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Fiberglass vs. Steel Garage Door (Which Is Better)

Fiberglass vs. Steel Garage Door (Which Is Better)

Garage doors add to the home’s style and aesthetics while protecting it from the elements. With so many options on the market, deciding which type of garage door is best for your needs can take time and effort. One popular option is fiberglass garage doors, and another is traditional steel doors.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between steel and fiberglass garage doors to help you make an informed decision.

Difference Between Steel and Fiberglass Garage Doors

Modern garage doors are made from various materials, creating a strong and durable construction. These doors’ most commonly used panels are steel, vinyl, wood, aluminum, and fiberglass.

These panels provide robust protection to your home as they are overlaid on steel or aluminum frames which act as an additional layer of protection. The doors are insulated to help provide a barrier against extreme temperatures and weather conditions.

1. Materials

Steel garage doors are a popular choice for homeowners looking to protect their vehicles from the elements. These doors are typically composed of real-gauge steel and coated with zinc, which helps prevent rusting. Steel doors can be found in single, double, and triple layers. Single-layer doors are the least insulated, while triple-layers offer enhanced protection from the elements.

Fiberglass garage doors are a relatively new entry to the market. These are steel doors with a fiberglass coating, providing homeowners with an added layer of lightness and malleability. Fiberglass offers numerous advantages over traditional materials, such as excellent noise reduction and impact resistance. These doors can be customized to better match the aesthetic of a home.

2. Durability and Strength

Fiberglass and steel are durable materials, but steel tends to be more robust in extreme weather conditions such as snow or hail storms. Steel offers greater resistance when it comes to denting or scratching.

Steel has higher fire and impact resistance. This makes it the better choice for areas with a higher fire risk or severe weather.

Fiberglass is an effective material used for a variety of purposes. Unlike wood, it is lighter, more delicate, and susceptible to hail damage, chips, and dents.

It resists fading from UV rays better than steel, making it suitable for sunny climates. Fiberglass will eventually become brittle and crack over time with sunlight, heat, and cold exposure. Fiberglass is not as fire-resistant as steel.

Steel will last longer than fiberglass if properly maintained.

3. Insulation Properties

When it comes to insulation, fiberglass is the superior material. Fiberglass doors are made from several layers of reinforced material that provide excellent insulation properties.

This makes them great for keeping your garage at a comfortable temperature during both summer and winter months. Steel garage door material is less effective at insulating your garage since they have fewer layers of protection.

4. Appearance


Image Credit: aaron_overhead_doors

For those looking for the perfect choice in garage door design, fiberglass and steel provide various options. Fiberglass doors come in various colors, styles, and finishes if you’re after an eye-catching look.

Fiberglass can be painted or stained to match any color scheme and is available in designs that mimic wood texture. Whether you’re looking for something that stands out or blends in, fiberglass will give you the look you desire.

Steel is also an excellent choice if you’re seeking various design options. Most garage door manufacturers offer different steel gauges and styles, allowing you to choose a door tailored to your space. Steel garage doors frequently have a sleek and contemporary appearance and are offered in various paint colors, including wood-grain patterns that mimic the texture of natural wood.

Steel doors come in classic rolling styles and contemporary designs that can elevate the look of any home. Steel doors also look great when paired with glass panels, offering an element of privacy while allowing plenty of light into your garage.

If you desire anything special for your property, both materials can be easily customized to fit your needs.

5. Energy Efficiency

Fiberglass is known for being a highly efficient material when it comes to energy. It prevents air from escaping and increases utility bills more effectively than wood and steel. Unlike wood, steel does not offer the same performance longevity as fiberglass.

Steel will get hotter than fiberglass if exposed to direct sunlight and high temperatures, making it less efficient. This makes fiberglass the superior choice when it comes to energy efficiency.

6. Security Aspects

Fiberglass and steel garage doors are both great options when it comes to security. Steel is incredibly strong and can provide additional protection against intruders, while fiberglass provides better insulation which mutes the outside sound. Both materials come with advanced locking systems for added peace of mind.

The choice between these materials depends on your individual needs and the level of security you require. Ultimately, both can create a secure environment for your property and family.

7. Environmental Aspects

Environmental Aspects

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Both fiberglass and steel are reasonably sustainable materials in terms of the environment. Once its service as a garage door is over, steel is a recyclable material that can be recycled or melted down for various purposes.

Fiberglass is eco-friendly because it can last longer than wood and needs less upkeep. Using chemicals during production increases air pollution during the fiberglass manufacturing process.

Steel can be the finest alternative if you seek the most environmentally friendly option.

8. Cost Considerations

Regarding cost, fiberglass and steel garage doors are within a reasonable price range. Depending on the model, type, and size of door you choose, steel doors can range from $150 to $2,500, while fiberglass options typically fall between $150 and $3,000.

Fiberglass doors are slightly more expensive than steel due to their lightweight design and added insulation benefits. The installation of either type of door is relatively similar; fiberglass requires low maintenance costs over time since it is not as susceptible to weathering or wear and tear damage.

Steel doors are a more traditional choice, so they tend to be cheaper upfront.

Maintaining Your Fiberglass and Steel Garage Doors: Easy Maintenance Tips

Fiberglass garage doors are great for anyone looking to upgrade their entranceway with a long-lasting style. Unlike steel doors, fiberglass is resistant to weathering and won’t corrode or rust, making it an ideal material for areas that experience saltwater corrosion or high humidity levels. Keeping your fiberglass door looking its best requires routine cleaning and care.

To keep your fiberglass front door looking its best, start with a gentle wipe-down using a soft, moist cloth to remove any dirt or dust from the surface.

  • Avoid using harsher solutions, as this damages the door’s finish.
  • You can use a gentle hose spray or the lowest-pressure washer setting to rinse the door if you need more than just a basic wipe-down.
  • Be sure not to use higher settings, as this could cause damage to your fiberglass entranceway.

Steel needs regular painting and rust treatment to prevent corrosion. This can be a tedious and time-consuming task requiring you to spend money and effort on its upkeep.

  • Steel surfaces are easy to wipe down with just a cloth and water. ‘
  • You will need to lubricate the moving parts regularly and repaint them every couple of years to prevent corrosion.

Which One Is Right For You?

Both fiberglass and steel have their advantages when it comes to selecting a garage door material. Fiberglass is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a door that is easy to maintain due to its durable and weather-resistant properties.

Steel offers a more traditional look and typically comes at a lower cost than fiberglass but requires more maintenance and painting over time.

Choosing between these materials depends on personal preference, as both offer excellent design and functionality options.

Regarding garage door openers, both fiberglass and steel are compatible with most systems. If you’re looking for extra features, some newer technology allows you to link your opener to a smartphone or tablet app, so you can monitor and control the door from anywhere.

When deciding on a garage door, consult a reliable and experienced dealer who can advise on the best material for your home or business. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction and help you select a door that meets both your needs and budget.

With their expertise, you can get the perfect door to suit your style and ensure a safe and secure entranceway.

Some Tips for Shopping

  • Look for doors made of heavy-duty 16-gauge steel or stronger; these are less likely to bend or warp over time and offer better insulation from noise and the elements.
  • Consider any extra features in a new garage door, such as remote access, motion sensors, and lighting.
  • If you’re looking to save money, consider aluminum frames which are lightweight and easy to install.
  • A quality installation is key, so hire a reputable installer to ensure the job is done properly.
  • Investing in regular maintenance and repairs for your garage door is also important – this will extend its lifespan and keep it running safely for years to come.
  • Check your local building codes and insurance requirements before making a purchase.
  • Finally, make sure that you check out any warranties or guarantees offered by the manufacturer and installer before you make your purchase.

Final Thoughts

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when choosing between a fiberglass or steel garage door. Each material has perks and drawbacks that you should weigh before making your decision.

Fiberglass offers some profound insulation benefits and is more lightweight than steel but is more prone to damage from impacts. Steel is heavier but much more durable and has a classic look that can add value to your home.

Consider what you need from your garage door – both materials have something great to offer. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong either way – it just depends on your unique situation.