How to Choose the Best Entry Door Material
Most of us enter and exit our homes each day without giving a second thought to the doors we’re walking through — until we need a new one, that is. While we often take our entry doors for granted, they’re essential to a home’s function and design. Replacing an entry door takes careful consideration and research to find a durable, beautiful and cost-effective door material.
If you need to purchase a new front door, this entry door buying guide will tell you everything you need to know about choosing front door material. Keep reading to learn what to look for when shopping for a new entry door, the different entry door materials available to you and which material is best for you.
Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a New Entry Door
When choosing the right front door for your home, several factors come into play. Evaluating these details will help you find an entry door that meets your needs and suits your style. Below, you’ll find the three primary factors affecting your front door decision.
1. Safety and Security
Of course, safety and security are the top priorities for a front door. You’ll want a front door that you can trust to protect your family from burglaries and home invasions. Ultimately, a quality door lock is the best crime deterrent. While the ability to resist getting kicked in does not vary markedly across front door material options, using a more advanced lock system and strike plates can significantly increase the door’s kick-in resistance.
2. Energy Efficiency
Specific entry doors offer more energy efficiency than front doors made from other kinds of materials. For example, fiberglass and steel doors tend to have a higher insulating value than wood doors. When you choose an Energy Star-certified entry door model, you can be confident the door has undergone independent testing and earned approval for its energy efficiency.
Energy Star entry doors usually provide energy-efficient cores, tighter-fitting frames and insulating glass, which reduces heat transfer. However, remember that most heat gets lost from air leaking around the front door, not through the door itself.
3. Which Entry Door Material Is Best for You
Overall, most front doors perform their primary function well. The differentiating factor among front doors is the materials they consist of — each of which has various strengths and weaknesses. You will need to choose the best entry door material for your home based on your environment, stylistic preferences and budget.
What Are the Different Types of Entry Door Materials to Choose From?
Before purchasing a front door, it’s best to get familiar with the different entry door materials available to you. These are the residential entry door materials you will have to choose from.
- Steel: Steel is a popular entry door material that accounts for a large portion of the market. Many people value steel entry doors for their safety, insulation and cost-effectiveness.
- Fiberglass: Also known as fiberglass composite doors, fiberglass entry doors provide considerable durability and aesthetic appeal. While fiberglass front doors may cost more than other material options, their insulated cores and long-term energy savings make them a worthy investment.
- Wood: Wood is another common front door material choice because you can customize it to fit your size, shape and style requirements. Though it’s a bit less durable than other materials, wood is easy to personalize with sidelights, decorative glass accents and transoms.
- Wrought iron: Usually, these doors have a steel base and incorporate wrought iron and wood elements throughout their design. While wrought iron doors tend to fall on the more expensive side, they are incredibly sturdy and weather-resistant.
Pros and Cons of Each Type of Entry Door Material
Now that you know the primary materials available to you, it’s time to discuss the details of choosing the best front door material for your house. This section will go over the strengths and weaknesses of each door material option, so you can decide which is the best fit for your home exterior needs.
A steel front door is your best option if you want maximum durability and security. As a solid material, steel makes sturdy doors that you can rely on to keep your family safe and last for years. Learn more about the specific pros and cons of steel entry doors below.
- Typically have tighter-fitting frames and energy-efficient core insulation
- Often have more insulating value than other front door materials
- Fully weatherized to withstand the elements
- Highly resistant to swelling, shrinking and warping
- Extremely durable and low-maintenance
- Relatively inexpensive, costing less than other entry door materials but still offering excellent quality and protection
- Available in a wide range of colors and styles
- Not as weather-resistant as some other front door materials
- Dents in a steel door may be challenging to fix without replacing the entire door
- Scratches may rust if not painted over quickly
Fiberglass is a top-notch entry door material option that offers a wide range of benefits with few drawbacks. In particular, fiberglass is an excellent choice if you live in an area with frequent high humidity or harsh weather. To find out more about what a fiberglass front door has to offer, take a look at the pros and cons below.
- Easy to install
- Provide optimum energy efficiency
- Function well in extreme climates and high-traffic entryways
- Require little maintenance
- More resistant to scratches, dents, harsh weather and general wear and tear than most front door materials
- Often come with long-term warranties
- Available with a smooth surface or an embossed wood-grain texture
- Possible to paint or stain nearly any color
- Moderately priced
- Can crack under severe impact
Often, homeowners choose wood front doors for their sturdiness, aesthetic value and visual appeal. As a traditional material, wood can make a classy and beautiful entry door. Below are more details about the advantages and drawbacks of choosing wood for your front door material.
- Heavy, durable and thick, providing the ability to stand up to the elements
- Frame and panel construction counteracts the effects of seasonal changes and weather
- Dent-resistant, making them long-lasting
- Paint or stain them to create a more natural and warm appearance
- Come in various wood types, each offering a different value and look
- Available in a range of costs, depending on the type of wood you choose
- Require more maintenance, such as regular varnishing, as the door’s paint or stain fades with time
- Not as energy-efficient as many other front doors because wood is a porous material
- Tend to be more expensive than other entry door materials
Though wrought-iron entry doors are less standard than other entry door material options, a wrought-iron entry door can significantly enhance your home’s exterior. Learn more about the pros and cons of this type of entry door material below.
- Built to withstand extreme weather conditions, making them one of the most secure and safest entry door options
- Extremely durable and resistant to rotting, splintering and warping
- Designed to allow more natural light into your home
- Available in a range of designs and customizable to include different features
- Typically more expensive than other front door materials
- Can be challenging to install due to their weight
Find the Perfect Front Door for You at A Better Door Co., Inc
If you’re looking for an entry door with all the beauty of natural wood and the durability of fiberglass, A Better Door Co., Inc has multiple styles of fiberglass entry doors for you to choose from. We offer rustic and Craftsman entry door collections that feature gorgeous wood-grained fiberglass for a traditional look. For a sleeker, more sophisticated look, check out our Arbor Grove™ and smooth fiberglass collections.
In addition to a wide range of fiberglass entry doors, we supply top-quality steel entry doors. Regardless of which entry door you choose, A Better Door Co., Inc will provide fast and reliable service to deliver your order within 24 to 48 hours.