When it comes to your front door, it’s important to find something that not only complements the style of your home, but that can also withstand the elements and provide security. While solid wood doors are generally considered the highest-quality material for a beautiful, energy-efficient, and durable door, they’re also often a more expensive option and require regular maintenance. Instead, many homeowners opt for steel or fiberglass front doors. While steel and fiberglass doors have long been seen as a low-budget option for entry doors, their quality has increased as door manufacturing technology has improved. Not only are there now several high-end fiberglass and steel door options available, but they also come in a wide variety of designs that can fit any home style.
Which is Better for a Front Door: Steel or Fiberglass?
Steel and fiberglass are both popular choices for front doors because of their affordability and durability. Both are low-maintenance and resist wear and tear, and can have varying levels of energy-efficiency depending on their cores.
While steel doors tend to be the most inexpensive of any door materials, fiberglass doors are typically considered the best alternative to solid wood. This is because fiberglass comes in a wide variety of colors and designs. They can realistically emulate most major wood types and can support design elements like decorative lites, wrought iron accents, decorative aluminum strips, and rustic paneling.
Fiberglass doors are also slightly better equipped to withstand extreme temperatures and won’t rust if scratched or dented like steel doors often do.
Pros and Cons of Steel Front Doors
Steel doors are typically the least expensive door available, however the less expensive price comes at a cost. While steel doors are durable and secure, they also come in limited styles and colors, making them more utilitarian than design-friendly
Steel Door Pros:
One of the biggest benefits of steel doors is their durability. They tend to hold up well in extreme weather—although they may swell in high-temperatures. While they may dent on impact, they won’t break under extreme force like some door materials.
- Durable. Won’t crack or warp from weather. They are also strong against impact.
- Energy efficient. The energy efficiency of the steel door depends on the core construction, but many steel doors can be energy efficient.
- Secure. Can offer safety and security against intruders when paired with a high-quality lock system.
- Affordable. Least expensive doors you can get for your home.
Steel Door Cons:
- Not known for their beauty. Limited styles and colors, and cannot be painted.
- Can rust if scratched.
- Difficult to repair.
- Can become hot on a sunny day and may swell in extreme heat.
- Doesn’t insulate well against cold. May even get condensation forming on the inside of the door.
Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Doors
As the quality of fiberglass doors have improved fiberglass doors have become a reasonable contender against solid wood doors. Although fiberglass is not naturally beautiful like a solid wood door, modern manufacturing methods have made fiberglass front doors as stylish as popular solid wood doors.
Fiberglass is often the material of choice for front doors because it is more affordable than wood doors, more stylish than steel doors, low-maintenance, and are often engineered to be energy-efficient.
Fiberglass Door Pros:
- Durable. Fiberglass doors are resistant to warping, splitting, shrinkage, or cracks from weather and heat.
- Low-Maintenance. Fiberglass doors do not scratch or dent easily and can be cleaned with a mild soap.
- Beautiful. Fiberglass doors can mimic different wood grains including oak, cherry, mahogany, and fir.
- Rust-resistant. Fiberglass doors will not develop rust on dents or scratches like steel doors will.
Fiberglass Door Cons:
- Any refinishing or repairs must be done by a professional.
- Not as strong as steel under extreme impact.
Not Sure Which Front Door Material is Right for You?
ETO Doors is one of North America’s premier door manufacturers. We have front doors in every material and style you can imagine, and can custom-make any door to fit your needs. If you’re not sure what type of door is best for your home style and location, let us know! Our door experts are happy to help. Feel free to give us a call, send us a message, or chat with an expert by clicking the chat icon in the bottom right corner.
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