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.

Value Engineering Ideas for the Modern Craftsman Home

Value-Engineering

Exterior Steel Doors Offer Durability and Modern Craftsman Style

exterior-steel-doors

Steel doors are a great option for exterior doors. They offer durability, safety and style. Exterior steel doors are dependable as well as aesthetically pleasing. Here are some tips on choosing a steel Modern Craftsman door.

Simple and strong

Modern Craftsman maintains the charm of Craftsman, a quintessential 20th century American expression of the Arts & Crafts movement, while modernizing interior layouts. The exterior of a Modern Craftsman home may include thick square or round columns, stone porch supports, low-pitched roofs, wide eaves and triangular brackets. With these detailed exterior features, a steel door is a great choice, as it is simple and strong.

To accentuate these Modern Craftsman attributes, a simple steel entry door works well. Steel doors are available in one-, two- or three-panels. Lines are clean so as not to distract from the rest of the exterior.

Modern Craftsman palettes and features

If your style leans toward color for your Modern Craftsman entry door, consider carefully how it will impact the rest of your exterior. If you have rock or brick, which are hallmarks of Modern Craftsman exteriors, then the door should balance those natural colors. A medium, earthy green is a great look for stone, brick or siding.

Keeping the door simple will provide a Modern Craftsman look; however, if you are seeking one detail, consider the sticking profile. The sticking profile is how the moulding “sticks” to the panel. It can have various designs. Exterior Steel doors with a Craftsman sticking profile will of course be the best choice for a Modern Craftsman style.

Exterior Steel door features and benefits

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 for easier finishing coats exterior steel door facings. This helps reduce any fading. Epoxy primer coats the back of steel doors to resist corrosion. An energy efficient core is an additional feature of steel doors. A steel bottom rail is added for strength.

The exterior of steel doors should be protected by two coats of primer and galvanizing. This prevents rusting from the inside out. This protection removes the threat of rust. Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) for the door’s stiles and top rail add additional protection. LVL is an engineered wood product that uses multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives. LVL has advantages when compared to milled lumber. It is stronger, straighter and more uniform. It protects against water damage, leaving the door less likely to warp, twist, bow or shrink.

Fire-rated steel doors are built to meet or exceed fire rating building codes for residential and light commercial use. Steel also provides additional security. Install an optional steel edge for added peace of mind. Steel doors are also low maintenance.

Steel doors are a great fit for the Modern Craftsman home. In addition to aligning with the aesthetics of a Modern Craftsman exterior, they are secure, durable and virtually maintenance free.

JELD-WEN offers many exterior steel door options. View all the possibilities.