Steel Vs Fiberglass Door – Which Is Better For You?

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With the myriad of types of doors in the market, steel and fiberglass doors seem to be the two most in-demand options today. The only problem homeowners face now is determining which of the two will be the best fit for their home. We’ve done our research and compared the two to provide you insight into which one you should choose.

A fiberglass door is almost always the better home entry door choice because of its usability, features, and value for money. Although steel doors fare well in resisting elements, intrusion, and security, fiberglass brings in more diverse features and benefits like being lightweight, rust-free, and almost indistinguishable wood-like appearance that most homeowners look for in a door. 

Steel is still an exceptional alternative to wood and fiberglass when you are on a budget. Whichever you choose, though, will depend on your necessity and vision of your home. To help you reach the right choice, we compared both positive and negative aspects of fiberglass and steel doors. Read further for a more detailed comparison of fiberglass and steel doors.

steel front door with wooden paint design. Steel Vs Fiberglass Door - Which Is Better For You

What is the difference between a steel door and a fiberglass door?

One perceptible difference you can immediately notice between steel and fiberglass doors is their outer skin. A steel door possesses a metallic texture of smelted iron, while fiberglass provides a delicate appearance because of the molten and resin materials. And there is more to this. We detailed them below for easy comparison:

Fiberglass Vs. Steel: Durability and Endurance

Both fiberglass and steel are durable in that they have a certain level of resistance to dents. They will even last for a lifetime if taken care of properly.

With the solid nature of fiberglass doors, they do not shrink, warp, or crack easily. Their composition also provides a long service expectancy of about 15-20 years because they remain free from rust despite continuous exposure to the ever-changing weather. But they will be permanently damaged and hard to repair when subjected to deliberate and forceful impact.

Steel doors, on the other hand, are almost impenetrable due to the inherent strength of iron. Thus, they are a sturdier selection than fiberglass doors. Even bumped by another steel, what it will only acquire are dents and a few scratches, but it will stand firm. However, their composition makes them vulnerable to degradation due to the elements.  

Fiberglass Vs. Steel: Moisture Resistance

The resin in fiberglass makes it nonporous to prevent water damage, hence the high moisture resistance. As an effect, fiberglass doors are safe from warping or distortion common in wood doors.

Steel doors log behind fiberglass in this aspect. When certain parts of the steel door are left exposed to the outside air, they can form rust quickly. Thus, avoid the door paint from chipping away. 

Fiberglass Vs. Steel: Energy Efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, fiberglass doors will be your best choice if you live in an area with middle to extreme environments. 

Fiberglass doors are highly energy-efficient, so they have superior insulation capacity compared to wood and steel, both in cold and hot weather. Thus, they are better at regulating your home’s temperature without the expense of a higher energy bill. 

Steel doors are different. Since they have high-temperature conductivity, they only absorb the outside heat or cold. Thus, steel doors do not provide a comfortable in-home environment in both hot and cold weather. 

Fiberglass Vs. Steel: Maintenance

Maintaining both door types is easy, non-extensive, and affordable. For fiberglass doors, you only need to conduct maintenance based on your preference. And it only requires wiping, repainting, varnishing—whatever you prefer—to keep it looking new all the time. 

Alternatively, steel doors require almost no maintenance after installation. The only routine upkeep you’ll need to do is always apply oil and repaint the door once its paint starts chipping away. Most importantly, minimize hosing a steel door down to slow down or avoid rust formation. 

Fiberglass Vs. Steel: Weight

Fiberglass doors are lightweight compared to wood and steel. So, it’s a perfect option for people who love to do things alone or with minimal help to avoid additional costs. Additionally, they make fine replacement doors for the homes of your elderly loved ones with less strength required to open and close the door. 

Steel doors, on the other hand, are not for homes with weak door frames. They are heavyweight and can wreck the hinges of the whole door frame. If you still want to use steel doors, you will need to use steel around 16 to 24 gauge for proper support, which will require you to shell out money again. 

Fiberglass Vs. Steel: Aesthetic and Styling

In terms of appearance, fiberglass doors are in a different league of their own. They come in various styles and colors, including wood finish, which homeowners love. And they can even change the paint of the door to suit the style or theme of their homes, making a perfect option for a do-it-yourselfer who loves to customize. 

Making steel doors suit a home’s style can be challenging, as their design options are limited. So, unless you have the money to let a manufacturer create one specifically made to your liking, you’ll be stuck with the prevailing designs of steel doors. 

Are fiberglass doors more expensive than steel?

Fiberglass doors are generally five times more expensive than steel. The price range of fiberglass entry doors can wrack up from $3,200 to $5,000, depending on the model, glass type, and hardware selection. Steel doors can only cost approximately $600 to $1,800. 

Why is there a huge price difference?

It simply comes down to the composition of both door types. While steel doors are iron, fiberglass doors come from various natural and processed materials compressed together.  

Are fiberglass doors secure?

But are fiberglass doors worth the price, especially when it comes to security? 

Fortunately, they are giving you your money’s worth in all aspects, including security. Fiberglass doors are almost as secure as steel doors, so using them as your entry door replacement is the right choice. 

This door type possesses the integrity of layered fibers that creates a solid core, strong enough to prevent would-be house crashers and criminals. Fiberglass doors contain thicker shatterproof insulation, making them possess robust self-protective capability than most wood doors.

How long will a steel door last? 

Aluminum facade on industrial building with steel door

Installed and maintained perfectly, a steel door often lasts 30 years or longer, providing every homeowner with long-term value. In fact, steel doors even increase the resale value of a home by 90%, while homes with fiberglass doors can expect a 77% resale value.

Do steel doors rust?

The above return on investment, nevertheless, on steel doors is not absolute, as steel is still prone to rust damage. With continued exposure to the elements, steel can form rust from its interior outward. That’s why when rust has become apparent on your steel door, the possibility of salvage through repainting is futile; replacement will be the only option. Fortunately, a simple galvanneal coating can protect the steel from taking damage. 

What is the best material for a front entry door?

Apparently, there are various things you should consider when choosing the best material for a front entry door. The best option should be able to cater to your specific concern and personal taste, which may be one of the following:

Security 

If your top priority is to secure your home while trying to save on extra expenses, you can bet on steel doors to give you peace of mind, knowing that you and your family stay safe from malicious intrusions for a lesser price. 

Environment 

A fiberglass door is your best option if you have safety concerns while living in a place with a harsh or humid environment. It will be able to protect you from thermal fluctuations and guarantee that your door may be replaced or repaired for free as long as you own your house. 

Versatility 

Lastly, wood doors made out of walnut, cherry, and mahogany are perfect options when you want a door with versatility. But only go for the ones with intricate carvings and thick stiles and rails to guarantee authenticity. 

The Bottomline

Overall, a fiberglass door is the better option for a home entry door as it combines the benefits and advantages of both wood and steel doors. Consequently, if there is no room for adjustment on your budget, a steel door is a good alternative. After all, either can provide energy efficiency, aesthetics, durability, and low upkeep costs. Your preference is what will only matter. 

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