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Fiberglass or Steel Door? What's better?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 27th, 2011 6:22 am
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Jr. Member
Nov 24, 2009
118 posts
3 upvotes
Oakville

Fiberglass or Steel Door? What's better?

Hi All,
I went to the "Windows/Doors" thread and read through it but found that there's mostly advice there on windows. (And to be honest, I also didn't have the patience to go through all 195++ pages. Haha. :razz :) Hence, I decided to start this thread...

Anyhoo, Hubby & I are thinking of changing our front builder-default French doors. We're thinking of changing from our doors with full glass panels to a solid door for more security because those wrought iron insert thingies seem more decorative than "protective". In this light, I have a couple of questions that, as usual, I hope you all can help me with:

1) Which is better, fiberglass or steel?

2) If we end up with a solid door (i.e. no glass panels or inserts), how can we put in a peep-hole?

3) Any feedback on the Masonite doors being sold and installed by Home Depot?

4) Any recommendations where to buy a door and have installed aside from Home Depot?

Any other comments or suggestions would, of course, be more than welcome!

Thanks again!
6 replies
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
12730 posts
3631 upvotes
A quality metal door will be, for most people, just as good as a quality fibreglass door with a much lower price. Selecting a quality 22 gauge steel door is a good choice for most home owners.

I would only select a fibreglass door when you are in a market with very high valued homes.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
24545 posts
2322 upvotes
Ottawa
I have an insulated steel door with a glass panel for a front door (baked on finish) and it is very good and effective and we are very happy with it.
I have a sliding patio door in back that is Fiberglas and it is the best thing we ever bought. No cold transfer int he winter and no heat transfer in the summer.
If I was to buy exterior doors again, they would be Fiberglas. They do not expand and contract, they transfer no heat or cold, they do not warp or become misaligned. They "feel" good too. Warm as wood and solid as a big old oak door without the maintenance.
It’s not how far you fall that counts. It’s how high you bounce that counts! General G Patton
Member
Oct 1, 2008
387 posts
61 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Pete_Coach wrote:
May 26th, 2011 4:09 pm
I have an insulated steel door with a glass panel for a front door (baked on finish) and it is very good and effective and we are very happy with it.
I have a sliding patio door in back that is Fiberglas and it is the best thing we ever bought. No cold transfer int he winter and no heat transfer in the summer.
If I was to buy exterior doors again, they would be Fiberglas. They do not expand and contract, they transfer no heat or cold, they do not warp or become misaligned. They "feel" good too. Warm as wood and solid as a big old oak door without the maintenance.

We sell both fiberglass and steel doors. Steel doors are less expensive but will dent much easier than fiberglass. Fiberglass doors have tendency to twist and that is the reason most companies will recommend a multipoint lock (3 deadbolts) on the door. They are attractive and strong but not wrapped on the edges as a steel door is and that is the reason for twisting.

Wood looking fiberglass doors will be considerably more than steel or smooth fiberglass doors, but less than solid wood doors.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
5720 posts
508 upvotes
I had steel doors on my last house, front and back. I live there for over 20 years and was very happy with them. Never any problem and I always felt very secure with them. The builder had covered the inside surface of the front door with oak to hide the harshness of the steel and it looked really nice.

No familiarity with fiberglass so I can't comment on that.
Newbie
Sep 16, 2010
8 posts
Windsor
You are definitely going to pay more for fiberglass. Keep an eye out if you are choosing Home Depot, they run promos on doors and/or installation services usually at 15%.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 12, 2007
3004 posts
142 upvotes
Ottawa
We have been in this dilemma and have stuck with our steel doors for the time being - just had them repainted. We are interested in going with a Craftsman-style door and want a stained wood finish - our choices were wood or fibreglass. For appearance and "feel", steel doors don't deliver what we were looking for; wood is a great option from a look and feel perspective but insulating properties and security are the weakest of the options and maintenance and initial cost are the highest.

That being said, only the highest end fibreglass doors (and that doesn't include Masonite's Barrington line in our opinion) seem to meet our needs but they are outrageously expensive. This one (http://www.thermatru.com/products/entry ... index.aspx) was quoted as almost $10k all-in (stained, installed, taxes in)! Pella has a similar door and it's similarly priced. We like them but they're too rich for our blood and everything else we see that's more affordable just doesn't measure up.
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