Fiberglass vs. Steel Doors – Pros and Cons
In the world of doors, fiberglass and steel often become lumped together. They’re both considered alternatives to wood doors. They’re both incredibly strong, meaning that you’ll have better security than you might with other doors. But fiberglass and steel doors are not equal in terms of quality, and it’s likely that one is better for your Orange County home than the other. How can you know which is the best for you? In today’s blog, let’s break down the pros and cons of both fiberglass and steel doors.
Fiberglass doors are the most recent door material on the market, but they’re quickly becoming among the most popular. They’re strong, energy efficient, and with the right manufacturer, they can even take on the look of real wood doors. There are a number of benefits that you can glean from these doors, including:
- Energy efficient. Fiberglass entry doors have an R-value of 6, sometimes 7, making them one of the most energy efficient door materials out there. With this energy efficiency, you can enjoy a comfortable home without high heating and cooling bills.
- Low maintenance. Fiberglass doesn’t expand, contract, swell, rot, or warp. It even resists dents and dings. That makes fiberglass very low maintenance. It just needs an occasional cleaning with a damp cloth and an even rarer coat of varnish or paint to keep the vibrance from fading.
- Durable. Fiberglass has a toughness that’s comparable to steel. It resists impacts, strong winds, water damage, and some are even fire rated. These doors will last for decades with very little signs of wear, so they’re a great long-term investment.
- Stylish. Fiberglass doors are beautiful and can even take on the look of wood doors, while in actuality being much more weather resistant than wood doors.
Fiberglass doors are an excellent investment for your Orange County home, but you should do your research to determine that they’re right for you. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re considering buying fiberglass doors for your home:
- Can crack. Fiberglass doesn’t dent, but if it takes an exceptionally hard hit, it can crack. This isn’t the most appealing look, and it can damage your energy efficiency. Fortunately, you can repair cracks with a bonding agent used for fiberglass doors. While the bonding agent filling the crack is still pliable, you can carve into it the impressions of the woodgrain texture so that it blends into the door.
- Can’t always be trimmed. Fiberglass cannot always be trimmed to fit your door frame, so you have to be absolutely sure that you have the measurements just right for your fiberglass door before it’s installed. If it doesn’t fit, you may have to send the door back and order a new one. It’s not the best material for doors that aren’t standard sizes, and often comes with the door frame included.
- Costly. Fiberglass doors are not as expensive as all wood doors, but it is quite a steep investment upfront. The upside is that it has great ROI. Consider hiring a fiberglass door company that offers financing plans to make it more affordable.
- Installation. Because fiberglass is heavy and often comes with the entire frame, this installation can be a tricky one for an amateur to handle. It’s best to hire a professional to install fiberglass doors, though as we’ve discussed in previous blogs, that might be a good idea anyway.
Steel Door Pros
Just the words “steel door” evokes an idea of a very strong, sturdy door, and that’s not a misinterpretation. Homeowners can feel secure with a steel door, knowing how difficult it would be to break down. Steel has also come a long way in the style department since it first started to be used as an entry door material. Some of the benefits include:
- Weather resistant. Steel will not warp, rot, or swell like wood doors, so it’s sure to stand up to even the rainiest days.
- Low maintenance. Steel doors do not require frequent staining that wood doors require, and are quite easy to clean, though they may require an occasional new coat of paint. They also last about as long as fiberglass doors.
- Cost. Steel doors are often less expensive than fiberglass or wood doors, making this a great upfront investment.
- Secure. Steel doors are known for their impact resistance, making them a very secure front door option, as they’ll be much more difficult for home invaders to break down.
Steel Door Cons
Steel doors are a popular type of entry door for a reason, but they might not be for everyone. Thinking about having a steel door installed? Make sure you’ve studied the disadvantages as well as the advantages. Here are some of the cons you might come across when it comes to steel doors:
- Style. Steel doors have come a long way in terms of style, but they still lack the aesthetic elegance of fiberglass or wood doors. They do blend in with modern or industrial looks, however.
- Visible damage. Steel doors can hold up against water without swelling, rotting, or warping, but they can rust. They can also be scratched or dented. Paint tends to peel from steel doors, leading many to suggest not painting steel doors at all.
- Difficult to repair. While steel doors are fairly low maintenance, they can be difficult to repair, and therefore costly to repair, which can begin to negate that benefit of low cost.
- Energy efficiency. Steel doors have equal R-value to fiberglass doors, but they aren’t the best insulators, especially in the colder months of the year, and their U-value is actually quite high.
At Today’s Entry Doors, we offer fiberglass doors because they’ve been shown again and again to be the best in the market. But are they the right doors for you? Contact Today’s Entry Doors today to learn more about them or to schedule a free consultation for yourself.