In the most iconic comic book series ever created by DC Comics, Superman soared high above the ground to fight the evil lurking in all four corners of the Earth. Referred to as The Man of Steel, Superman flew faster than a speeding bullet and he was more powerful than a locomotive train. However, Superman faced one element that left him super powerless.
When shopping for a new door, the first impression many homeowners have is that steel represents the best material to use for constructing the new door. For years, steel ran away with the title as most popular door material. Now, fiberglass has emerged as a viable material to use for designing and manufacturing a door. This begs one question: Is fiberglass the kryptonite for steel when choosing a door?
Let’s review how to shop for a new door, before examining the advantages of using either steel or fiberglass for manufacturing a door.
What to Look for in a New Door
The first factor to consider when buying a new door involves developing a realistic budget. Your new door might be a solo project or it might be part of a more comprehensive home improvement project. You will have to budget for the cost of the new door, as well as factor in other costs such as the tools needed to install the new door.
Here are four other factors to consider when installing a new door.
Room to Spare
You need to think about where you plan to install the new door. The design of a door added as an entry way to the kitchen will look much different than the design of a new door installed at the entrance to the basement. You also have to consider security, if the new door is supposed to keep unwanted visitors out of a particular room.
Do you have kids that like to play with blinds and drapes? Do you redecorate the room where the door is to be installed frequently? Is there a view outdoors that you want to maintain for both guests and family members? Will the new door be exposed to extreme weather? These are important question to ask about your lifestyle.
You have seemingly countless number of door styles available to match any room décor. A French door can greet guests entering the dining room and a sliding door can be the gateway to the backyard. If you are not sure what type of door style blends in seamlessly with a certain room decor, do not hesitate to ask for the expert opinion of a home improvement professional who works at a nearby store.
Customizing the design of a new door ensures you pick the right style for the room where the door is to be added. You can go with a rich stained door or a door that presents the natural beauty of untreated hardwood. Nickel hardware adds a glimmering appearance and grilles strategically placed between each pane of glass enhances a room’s ambiance.
Finally, you have to decide what type of material to use, typically wood, steel, or fiberglass.
An In-Depth Look at Steel and Fiberglass Doors
Both steel and fiberglass offer advantages for homeowners that are interested in installing a new door. Let’s first look at what steel brings to the home improvement table, before reviewing why fiberglass is fast becoming a hot door material for homeowners planning to install a new door.
The Advantages of Steel
Steel is considered a heavy-duty material that feels smooth to the touch, while presenting a minimalist design. You can customize a steel door to be stained before installation or have the steel door painted to match any room décor, as they hold paint quite well. Considered the most rugged material to use for a new door, steel will give you decades of durability. It’s known for being the most secure door on the market as well. Steel is both impact and moisture resistant, which makes the material ideal to use as a material for a door leading outdoors, as well as a door that kids use to enter an active play room. However they will rust if not maintained properly, and are subject to dents and dings. They are also not conducive in extreme hot and cold climates. Some consider the look of a steel door to be too industrial, with less designed options on the market.
The Advantage of Fiberglass
Designed to present the same aesthetic appeal of a wood door, a fiberglass door does not contain any of the structural flaws associated with wood. The sleek appearance makes fiberglass the perfect material to use for a door leading to and from a high traffic area of your home. With a durability that is about on par with steel, fiberglass resists strong impacts. Fiberglass resists dents and rust much better than steel as well. You can expect to perform limited maintenance on your new fiberglass door, with cleaning the door requiring only a swipe of a damp washcloth. Above all, fiberglass offers dozens of design options to help you match the look of your new door to the room where you plan to install it.
Which is Cheaper, Steel or Fiberglass?
Steel doors are less expensive doors than fiberglass doors in nearly all cases. If you are on a tight budget today, a steel door will save you money if it fits your needs. However it may need to be replaced sooner than a fiberglass door.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of installing a steel or a fiberglass door make it difficult to decide which material to use for the installation of a new door. It all comes down to budget, with a fiberglass door costing more money to install. If money is not an issue and appearance trumps functionality, then opt for a fiberglass door. Budget conscious homeowners that value durability more than looks should consider adding a steel door.