If you want to replace an entry door, you have a number of options available when it comes to materials. Your main considerations here are durability, appearance and energy efficiency. The material your door is made from will have a significant impact on all three of these things. The main options for door materials are wood, metal and fiberglass.

Wood Doors

Much of a wood door’s appeal lies in the beauty of the wood grain. Many people like the look that it gives to a home, which can add to the home’s curb appeal and thus increase its value. Additionally, scratches on wood can be repaired easily and it is warm to the touch. The drawbacks of wood include the fact that it is expensive and will require a lot of maintenance over its lifetime. Wood can also absorb moisture, which can result in cracking and splitting. Furthermore, it is not energy efficient and will therefore be expensive to own as well as to buy.

Steel Doors

Steel has a reputation for toughness and is one of the more popular entry door materials. Steel has fewer maintenance requirements than wood and is less expensive to purchase. These doors are also less expensive to own and they are more energy efficient than wood doors. A home with a door made of steel is more secure than one with a door made from wood. The disadvantages of steel are that it is easily dented and scratches can result in rust. It can also be very cold or hot to the touch, depending on the weather.

Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass provides all of the benefits of the other two materials. It has one drawback in that it will require a greater upfront investment, but that investment will save you far more money in the long term. It does not scratch or dent easily and will not absorb moisture. Fiberglass doors are energy efficient so they will not result in higher energy bills; they can also be made with the appearance of wood grain thus enhancing your home’s appearance. Unlike wood, fiberglass does not swell or warp; this means that your door will last for considerably longer without needing to be maintained or replaced.

The Insulation Value of Fiberglass Doors

Having a door made of the right material can play a big role in bringing down your energy costs in both warm and cold weather. Fiberglass doors provide excellent insulation in that they are usually rated between R-5 and R-6. Those ratings mean that they have more than 5 times the insulation value of a 1-1/2 inch thick wood door. The reason for the excellent insulation value is that these doors usually consist of a fiberglass skin over a polyurethane core which has low thermal conductivity. Some steel doors also have the polyurethane core, but steel itself is such a poor insulator so there will still be heat transfer.
The ideal door will come down to your preferred qualities. If your priority is to have a door that not only looks good but is durable and secure as well, fiberglass will be your best option.