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.
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 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 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 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 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.
Shop Where The Builders Shop
Search our Member Database to find a local supplier for all of your building materials.