Most homeowners love the look of an old-fashioned, panel door and almost every home magazine features fiberglass front entry doors in various issues to portray a timeless, rich look. In fact it wasn't very long ago that most home doors, both interior and exteriors, were crafted from solid wood panels that were framed by a bracing structure called stile, or rail. The allure of the panel door today is that people still love the rich, wood-look, one that can't be duplicated by flat-styled doors or other door designs.
Fiberglass Front Entry Doors for All Seasons
During the past twenty years, fiberglass doors have been gaining popularity as entranceways. These door units are manufactured to preserve the beauty of a traditional wood door right down to the wood grain, panel markings and miter joints. In fact, they can be sized to replace many of the old wooden doors in homes that are over a hundred years old.
Strength and Resilience
Another attraction for solid-wood, panel front entry doors was the strength. You can still find doors over a hundred years old that have withstood scores of pounding storms and other physical abuse. Just giving them a fresh new coat of paint usually brought them back into a functioning part of the home.
However, not only are fiberglass doors stronger than wooden doors they have a finish that can withstand the torture of the elements without constant maintenance. The reason for this is that, unlike wood, fiberglass is not porous so any small nick will not be a portal to moisture. However, if you want to change the look of the home then fiberglass front entry doors can be painted to suit any new designs in the home.
Resistance to Warping, Denting and Rot
Another knock against wood is that it needs this constant maintenance for both its look and integrity.
- Won't Crack or Warp
With solid-wood doors, there is no long-term guarantee that, even with careful maintenance, they might not crack after a few years because of the sun or warp because of dampness. Doors suffering the effects of these types of weather often do not close properly and have to be re-sized or shaved with a planer. Then, because a fiberglass door doesn't shrink or swell it can last as much as five times longer than the same paint applied to sold-wood doors.
- Won't Dent or Corrode
Around forty years ago, steel and aluminum doors with foam center cores came in to replace the wooden doors. They mimicked the appearance of wood quite well however the metal-clad doors are susceptible to denting and, in the case of steel, rusting.
- Retains Form
Skis and hunting bows use fiberglass because it has a memory, which means they will never warp in moisture or be bent by a blunt force.
Fiberglass-clad doors not only resist dents and scrapes they provide a better thermal barrier than even wood or foam-core metal. With the modern closed-cell, foam insulation the R-value of a fiberglass door can approach R-8, which is the equal of many walls, whereas solid-wood doors can barely make R-4. Therefore, the homeowners are assured a lasting fit that will seal off the interior of the home from the outside regardless of minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures or hot summer days that approach 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Doors That Fit Any Style
There are wide varieties of options when purchasing fiberglass doors, from a realistic oak, or other wood finish, to a primed surface ready for finishing. Fiberglass doors ordered from the manufacturing plant can be colored to suit the rest of the home's finish right down to the imperfections in the wood grain. Alternatively, factory-primed doors can be painted with an oil-based paint or even stained.
The other advantage of fiberglass-clad doors is that once the hardware is installed there will be no problems with the alignment due to swelling or shrinking that can plague solid-wood doors after time. With wooden doors, the hardware can act as a collector for moisture that can promote rot.
So, if you are building a home or just want a change make sure you get the best performance for your money. Check out the many benefits of fiberglass front entry doors.
- Written by Kim Kinrade