Your Guide to Choosing a Quality Entry Door

The perfect entry door will turn your home into a visual treat, but it also matches your personal taste and lifestyle. In other words, it's as beautiful as it is functional. To find the perfect door for your home, however, you'll need to get familiar with the traits, strengths and weaknesses of each door type.

Wood Doors

Fiberglass and steel varieties may do a good job of imitating them, but nothing has been able to come close to the warmth and richness of beautiful, high-quality wood doors. Even the simplest styles can create a stunning traditional look.

Finish it with paint, stain or lacquer in the perfect color.

The multitude of glass style options and molding profiles can be mixed and matched to create the perfect look. And on the higher end, carved patterns can transform a wood door into a work of art. To complete the look, finish it with paint, stain or lacquer in the perfect color.

For maximum strength, look for doors with a mortise and tenon join (a tongue fitted into a groove), rather than dowels, but you'll also need to remember humidity can cause warping. Frame and panel construction can prevent warping by giving the wood space to expand and contract, and doors with a thick veneer on the faces and sides can help too.

Look for higher-quality doors with stave cores

If you really want a door that will resist warping, however, look for higher-quality doors with stave cores. This means the core consists of one inch strips of wood glued together. The entire door should be made from the same species to ensure the entire thing expands and contracts at the same rate.

If you choose wisely and perform regular maintenance, wood doors can last a lifetime. Protect them from the elements and direct sunlight as much as possible, but when they start to lose their luster, a quick refinishing will have them looking as good as new.

Steel Doors

Steel doors may not have the warm, traditional look of wood, but you can't beat them for security and durability. Their lifespan and energy efficiency does vary greatly, depending on the style and type you choose, but one thing remains constant: they look great in contemporary-styled homes with clean lines and modern looks.

They look great in contemporary-styled homes with clean lines and modern looks

When comparing steel doors, you'll notice they'll have solid wood, engineered, composite or steel frames. They're all sufficient, but you'll find solid wood frames are the least stable and can warp over time. Steel frames, found in safety doors and premium styles, are the strongest and most resilient of the bunch.

Steel doors generally come with two kinds of foam core:

Polystyrene sheet -- These insulate the door, but create air pockets that allows air to escape

Polyurethane spray foam -- The most energy efficient because expands to fill the entire expanse of the door.

Just because a door is made of steel doesn't mean you're limited to a certain color or finish. In fact, you'll find they come in a number of factory finishes, including an embossed wood grain pattern and primed and ready to paint.

One thing you'll need to be aware of is that, while steel doors are resilient and durable, they will deteriorate quickly if the surface is worn or damage. Therefore, you'll want to repaint the door as soon as the coating cracks or flakes, which generally works out to every three years or so.

Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass doors are perfect for homes needing the durability of steel and the beauty of wood

Popular for their resistance to wear and wide range of fashionable styles, fiberglass doors are perfect for homes needing the durability of steel and the beauty of wood. They arrive painted or stained, unfinished or primed and ready to paint. They come in a number of different styles, with either a smooth or wood grain texture, and have a variety of glass style options. The possibilities are endless.

Fiberglass doors are manufactured in much the same way as steel doors. However, instead of steel sheets over a frame, these have fiberglass sheets, called 'skins', which are attached to a wood, composite, or steel frame. Just like with steel doors, steel framing offers the most stability, strength, and resistance to warping. These doors also have a foam core filled with either sheeting, or spray foam.

Cleaning and maintaining fiberglass doors is easy too. You'll find, besides wiping them to keep them clean, these doors need to be refinished with an exterior finish. (Don't sand it!) And if the door gets scratches, simply refinish it. Deeper scratches and holes can be filled with a product much like an auto body filler.

Ready to find the perfect door for your home? Have a look or contact us to find out more.