Building Tips

Fiberglass vs Solid Wood Entry Doors

I would say hands down that the front door is one of the most important details of a home’s exterior. It is definitely one item that we tend to splurge on when building a home. For our new house, we have chosen a beautiful mahogany wood door by Simpson Door Company. This is the fourth home we have installed a solid wood front door and have been very pleased.

Although we say solid wood, some prefer a fiberglass door that looks very similar to wood. In this article, I’m going to break down the pros and cons of each so you can decide for yourself.

Fiberglass Door Pros and Cons

I have to admit that fiberglass doors have come a long way in recent years. Now the more expensive ones do a good job of mimicking the look of real wood and can be stained to match any species of wood. However, a discerning eye can still tell it is not real wood. So in my opinion appearance is a con of fiberglass doors.

A fiberglass door is a great option as far as maintenance. It is very tough and almost maintenance-free. No worrying about harsh weather damage or rotting wood. However, scratches and dents are nearly impossible to repair.

Fiberglass doors are normally cheaper than solid doors, depending on the size and brand. Another great thing about a fiberglass door is the thermal efficiency. This helps maintain consistent interior temperatures that will lower your monthly energy bill.

Solid Wood Door Pros and Cons

You can’t deny the beauty of natural materials in homebuilding. So beauty and appearance is a major pro of a solid wood door. There is just something about the texture and warmth of real wood that can’t be replicated.

Our doors for the new house

But there is always a downside to using natural materials. There is a little more maintenance on a solid door which involves re-staining every couple of years. Doing this will keep it looking brand new and prevent warping.

Although it is a little more work to keep it looking good, it is much easier to repair when damaged. Sanding out a dent or scratch in a real wood door is relatively easy as opposed to a fiberglass door.

CostMaintenanceEnergy EfficientAppearance
Single Solid Wood
Door
$600-$900-stain or paint
every two years
-easy to sand
scratches or
dents
-a natural
insulator of
heat
-undeniable natural beauty
Single Fiberglass Door$300-$500-little to none
-hard to get rid of
scratches or
dents
-very energy
efficient
-looks good, but can tell it’s not real

In my opinion, both solid wood and fiberglass are great options. Both have their pros and cons, but I still love the look of a natural wood door and woodgrain pattern. Because so many are choosing fiberglass doors, a solid wood door is a great way to make your house stand out.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Maggie

    Very interesting article! I am just interested in the companies used in your cost estimates. I would love to find a single wood door under $1000! Is there a post on companies? Thanks, Maggie

    January 21, 2020 at 12:56 am
    • Reply Henry

      Hello Maggie! I am so glad you enjoyed the article! We purchased our single door for this home from our local Builder’s First Source. I’m sure you can even find them at your local Lowes. Keep in mind this was talking about a single wood door without any added features.

      January 21, 2020 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Jason Becker

    Good article. I’ve been involved on both sides of representing the best fiberglass doors built as well as some of the best wood doors ever built. Features and benefits aside, one is stamped out using a mould, one is crafted by true talented craftsman. I’m totally “team wood”

    February 13, 2020 at 11:21 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    I was wondering if you restain and maintain your wooden front doors? We recently installed double front doors and already they are needing to be restained and polyed. Doing it ourself will save a bundle but it will have to be done almost every other year. Do you have any recommendations?

    June 24, 2020 at 12:47 pm
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