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Your Guide to Different Door Materials and Styles

January 6, 2020

Doors vary in materials and styles that is why it is difficult to select the best and appropriate for your home. However, if properly chosen, doors add good looks and security. The right entry door can even save a substantial amount of energy. Luckily, below is your guide to door materials and styles.

Door Materials


Wood is the classic choice for its natural beauty. Wood doors also offer the best wear-and-tear resistance of any material. They can be stained or painted. When used for entry doors, wood is high maintenance, though, and should be refinished annually or at least biannually. Solid wood is also pricey. For a less expensive alternative, you might select solid-core wood -- a hardwood or wood fibre-backer coated with plywood or laminate. However, this is more vulnerable to moisture and fading.


Steel is used almost exclusively for exterior doors, where it has cornered 50 percent of the market today. Inexpensive compared to wood and fibreglass, steel door installation generally provides an excellent return on investment when you sell your home. Some steel doors can be treated with a faux wood stain. Many steel doors are not actually solid metal, but rather two steel “skins” sandwiching an insulating foam core. As a result, while energy-efficient, they tend to be susceptible to denting, scratching, and rust, particularly with thinner steel (24-gauge and above).


Gaining rapidly in popularity, fibreglass is a practical material for an entry door. Fibreglass is the most energy-efficient of all types of doors; because it is non-conductive of heat and cold, its R-value can be four to five times that of wood. Other advantages are dent resistance, light weight, and low maintenance. Fibreglass doors' one disadvantage is their relatively high price.


When glass is utilized in exterior doors -- whether to add small windows or large panels -- it’s important to use gas-filled thermal glass panes, for their insulation value.

Door Styles


Solid, flat and unadorned, flush doors are the least expensive style, particularly if they are hollow core. Their flat surface makes them easy to paint or stain. Typically used for interior doors


Panel doors include 4-8 embossed panels surrounded by decorative moulding. One or more of the panels may be made of glass, for good looks and additional light.


French doors are made of a frame surrounding window panels. Elegant and traditional, these doors are often found in pairs at the entrance to a formal public space in the home, such as a living or dining room. They may also lead outdoors, to a deck or other landscape feature.


Single or double pocket doors slide into the wall when opened, moving along rollers which hang on an overhead track. Hire a pro to retrofit these space-saving interior doors in your home. IMPORTANT: The wall must not contain plumbing pipes or electrical wiring.

For more information regarding door materials and styles, consult Shandfield Doors. We offer workmanship that defines unique taste and aesthetic appeal that is yours alone.

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