How to choose door locks for French doors


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How to choose door locks for French doors

By jonnathan.rivas

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Locks for French Doors

How do you purchase the right door hardware for French doors? Here’s what you need to know before you head out to the hardware store.



French Doors - Door locks - Schlage

French doors offer a great way to create an open, bright space in your home while still maintaining the option for privacy. They often feature glass from top to bottom and are an easy way to add a little charm and character. But how do you purchase the right door hardware for French doors? Here’s what you need to know before you head out to the hardware store.

Pre-shopping checklist

Before you choose your hardware, there are a few things you will need to note about your door. First, notice how it has been prepped. Are the bore holes already drilled into the door or is there a solid panel where the hardware will be placed? This will help you choose the function of your hardware. For doors that do have bore holes, check out this door prep checklist to ensure your door has been prepped to standard measurements.


If you are planning to purchase a lever with a curve, you’ll want to note the handing of your doors. Since you will have both a left and right handed door, be sure to choose both a left handed lever and a right handed lever. A little bit of homework will help you get a French door locking system that makes your home safer and more stylish.

Interior french doors – no bore holes

French Doors - Non-turning Accent Lever - Schlage

Do you have a room you’d like to separate from the rest of the home but are afraid of making it feel too closed off or small? French doors for your home office or den are ideal when you need privacy or noise control while still maintaining an open feeling. It’s also common to see interior French doors for a bedroom entrance – giving it a grander, formal feel – or even for large closets. They are sometimes referred to as double doors and can be solid or feature head-to-toe glass.


For double doors that do not have bore holes, you can choose to use non-turning or dummy function hardware. These are often used as decorative door pulls when the ability to latch or lock the door is not needed. For shallow closets, you can get by with installing door hardware only on the exterior side of the door. For larger rooms you can actually walk into, make sure to purchase enough non-turning door knobs or levers for the interior side.

French Doors - Non-turning Door Hardware - Schlage
If you decide to order hardware online, be careful to note how many knobs or levers are included in your purchase. Often times, non-turning hardware is sold as a single lever or knob, but in some cases, you can purchase in pairs. Our non-turning Schlage Custom™ Door Hardware will always come in pairs. This also means that you do not need to choose handing for curved levers because you will receive both versions.

Interior french doors – with bore holes

French Doors - Georgian knob - Schlage

Some rooms you would like to be able to lock – like if you’re dreaming of French doors for a master bedroom – or at least have a knob or lever that latches. Here you’ll want to install French doors that are already drilled with a cross bore hole on one side and a latch bore on the other. Let’s say the cross bore hole is on the right handed door. If you want to have the option to lock the door, choose a Bed & Bath / Privacy function for your knob or lever. If locking is not necessary but you would like the door to latch, choose a Hall & Closet / Passage function. You can then choose a non-locking/dummy lock for the left handed door.

French Doors - Passage and Privacy Door Hardware - Schlage

Exterior Patio French Doors - with bore holes

French Patio Doors - Accent lever - Schlage

Exterior French doors are most commonly used to access outdoor living spaces, like a sunroom or patio, or leading out to the backyard. They offer a stylish way to make a seamless transition from one space to another. Double doors for the front of your home makes for an elegant entryway.

You can choose an exterior set of doors that is prepped similarly to the interior doors with bore holes on one side, but if you want to add a little extra security, make sure you have a second bore hole to house a deadbolt. A single cylinder mechanical deadbolt will do. Some homeowners prefer to install a double cylinder deadbolt for even more security with glass doors. Beneath the deadbolt, you can choose a keyed knob or lever.

Exterior double doors - Deadbolt - Schlage

Exterior Double Doors - with 3 bore holes

Exterior Double Doors - Handleset - Schlage

For a more formal appearance or when your door has three bore holes, choose a handleset. On the inactive side of the door, you may install nothing at all. But if you want to complete the look, install the non-turning/dummy function of the same lock combo you chose for the active side. In other words, if you purchase a Schlage Century entry handleset with deadbolt for one side, you might also get a Century inactive handleset for the other.

Exterior double doors - Handleset - Schlage

Exterior Double Doors - with Electronic Locks

Exterior double door - Electronic lock - Schlage

What about electronic and smart locks? All of our electronic and smart locks are compatible with standard doors so that means you can install them on your French or double entry doors the same as you would a mechanical deadbolt. The double entry door above features a Schlage Sense® Smart Deadbolt paired with the Camelot style front entry handle.

If you only have two bore holes, you can add a passage knob or lever below your smart or electronic lock. And of course, there’s still the option to add a non-turning knob or lever to the inactive side of your entrance.

Exterior double doors - Electronic lock - Schlage
We’d love to help you in your search for the perfect French door hardware. Try our interactive Product Selector tool to start browsing the right hardware now. And if you’re looking for more French door design ideas, check out this inspiring guide to French door perfection.