Traditionally, doors have always been about wood. From the largest cathedral to the smallest of homes, wood has always been the material of choice. Then eventually, wooden doors begun showing drawbacks. Apart from being expensive, wooden doors also have the tendency to absorb moisture which can affect the quality of the wood. Depending on the type of wood used, it can also bow, warp, twist, bubble out, and fade as time passes by. On top of that, wooden doors also require regular maintenance, which adds up to the expenses already incurred by the rather costly purchase. This has been the situation for many centuries and wasn't really challenged until the emergence of new materials.
Good thing this has become the case, as this provides more flexibility on the part of the consumer. Choosing the material now holds an important part of the process in looking through the door market, and through the years two other materials have surfaced to challenge the pre-eminence of wood: steel and fiberglass.
To guide you in choosing the better material between steel and fiberglass for your entryway door, we delineate the different pros and cons. Does one outweigh the other? Be the one to decide for yourself:
Steel exterior doors
When choosing this material, it’s important to note of the very wide range in price and quality that comes with it. The quality is usually measured by its gauge number as an indicator of its steel thickness - “the higher the number, the thinner the steel.”
For steel doors with a lower gauge number, the advantages of the material is more apparent. It requires much lower maintenance than their wooden counterparts, despite the fact they are priced much lower. They are energy efficient and are usually noted for their great insulating value. They are also known to be very secure and customizable, as they come in every imaginable color and style. With these in mind it’s not difficult to see why steel doors are much preferred for door replacements than any other material.
For those with higher gauge number, however, one can see why the steel door may not be ideal at all times. While the thinner material may suffice for a temporary replacement, it may not hold up well to natural forces. As a matter of fact they can give in to high pressure and can be easily dented. Scratches are understandably unavoidable, but on thin steel they can lead to rusting. Paint chipping is also a common downside of steel materials, especially paper thin ones that easily flex and bend. Steel is also a conductor, which means that they can be scalding to touch during hot weather.
In building our steel systems we use steel slabs from Novatech Group.
Fiberglass Exterior Doors
It’s already been about 25 years since fiberglass has been introduced as a viable material for use in building entryways, it became to be the most “advanced” among all the existing options.
On its upper echelon of quality, fiberglass has virtually no limitations whatsoever, with the technology having been perfected to ensure that it improves upon the weaknesses of its predecessors. As in any other case, however, cheaper material may not boast of the same. Cheap fiberglass can crack under extreme cold, its finish may quickly fall into degeneration, and lastly its core could easily rot. If you are searching for a less expensive solution then higher gauge steel doors - although not of optimal quality - may still prove to be the better choice.
Having said that, the fiberglass’ strengths are manifold. It is a very low maintenance material which can last for many years without getting affected by mold or rust despite not having any need for finish. Fiberglass is also about five times a better insulator than wood and is the most energy efficient.
It is as secure, if not more, than steel doors and likewise will not bow, twist, or warp. Unlike its steel counterpart, however, it can take pressure and can resist denting or scratching brought about by physical forces.
It is slightly more expensive than steel (albeit not as expensive as wood) but with all these benefits it's not at all difficult to see why.
Our fiberglass door systems are constructed with slabs from Richersons Fiberglass Doors.