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Fiberglass vs. Steel Doors

Tired of walking up to your house, only to be greeted by an eyesore of a front door? Think about it: your front door isn’t just where you enter your home; it’s the first statement your house makes to the world.

Fiberglass and steel are great materials to use on the front door since they offer distinct styles. The former can be molded to mimic classic wood looks, while the latter provides a modern, clean aesthetic.

This brings us to the fiberglass vs. steel doors debate. Choosing between them depends on the overall look you want to create for your home. You also need to understand the unique benefits of both.

Dive deeper in the next section, where we’ll explore their specific features, pros and cons. This way, you can make the perfect choice for your dream home. Here’s what you should know:

Fiberglass vs. Steel Doors: An Overview

Are you thinking about giving your entryway a makeover? Choosing a new front door can be a big decision in a remodeling project, and there are two main contenders: fiberglass and steel. Let’s break down the basics of these two to help you pick your champion.

Steel is the toughest of the two. It can withstand serious bumps and bruises. Steel doors are generally more affordable upfront, making them a budget-friendly option.

However, a steel door can be heavy. It also tends to heat up under the hot sun, which isn’t ideal for scorching climates. And while it may come in a different door style, it has no fancy designs.

Fiberglass is lightweight and won’t warp or rust like steel. So, it’s a great choice for areas with extreme weather. Fiberglass doors are also champions of energy efficiency, keeping your cool air in and hot air out (and vice versa, depending on the season).

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While fiberglass is pretty tough, it’s not quite as strong as steel. A determined intruder with a battering ram might have a better chance of breaking through. Also, fiberglass doors can be more expensive than steel, depending on the design and quality.

So, which door wins? Honestly, there’s no single winner. The best choice for you depends on your priorities. We’ll delve deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of each material below.

Durability

Durability is a big concern when it comes to picking a door. You want something that can weather the elements and keep your home safe. Fiberglass and steel differ in durability.

Steel doors come crafted from thick steel sheets, making them incredibly resistant to dents, kicks, and even attempted break-ins. Steel holds its shape well, so you don’t have to worry about warping or sagging over time. The downside: steel can be prone to rust, especially in coastal areas or if there’s a lot of moisture around.

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Fiberglass doors might not look as tough, but they have some hidden strengths. Made from compressed fiberglass strands, they’re surprisingly strong and can take a beating from the weather. Fiberglass doors won’t warp, crack, or rot like wood doors can.

They’re also fantastic insulators, helping to keep your energy bills down. Fiberglass, while strong, can’t quite match steel’s sheer dent resistance. A well-placed kick might leave a mark.

Energy Efficiency

Ever feel like your energy bill is mysteriously high? It could be your trusty front door acting like a leaky sieve, letting cool air escape in the summer and cozy warmth vanish in the winter. That’s where the showdown between fiberglass and steel doors comes in.

Both can be great options, but there’s a clear winner when it comes to sustainability and energy efficiency. The better the insulation, the warmer you stay in the cold and cooler in the heat. Fiberglass doors are the puffiest winter coats in the door world.

They have an insulating core, often made of polyurethane foam, which acts as a barrier to keep the temperature you want inside. The barrier ensures your home takes less energy for cooling. It translates to more money and a cleaner environment.

Steel doors are strong and secure, but metal conducts heat well. So, on a hot day, your steel door can feel scorching to the touch, and it can get cold in the winter. Your HVAC system has to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature, leading to higher energy bills.

You can have steel doors insulated. However, the insulation won’t be that great compared to fiberglass, which offers superior thermal performance. So, if keeping your energy costs down is a top priority, fiberglass is the way to go.

Appearance

Fiberglass and steel both have very different vibes with respect to curb appeal. You should consider this factor to see which material might be your perfect match. Fiberglass is perfect if you want a door that can transform into anything, while steel is great if you crave classics with a modern twist.

As the ultimate chameleon, fiberglass offers various colors, finishes, and textures. You can have it molded to mimic different wood grains, complete with realistic knots and grooves. Whatever you decide, you won’t have to worry about chipping paint or pesky rust stains.

Steel doors might not be the most flashy option, but they have a timeless charm. They typically come in a smooth finish and a more limited color palette (think blacks, whites, and maybe a tasteful bronze). Steel doors can add a hint of sophistication to your entryway, especially if you have a modern or minimalist style.

Ease of Maintenance

As you think about sprucing up your entrance with a new door, consider the not-so-glamorous side: door maintenance. After all, you don’t want a door that becomes a high-maintenance utility.

Fiberglass is like the chill friend who’s always down for a good time (and doesn’t make a mess). Unlike steel, fiberglass doesn’t rust. This means no unsightly brown streaks and less elbow grease scrubbing those rust spots away.

Cleaning a fiberglass door is about as simple as washing the dishes. Just grab some mild soap, warm water, and a sponge. Wipe it down, rinse, and voila! Sparkling clean door in minutes.

Steel doors are the tough guys on the block but require more attention. Their biggest weakness is rust. If you notice scratches or nicks, touch up the paint quickly to prevent rust from forming.

Steel doors require a dedicated cleaning solution. Regular cleaning with a product specifically designed for steel doors will keep them looking their best. Steel doors are prone to dents, especially if you have rambunctious kids or overzealous delivery people.

Cost and ROI

Picking a door isn’t just about finding one you like — it’s about getting value for your money. So, consider how much it might increase your home’s value (ROI or return on investment). For instance, a secure and stylish front door can make a great first impression and even boost your resale price when you sell.

Steel doors are the classic choice for a reason. They’re typically the most budget-friendly option. However, steel doors can look a little industrial.
Though they’re still new, fiberglass doors quickly became a popular choice.

They offer the same level of durability as steel doors in terms of weather resistance. These doors may even come with a wood-grain finish that looks real.

This means you can get that classic, high-end look without the hefty door cost of a real wood door. Fiberglass doors are also champions at insulation, which can help keep your energy bills down. However, fiberglass doors tend to be more expensive upfront than steel ones.

Safety

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A good door should not only add curb appeal, but also help keep your home safe and secure. Both steel and fiberglass have their strengths when it comes to door security. Steel doors are super strong and tough while fiberglass are less tough safety-wise.

A steel door can take a serious beating. A would-be intruder would have a harder time kicking in a steel door than other materials. This makes the door a great choice for anyone who wants top-notch security, especially for vulnerable entry points like the front door.

Fiberglass doors might not be as tough as steel, but they’re no pushovers. The fiberglass construction makes them resistant to shattering or breaking. Plus, many fiberglass doors come with a steel core for added strength.

Honestly, there’s yet to be a clear winner here since it depends on your priorities. If security is your top concern, and you live in an area with a higher risk of break-ins, a steel door might be the perfect option. However, if you value more style (fiberglass doors come in a wider variety of finishes) and ease of maintenance (steel is prone to rusting), then fiberglass could be a great option.

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To settle the fiberglass vs. steel doors debate, both are tough choices for your front door. Steel offers the most security and is slightly cheaper upfront, but is prone to rust. Fiberglass is less secure, but resistant to the elements, and can mimic wood.

Tired of wrestling with quotes and contractors? Trust Alpha Living to connect you with top-rated door specialists in your area once you enter your zip code on our money pages. Our contractors will help you choose the right door and ensure a smooth installation at competitive prices.

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