How to choose door locks for French doors.


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How to choose door locks for French doors.

By emily.bailey

Friday, June 3, 2022

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 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.


French Doors - Door locks - Schlage

Before choosing french door locks

Take a moment to get familiar with the style and features of each double door. See how it is prepped. Are bore holes already drilled into the door or is there a solid panel where the hardware will be? Knowing 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.


When purchasing door hardware online, confirm how many knobs or levers are included. Non-turning door hardware is often packaged as a single lever or knob, but our collection of non-turning Schlage Custom™ Door Hardware is sold in pairs. This leaves no need to worry about handing for curved levers because the left and right versions are packaged together for you.

Door locks for interior French doors

Home offices and dens that branch off from a larger living space are a perfect fit for French doors. Double doors allow you to add 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.

No bore holes

Full glass french doors leading from kitchen to attached sun room with Schlage Accent levers.


For double doors without pre-drilled bore holes, you will need non-turning or dummy function door handles. These are often used as decorative door pulls when the ability to latch or lock a door is not needed. For shallow closets, feel free to install 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

One bore hole

Glass paned french doors leading to bedroom with lockable Schlage Georgian knobs.


There are rooms that should lock or at least have a door that latches. For these, install double doors that come 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 your right-handed door. If you want the option to lock it, choose a Bed & Bath / Privacy function for your knob or lever. If you’d like the door to latch and not lock, choose a Hall & Closet / Passage function. Purchase matching, non-locking / dummy hardware for the left-handed door.

French Doors - Passage and Privacy Door Hardware - Schlage

Door locks for exterior French doors

Exterior French doors are most used to access outdoor living spaces like a sunroom, patio or deck. 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.


Glass french doors leading from home office to outdoor patio.

Two bore holes

Sets of double doors leading outside should have one door prepped with a bore hole and none in the opposite door. For added security, confirm there is a second bore hole to house a deadbolt. If the door is not properly pre-drilled, purchase a cross bore kit to easily drill and install the hardware yourself.


A single cylinder mechanical deadbolt will do, but some homeowners prefer to install a double cylinder deadbolt for even more security with glass doors. As smart homes become more popular, homeowners are also turning to smart locks on French doors. Beneath your preferred deadbolt, you may choose a keyed knob or lever.

Exterior double doors - Deadbolt - Schlage

Exterior double doors with Schlage Addison Handlesets

Three bore holes

For a more formal entrance or when a door has three bore holes, choose a handleset. For the inactive side of the door., you may install nothing, or add the non-turning/dummy version of your active hardware. (In other words, if you purchase a Schlage Century entry handleset with deadbolt for one side, you may also get a Century inactive handleset for the other.

Exterior double doors - Handleset - Schlage

Can you put a smart lock on French doors?

Exterior French door with Schlage Sense smart lock and Schlage Camelot front entry handle.

All Schlage electronic and smart locks are compatible with standard doors so 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 styling your French doors.