an internal door for exterior entrance won't be worth the higher heating and cooling fees you'll incur.

At United Porte, you can choose from a wide variety of exterior and interior French door types without breaking the bank. So there is really no need to incur further expenses down the road by buying the wrong door type for your home.

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