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Fiberglass Door Replacement

What you need to know before installing a fiberglass door

July 14, 2015

The fiberglass entrance doors available on the market today are as close as you can get to real wood. From the look and feel to that deep thud, fiberglass doors can provide homeowners with the ideal front door solution.

What Are They Made From?

These doors are made from the same materials used in airplanes, surfboards and other similar items. They are known to be durable and resist shrinking, swelling, rotting and warping. This material is also known to be highly resistant to fire.

Choosing Between Prehung and Slab

Prehung doors come already hinged to the jamb. It already has weatherstripping and a threshold. When choosing this kind of option, you might need to make adjustments in order to ensure a perfect fit. Alternatively, by ordering a slab, you will receive the door which will need to be fitted with hinges and hung on an existing jamb. The slab option means that you will need to measure the jamb perfectly to ensure that the door fits properly.

Price and How Long They Last

Basic designs won’t set you back too much. Of course, as the design becomes more complex, you can expect the price to go up. A good quality fiberglass front door can certainly last a lifetime. Of course, if there are any glass sections, this part of the door could become damaged accidentally.

Door Structure

These doors consist of two pieces of fiberglass skins with stiff foam in between. This foam serves several functions including the purpose of adding stability and energy efficiency. The interior frame is made from wood or composite materials.

Main Benefits

There are many benefits to choosing this type of front door for your home. Firstly, the nature of the material itself means that it is highly stable. As briefly mentioned above, fiberglass is not susceptible to warping and swelling like real wood.

They are known for being wonderfully energy efficient thanks to the foam inside the door. Fiberglass doors are low-maintenance and will only need to be cleaned from time to time. The varying temperatures between summer and winter will not cause the material to contract and expand. Therefore, you can expect less wear and tear on the door as a whole.

Potential Disadvantages

If you order a slab door, you might not get the perfect fit. You might need to make some modifications. It’s also possible that the door you order might not be able to be modified or trimmed. There are even those doors that can only be trimmed at the top and bottom. Even so, the amount you can trim is limited so measuring the size you need is essential.

Fiberglass does not dent easily (if at all) but the top layers can crack if they are struck hard enough. In some cases, delamination can occur if the door has wooden rails and stiles. If they absorb water, they can rot, and the skin will peel off the frame. This can easily be prevented by maintaining your door with the right varnish or paint.

Unlike natural wood, your fiberglass door will not be a real one-of-a-kind. They generally roll off the assembly line and, although there are several colors to choose from, they aren’t entirely unique.

Choosing Your Finish

A smooth door is suitable for a painted finish and, as mentioned above, there are several colors available. In some cases, homeowners order doors that have only been coated with a primer. In this case, you should use a high-quality paint designed for exterior use. You should also ask the manufacturer about the right kind of paint to use.

If you prefer a stained wood finish, you can ask about a specific finish like oak, mahogany, or alder, for example. You can order the stained finish directly from the retailer, or you can do the staining yourself. The manufacturer should provide you with a stain kit. Do not try to use any other products since they might not prove compatible.

How Do They Compare?

Other types of front doors include stainless steel and wood. Wood tends to be more expensive. It might be worth the spend if you are restoring a historic building or if you are trying to create a very particular look.

Stainless steel doors are great for security but, due to their conductive nature, they can become warm in the summer and cold in the winter. This means that fiberglass is superior in terms of energy efficiency.

Alma Windows and Doors offers a wide range of doors, including fiberglass entry doors. Contact our team today for an in-house quote, advice, and further information on choosing the right door for your home.

Call (416) 661-9915 to book your free estimate today!

Filed under: Doors

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