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Choosing the Right Doors

Most entry doors perform well overall. But the materials they’re made of–fiberglass, steel, and wood–each have strengths and weaknesses.


Door Categories


Energy Efficient Doors

Steel and fiberglass doors typically have more insulating value than wood doors. But you may not save as much as you think, since doors are a small part of the surface area of a house and typically don’t allow significant amounts of warm air to escape. What’s more, heat is generally lost through air leaks around the door, not through the door itself.


Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass is a practical choice for most people. These doors are available with a smooth surface or, more typically, an embossed wood-grain texture. An edge treatment on some makes them look more like real wood. They can be painted or stained, are moderately priced and dent-resistant, and require little maintenance.


Steel Doors

Steel doors account for about half the market. They’re relatively inexpensive and can offer the security and weather resistance of much pricier fiberglass and wood doors. Steel doors require little maintenance. They’re energy-efficient, though adding glass panels cuts their insulating value. Though they’re typically low-maintenance, dents are hard to fix, and scratches may rust if they aren’t painted promptly.

Wood Doors

Wood provides the high-end look that other materials try to mimic. Solid-wood doors were best at resisting wear and tear in our tests. They’re also the least likely to dent, and scratches are easy to repair. Wood doors remain relatively expensive. And they require regular painting or varnishing to look their best.


Glass Doors

Glass inserts are attractive, but they add to the cost. Glass inserts also cut the door’s insulating value, though double- or triple-panel glass reduces that effect.

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NRLA Northeastern Retail Lumber Association
WNYLDA Western New York Lumber Dealers Association
CNYRLDA Central New York Retail Lumber Dealers Association
NNYLDA Northern New York Lumber Dealers Association