How To Choose The Best French Door Handle Sets For Your Home

How To Choose The Best French Door Handle Sets For Your Home

Choosing the right french door handles can be a tricky task. The configuration of french doors adds some complexity to installing door handles, especially when you need them to lock.

When trying to choose the right french door handle set configuration and lock, you want to consider the function of the doors and how you will be using the space.

How To Choose The Best French Door Handle Sets For Your Home

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Some examples would be:

For french doors between two sitting areas or on a closet, you may just need decorative handles for the doors.

If the french doors are located on an bedroom, you may want an option for them to lock when you are inside the room.

When it comes to french doors on an office, you might want the option to lock the doors with a key when leaving to maintain privacy.

For exterior french doors, you know you’ll want to make sure the handle set has a sturdy lock that will keep your home protected from intruders. .

How Does French Door Hardware Work?

French doors can have a number of configurations depending on the purpose of the doors.

In general, interior french doors come so that either side can be opened without impacting the other side. Shown above in the image above as “both hands active”. This is a common configuration for closet doors or other situations when you do not plan to install locking hardware.

When you buy interior french doors, they will often come with a hole in the top of each door. That is meant for the door’s ball catch hardware(see image below). The plate gets installed on the door jamb, and the ball catch into the hole in the top of the door. This hardware is how the french doors stay closed.

To start the process of selecting the handles for your interior french doors you’ll need to decide if you want the doors to lock or not.

  • If they are not going to lock, you will then choose between fixed handles or turning handles.

  • If they are going to lock, you'‘ll want to decide between locking from the inside (with a button or other manual lock), or if you will have a keyed handle set that can be locked from either the inside or the outside.

If you want to have a lock on your interior french doors, you will first want to decide which handing you prefer for your door.

To decide on right or left side handing for your door:

  • Stand on the side of the door where you can see the hinges - the doors will be swinging toward you.

  • The door you want to open first will determine the handing, either the right or left door.

Once you have decided on the handing, you’ll need to install a T-shaped trim piece called astragal moulding to the exterior side of the opposite door, or the one that will be “fixed”. This piece of trim serves a purpose of giving you privacy by blocking the space between the doors. It also provides security to help prevent people from accessing the lock through the gap in the doors.

Exterior french doors come with this trim attached to provide sufficient security. That is why you should take extra care to make sure to select the correct handing for your exterior french doors when ordering.



Interior French Door Fixed Handle Sets

If your handle will mostly be serving a decorative purpose with the function being just for pushing or pulling, you will want to purchase dummy handles for the doors.

If the door will be accessible from both sides, you’ll want to purchase two sets of two handles, 4 handles total. Keep in mind that if you choose a lever style, you’ll want to make sure to choose both right hand and left handed handles.

Interior French Door Locking Privacy Handle Sets

To install privacy handles on your interior french doors, you can purchase one set of dummy handles and one set of operable privacy handles (handles that are able to turn).

The dummy handles will go on the inside and outside of the door opposite to the one you selected for your handing, the one with the astragal trim attached to the exterior.

The operable privacy handle set will be installed on the door you chose for your handing. The strike plate for that operable privacy handle should attach to the inside of the opposite door.

If you choose lever door handles, make sure to pay attention to the handing. You’ll want to ensure the handing matched your door handing correctly so that the push button lock is on the inside of the door.



Interior French Door Locking Keyed Handle Sets

Similar to the privacy handles above, to install keyed handles on your interior french doors, you can purchase one set of dummy handles and one set of keyed handles.

The dummy handles will go on the inside and outside of the door opposite to the one you selected for your handing, the one with the astragal trim attached to the exterior.

The keyed handle set will be installed on the door you chose for your handing. The strike plate for that keyed handle should attach to the inside of the opposite door.

If you choose lever door handles, make sure to pay attention to the handing. You’ll want to ensure the handing matched your door handing correctly so that the keyed side is on the exterior side of the door.

Interior French Door Bolt Locks

When it comes to more secure locks for your interior french doors, you also have the option of bolt style locks.

These locks are installed on the door and lock up into the door jam, down into the floor, or both. They can be paired with locking handle options above or with only dummy handles.

Exterior French Door Handle Sets

As I mentioned earlier, exterior french doors need to be ordered with the correct handing. This is because they come with heavy duty astragal trim attached to the secondary door - the door opposite of the primary handed door- for added security.

Unlike interior french doors, typically exterior french doors only have one handle set that gets installed on the primary door, or the one with your chosen handing. To have the most security possible, it is a good idea to select an exterior french door that is double bored for a handle set with both a locking handle and a deadbolt.

Conclusion

Trying to determine the best handle for french doors can be difficult, but I hope this information has been helpful as you search for the perfect set for you interior or exterior french doors. Make sure to take the function of the space into account and then decide whether or not you want (or need) the doors to lock. From there you’ll be able to decide between a the various configurations and locking options to best meet your needs.

I want to hear from you - Are you looking for a handle set for interior or exterior french doors? Do you have any questions about french door handle sets that didn’t get answered? Ask me below in the comments!