The doors in the home have a multi-functional role. They are meant to do much more than let you in and out, separate rooms, provide entrance. They also protect, allow some privacy, beautify (or not), and resist all kinds of enemies, from burglars to fire. Naturally, the door material, the whole construction of the product is significant.
The good news is that the materials for both interior and entry doors are plenty. The bad news is that the list of things, which actually should shape your decision, is rather long. While the priorities, the requirements, and the expectations vary among homes, one must take into account several things.
Some examples? The local climate, the security risks, the privacy needs, the insulation expectations, the personal style, the family’s budget. See? Choosing door materials is hardly easy. Let us give you a hand with that. Let us examine the most common door materials, take a closer look at their pros and cons, and make your decision easier.
Wood is the classic choice for both interior and exterior doors. All the same, not all timber types are the same. Naturally, not all doors serve the same purposes either. And then, the performance, resistance, cost, and lifespan of the door depends on how it is constructed. Common choices?
• Solid wood – whether they are made of soft wood or hardwood, such doors are truly durable but also the most expensive option. As a natural material, wood will most likely expand and shrink depending on the level of humidity and the temperatures. Without some door repair and maintenance, wood may rot and splinter.
• Solid-core wood – while at a lower price than solid wood, this door will also offer less protection. The door’s skin is made of plywood and it’s filled with wood fibers that lack the strength of solid wood.
• Hollow-core wood – yes, this is the least expensive choice but also comes with a big disadvantage. As the name implies, the door is filled with nothing. It’s empty. Hollow.
While wood is a great choice for both interior and exterior doors, it depends on what you choose. For the exterior, you need solid wood – the stronger the better. Yes, you will pay the price but also get the advantage of durability.
Indoors, you don’t need to pay the price of a solid door and still face the disadvantages of real wood, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. If you simply want interior doors that will decorate and separate rooms, go with one of the other two choices. Just remember that hollow doors don’t block sounds – that’s if you care about your privacy.
It’s not a coincidence that most people prefer glass for their patio doors. Due to its transparency, as a material, glass has the advantage of offering unobstructed views. That’s true for the indoors. Most French doors are made of glass, making the space look bigger, creating the priceless sense of openness, but stealing away your privacy.
Another advantage of glass is that it doesn’t warp, rot, or corrodes. But it may break. If the choice of glass is not right from the start and the door installers lack the experience, you may face some condensation in between the glass panels.
Glass doors are great in parts of the home, where privacy and security are not issues.
This is basically plastic. uPVC is actually PVC, minus the plasticizers which make the material softer – more flexible. The material is strong, lightweight, inexpensive, and resistant to corrosion. But it lacks the elegance of other materials.
Just like wood, metal doors are not all alike. The main distinction here is between steel and aluminum. Steel is an excellent material for exterior doors. The common choices? Steel doors with insulation foam between the panels or steel wrapped with the insulation material and the skin made of wood veneer.
Aluminum has the advantage of the lightweight and non-corrosion properties and so, it is an excellent choice of high-humidity spaces. It is often combined with glass doors, serving as the frame or creating a grid for a sleek, industrial look.
There are choices for both the interior and exterior, but they are not cheap either.
Fiberglass doors are an excellent choice if you are searching for composite materials. They actually have all the benefits you expect from doors – strength, resistance, easy maintenance. Since they are not porous, they make a great option for all environments, while they are not easy to scratch and can be made to look like wood. Now, before you jump for joy, let me just say that they are a very expensive option.