How to Choose a Front Door: Wood, Steel or Fiberglass

How to Choose a Front Door: Wood, Steel or Fiberglass

The right front door will add style, personality, and curb appeal to any home. With wood, steel, and fiberglass options, choosing the proper exterior doors for your home can feel intimidating. So whether you’re updating your entryway or changing out a back door, this helpful guide can help you decide which type of door will be perfect for your home.

Wood Doors

For years, wood was the only material option for exterior doors and is still a popular choice today. Besides offering classic charm to your home, let’s look at the pros and cons of owning a wood door.

Pros: A wood door’s natural beauty offers an inviting and matchless elegance that gives a home a distinct warmth and aesthetic appeal. Versatility alone sets wood doors apart from fiberglass and steel. Since wood doors can also be custom built, unique designs, styles, and size options are almost endless. Depending on taste and style, wood doors can be made from an array of species such as: mahogany, oak, birch, maple, fir, and pine.

Cons: Wood front doors are a gorgeous addition to any home but they typically have a higher price tag than a fiberglass or steel door. A wood door will also require more maintenance than its counterparts. Wood doors can absorb moisture, which can cause warping, peeling, and even rotting. To help prevent deterioration of a wood door it should be inspected regularly and be finished all six sides. A porch or overhang is suggested to add extra protection from the elements. Also, compared to fiberglass or steel, wood is a slightly less energy-efficient option for an exterior door.

Steel Doors

Before fiberglass doors were introduced the only other option for an exterior door, besides wood, was steel. A steel door offers a lot more than just a great price. So let’s take a look at why a steel door is still a great option for a home.

Pros: To start, a steel door is the most economical choice for an exterior door. With durable steel doors from Masonite and Jeld-Wen you’ll have less worry about warping and rotting. The pre-primed steel makes them easier to finish and requires very little maintenance to keep them lasting for years. A steel door’s energy-efficient core will also help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, keeping your energy cost down.

Cons: There’s a lot to like about steel doors but if you want a door with some texture, then wood or fiberglass will be your only options. Steel doors are only available with a smooth face, but it can easily be dressed up by adding decorative glass. Steel doors can be dented and scratched which can lead to rusting if not addressed. Finally, steel doors are primarily made to be painted. If you’re looking for a door to stain, wood or fiberglass is the way to go.

Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass doors offer the versatility of wood with the minimal maintenance of steel, and that’s just to start. A fiberglass door will be a beautiful addition to any home for years to come. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the beauty of owning a fiberglass door.

Pros: Fiberglass doors have come a long way since they were first introduced. They are offered in either a smooth or woodgrain textured face, and with technological advances even the keenest of eyes may not be able to tell a wood door from a textured fiberglass door. You can also get fiberglass doors that are made with specific wood grains such as: mahogany, oak, cherry, knotty alder, etc. Check out GlassCraft’s decorative FiberCraft series, “A look so good, you’ll think it’s wood”. And just like a wood door they can either be painted or stained. Not only are fiberglass doors the most energy efficient door on the market, they also require the least amount of maintenance. Unlike wood and steel doors, fiberglass is difficult to ding or scratch.

Cons: When it comes to fiberglass doors it’s hard to find anything negative. A fiberglass door offers the best of both worlds, the beauty and charm of a wood door along with the minimal maintenance and energy-efficiency of steel. They do cost more than a steel door (for now) but are typically a more economical purchase than a wood door. The good news is, though, when you purchase a fiberglass door, you purchase a door for life.

The Choice is Yours

At Tri-Supply you’ll find the largest selection of wood, steel, and fiberglass front doors along with decorative inserts. Our Temple door mill cuts out the middleman ensuring your exterior door units are built with the utmost quality and care, saving you time and money. Visit your local Tri-Supply Showroom today and let our professional sales staff help open the door to beautiful possibilities.


  • Before you choose your perfect door, check out this informative article: Before You Buy a Door.
  • Having your back or side doors doors open to the outside of your home instead of in can add security and saves on valuable inside space.
  • Extend the life of your doors that don’t have an adequate overhang by having your door units built with our rot resistant exterior casings and FrameSaver door frames.
  • Add security with our KikGard option for inside opening doors.