Exterior Door Materials: Wood, Fiberglass and Steel

exterior-door-materials

Check out this comparison of the most popular exterior door materials

When choosing the right exterior door, you’ll want to compare each material. The three most popular exterior door materials are wood, fiberglass and steel. Each has its own advantages. In this post, we’ll take a look at each material and provide relevant information so you can make an informed decision.

Wood

Wood is the most traditional and one of the oldest materials used for doors, dating back to ancient times. The earliest records of wooden doors are represented in the paintings of the Egyptian tombs.

Fast forward a few thousand years, and wood is still an excellent choice for doors. Doors can be crafted from hardwoods and softwoods. The most widely used are Cherry, Oak, Walnut, Mahogany, Knotty Alder, Douglas Fir and Pine.

Why you’ll love wood exterior doors:

  • Beauty and warmth immediately invites guests into your home
  • From modern to traditional, wood is versatile
  • Any stains or paints work on wood doors
  • Sturdy, heavy feel
  • Insulating core
  • Customizable based on size, style, accents, glass and more
  • Good at reducing sound

Fiberglass

Fiberglass has unique qualities that make it a great material to use in variety of applications. It’s strong yet lightweight. It also has weather-resistant qualities. It’s been used in aviation as well as in boats and car bodies.

Now, it’s a leading material for exterior doors. The sophistication of the processes used to create fiberglass doors makes it almost impossible to tell the difference between wood and fiberglass. Our Aurora® custom fiberglass doors are made to order and are handcrafted. Aurora doors even have imperfections created by hand for authenticity. When touching an Aurora fiberglass door, you can actually feel the grain and texture.

In addition to the Aurora, we have many other fiberglass door lines that provide all the great benefits of fiberglass at a budget-friendly price. Those include the contemporary Studio™ Collection and the Statement™ Collection, both offering multiple styles.

Fiberglass has many benefits that make it a durable, quality choice. The doors have energy-efficient cores with insulating properties. They also resist bowing, warping and denting. Fiberglass doors can be stained or painted, depending on the look you desire. They are often less expensive than real wood doors.

Steel

Steel is a great material option for exterior doors. It offers durability, safety and style. Exterior steel doors are dependable as well as aesthetically pleasing.

The best steel doors are made to last. They include wood stiles and rails with mitered top corners. Why does this matter? It helps prevent water absorption. A neutral, low-sheen, baked-on enamel primer reduces the occurrence of fading. Epoxy primer coats the back of steel doors to resist corrosion. An energy-efficient core is an additional feature. A steel bottom rail is added for strength. Proper coating prevents the door from rusting from the inside out.

Steel also provides additional security. Install an optional steel edge for added peace of mind. Steel doors are low maintenance and the least expensive of the three materials discussed. You can learn more about steel doors in our blog.

Which material is right for you?

Now that you have all the basics, it’s time to choose. You’ll want to consider several things to make the best decision including:

  • Budget
  • Architectural style
  • Climate and environment
  • Overhang
  • Accents and glass options
  • Paint versus stain

Here’s a quick comparison review.

Wood

  • Easy to stain or paint
  • Very customizable
  • Reasonable at reducing sound transmission
  • Insulating core

Fiberglass

  • Energy efficient
  • Weather resistant
  • Stain or paint
  • Highly durable
  • Affordable
  • Highly customizable

Steel

  • Water-damage resistant
  • Durable and resists rusting
  • Low maintenance
  • Best pick for smaller budgets

If you’d like to learn more about our exterior doors, you can browse all our options.

Farmhouse Charm, Modern Convenience

Farmhouse-charm

Get inspired with these Farmhouse window and door ideas

In this blog, you’ll find inspired ideas for your farmhouse. Windows and doors played a major role in the functionality of original farmhouses. Today’s farmhouse holds on to rustic, charming details while offering modern conveniences. Here are three ideas that blend Farmhouse charm and modern convenience.

Wood windows that perform

Original farmhouses had wood windows as most all houses did hundreds of years ago. Real wood windows are still an important aspect of creating a Farmhouse design. But many worry about the limits and longevity of wood windows. Depending on the climate or environment, there may be concerns related to moisture, wood rot and termites. Wood windows must be able to withstand mother nature. Fortunately, they have come a long way since the 1700s. More recently window manufacturers are using treated wood. However, not all treated woods are the same. Some just surface treat while others treat to the core. Educate yourself on the different treatments to make the best decision for your home.

Prefinished molded interior doors

Interior doors are more for just closing! They can elevate the entire style of a home. Original farmhouses may not have had many doors but those that were in the home would have been wood. Wood interior doors require a bit more maintenance than other materials. They also aren’t as budget friendly as alternatives. Enter the prefinished molded door. Two-tone processing creates a rich real-wood at a lower price point.

There are a variety of wood-like finishes available on prefinished doors for different tastes. When choosing a style, opt for raised panels. An arched panel at top and square one at the bottom offer a unique look that captures the Farmhouse aesthetic.

Fiberglass doors

Entry doors on an 18th century farmhouse would have been in the center of a wrap-around porch. A front porch isn’t always a given on the modern farmhouse. Without the protection of a front porch, wood doors may not be the best option. Thus, fiberglass doors are a great alternative.

Fiberglass doors are crafted to be dependable and reliable. Fiberglass doors have the capacity to duplicate or replicate woodgrain. The most specialized process for creating fiberglass doors delivers a final product that is almost indistinguishable from real wood.

Fiberglass doors offer many different glass variations. When deciding what kind of glass layout works best for your front door, think about how the door will work with your windows. You can mimic the same type of Colonial grille from your windows on your door. Glass can also be a center panel with matching sidelites.

Farmhouses certainly aren’t just for rural areas and farms. The style has become adored by many from the suburbs to the city. While there may not be chickens in your backyard (although, chicken coops in the city are a real thing!), you can still take features from original farmhouses and integrate them into your own interpretation of the style.

Fiberglass doors offer many different glass variations. When deciding what kind of glass layout works best for your front door, think about how the door will work with your windows. You can mimic the same type of Colonial grille from your windows on your door. Glass can also be a center panel with matching sidelites.

Farmhouses certainly aren’t just for rural areas and farms. The style has become adored by many from the suburbs to the city. While there may not be chickens in your backyard (although, chicken coops in the city are a real thing!), you can still take features from original farmhouses and integrate them into your own interpretation of the style.

Get more inspiration by reading our ebook, “Five Design Elements for Every Farmhouse.”