So it’s time to revamp your entryway. With so many options available in today’s market you may be wondering whether you’ll find the perfect entry door for your home. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider what you need your exterior door to do. Compared to the interior doors in your home, exterior doors require more features. They must provide insulation and weather protection, privacy and security, and blend in with the general aesthetic of your home.

Previously, homes had just one option for their entry doors, which was wood. While wood still holds its popularity because of its appealing look and vintage charm, it can be high-maintenance and not always the most user-friendly. Given that, today’s entry door selection is between a fiberglass door and a steel door. Below we pit these materials against one another looking at their appearance, durability, maintenance, energy efficiency, and security.

Appearance 

Fiberglass doors most nearly resemble the defined grain of true wood doors and are available in a range of wood grain textures such as oak, mahogany, and fir and stain and paint colors. Fiberglass usually comes pre-painted or stained to achieve a unique customized look.

Steel doors come in different styles, giving you many attractive options to choose from. Steel doors are available in smooth or wood grain textures in multiple stains and paint finishes.  They also come in styles that include glass.

Both fiberglass and steel doors have many options to choose from. However, fiberglass best mimics the look of wood better than steel. On the other hand, steel does come in various styles that may look modern and vibrant.

Installation 

Fiberglass door installation includes measuring the door frame, installing the hinges, and then installing the door. Other details, such as adding more shims to the doorway’s sides, must be handled by a specialist. Because they are pre-hung, fiberglass doors are easy to install. To put them tight against the frame, just attach them to the hinges in the doorway.

Steel door installation is accomplished by having the door cut to the dimensions of the doorway. Anchors and wall frames are necessary to provide the greatest fit for the specific doorway into which the new steel door is being put. Around the frame, drywall is sometimes required.

Durability 

Compared to wood, fiberglass doors do not shrink, warp, split, crack or delaminate. They’re ideal for harsh or humid climates. Fiberglass doors also resist rusting. However, if they are struck hard enough fiberglass can be dented or even cracked. Since fiberglass doors last so long, they may come with longer warranties.

Overall, steel is a strong and sturdy door material. Steel will last a long time, performing well for years. Just like fiberglass, steel won’t warp like wood. However, their surface can become scratched, dented, or rusted if not properly cared for.

Fiberglass and steel can both be dented and dinged. The major difference is that steel cannot be penetrated through. While fiberglass is easier to bend in and break through. However, fiberglass is a material that does not rust with time, making it a longer-last option for an entry door.

Maintenance 

It’s easy to clean fiberglass front doors. Simply wipe the surface clean with a soft, moist cloth as needed to clear away dirt and dust. Rinse with a gentle hose spray or a pressure washer on the lowest setting. Higher pressure water setting could dent the fiberglass. Fiberglass doors can also be re-finished but must be done by a professional.

Steel doors offer low maintenance. However, if scratched it should be repainted to prevent rusting. It’s also not recommended to rinse the steel door with a hose since the surface can rust. It’s important to keep steel doors oiled to be kept in great shape. They do not need regular cleaning like fiberglass. Any dents and dings can be pulled and puttied with an auto-body repair kit.

Both fiberglass and steel are low maintenance and some small tasks may need to be performed for the longevity of your entry door. It’s important to tend to any scratches on steel immediately to prevent rusting. For fiberglass avoid any high-pressure cleaning to prevent any denting.

Energy Efficiency

For energy efficiency, fiberglass is the best material. It outperforms steel in this category due to the fact that it is a poor conductor of heat.  Fiberglass doors can also incorporate thermal foam cores to improve their insulation properties. This makes it highly effective at preventing air from escaping and affecting the bottom line of your utility bills.

Steel is also energy efficient. Some steel doors are even certified by Energy Star to ensure that this material prevents any drafts or air leakage. They can be built with a high-density insulating core to withstand the harsh winters. However, steel can get hot to the touch when exposed to sunlight and high temperatures which makes it slightly less efficient than fiberglass.

Fiberglass and steel have energy-efficient options. However, fiberglass takes this category because of its lack of heat conduction.

Security

Fiberglass is a relatively lightweight material that provides protection. Due to its lightweight, it makes fiberglass doors more vulnerable to denting and manipulation.

Steel doors are the best solution for homeowners concerned with their home security. They provide more protection when compared to fiberglass because they are made of a thicker and more protective material. Steel is harder to break into due to the strong hold that they provide in the frame of the home.

Which one should you get? 

Both door materials have their pros and cons. Fiberglass doors are a great option if you want a more wood aesthetic to your entry door. Whereas a steel door offers a more modern look. Fiberglass is also more energy-efficient compared to steel. However, steel would be a better option if your main preference is security. If you want a long-lasting, wood-look entry door, go with fiberglass. If you are looking for optimal security in your entry door with little to no maintenance, choose steel!