A decision that all homeowners must make is deciding their front door material. Whether they’re just building their home, in need of a new front door, or are planning on replacing a front door in the future, choosing the material is one of the first steps. Wooden front doors and fiberglass front doors are the two most popular options and there is often debate between which one is better.
- What is a Wooden Door?
- What is a Fiberglass Door?
- Pros of a Wooden Door
- Cons of a Wooden Door
- Pros of a Fiberglass Door
- Cons of a Fiberglass Door
What is a Wooden Door?
Wooden doors are typically made of hardwoods like oak, maple, and walnut. Wooden doors provide your home with a traditional look and feel that many use in the interior and exterior of their home.
What is a Fiberglass Door?
Fiberglass doors are composed of two layers. Those layers are an insulated core made of foam and a thick frame made of polyurethane. The foam core provides the fiberglass door with insulation and support which can protect it from damage. There is also wood or composite rails on the top, bottom, and side which help reinforce the door within the frame.
A fiberglass door at the entrance to a brick home.
Pros of a Wooden Door
- Look and Feel: Let’s first talk about look and feel. The look and feel of a wooden door vs fiberglass door is probably the largest difference in favor of wooden doors.
- Appearance: Appearance can also be superior depending on the home owner’s taste. Nothing can replicate the authentic and timeless look and feel of a wooden door and this traditional style is one that some homeowners prioritize over practicality.
- Eco-friendly: Another benefit of a wooden door is that it’s eco-friendly and made with wood from a sustainable source.
Cons of a Wooden Door
- Cost: First let’s look at cost. In terms of price between fiberglass and wooden doors, wooden doors generally cost twice the amount of fiberglass doors, so if cost is something you value, a wooden door may not be your best option.
- Durability: Durability is another aspect that wooden doors fall short on in the debate between wooden doors vs fiberglass doors. Wood is susceptible to rotting and warping depending on weather conditions and also needs to stay out of direct sunlight to prevent expansion and contraction due to heat.
- Maintenance: Because of the factors above, maintenance of your wooden door can also become very tedious. In order to keep your wooden front door looking its best, you will need to re-stain and paint the door every couple years which can become a significant project for people who are very busy.
- Strength: In regards to the strength of the door, that is another drawback of wooden doors vs fiberglass doors. Wood is not as strong as fiberglass and although wood may be heavier, it is not nearly as strong.
- Energy efficiency: Another major concern for homeowners is the energy efficiency of their front door and wooden doors and fiberglass doors are about the same. Wooden doors don’t contain a foam core, unlike fiberglass front doors which do contain a foam core which significantly helps with insulation.
Pros of a Fiberglass Door
- Cost: One of the biggest advantages of a fiberglass front door is the cost. Fiberglass front doors cost nearly half of what wooden doors cost and this can be a significant factor for many homeowners.
- Durability and Strength: Durability and strength are also major advantages of fiberglass doors vs wooden doors. Although fiberglass doors are not as heavy as wooden doors, they are much stronger. Fiberglass is also more resistant to the elements and won’t suffer from rotting or warping.
- Maintenance: Because of this, maintenance will also be a minimum if you choose a fiberglass front door.
- Energy efficiency: Energy efficiency is also a major benefit as fiberglass doors are insulated with a foam core making them superior to wooden doors.
Cons of a Fiberglass Door
- Look and Feel: The one disadvantage of fiberglass doors is its appearance and that it lacks the authentic look and feel that many want from their door. Wooden doors have the edge in that regard as it’s timeless and authentic material that some believe is better than fiberglass.
- Eco-friendly: Another drawback is that fiberglass doors are not as eco-friendly as wooden front doors.
Ultimately, fiberglass doors hold significant advantages over their wooden counterparts in regards to cost, durability, strength, maintenance, and energy efficiency. Some will argue that nothing beats the authenticity of a real wooden door however the disadvantages are clear. While each homeowner values each of these qualities differently, fiberglass is a clearly superior material for your front door when you really stack it against a wooden front door.