Some the the ideal fiberglass entry doors have acquired so an excellent at mimicking the look, feel, and thunk of lumber that you might swing one open and also close that behind girlfriend without ever realizing friend weren"t handling solid mahogany, oak, or pine. Due to the fact that they"re do from the same family of glass-fiber-reinforced polymers provided to craft airplanes, surfboards, and also Corvettes, these super-durable doors won"t warp, rot, shrink, or swell like wood doors—and castle boast premium resistance to insects and fire, too.

As for curb appeal, forget the plastic-looking imposters introduced a pair of decades ago. The ideal models attribute convincingly textured fiberglass "skins," energy-saving insulation, and also a an extensive menu of end up options, as well as molding, glass, and also hardware choices to match any kind of house style.

"Manufacturers have offered the skins real life now," claims Tim Ellenz, president of California window and Door, a dealer and also installer in Palm Desert. Ellenz didn"t also sell fiberglass entry doors 15 year ago; last year, the classification accounted for 90 percent the his door business.

Consider the aesthetic improvements and also a price tags that"s regularly lower than what you"d pay for a similar wood door, and today"s fiberglass entrance doors come to be legitimate rivals. Still, detect the ideal fiberglass entry door the looks and also fits right needs a little homework—or simply reading on.

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Shown: Aurora practice Fiberglass collection prehung, factory-finished door with hardware, beginning at about $5,000; jeld-wen.com

Fiberglass entry Doors: crucial Questions come Ask before Buying

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picture by Courtesy the Clopay

Slab or prehung?

A slab is simply the door; girlfriend (or a pro) affix the hinges, drill holes because that the hardware, and also hang it on an existing jamb. A prehung door come hinged to a jamb and also has a threshold and a weatherstripping system, through the alternative of a factory-installed lock and also latch. Friend trim it the end to suit your house.

What"s that cost?

You"ll pay almost everywhere from $150 because that a smooth-surfaced, paint-ready slab to $7,000 or an ext for a prehung, realistically textured and also factory-stained wood-grained version with lights and also molded panels. The sweet spot for a high-quality fiberglass entry door is $1,500 come $2,500. Include on about $400 come $800 to have actually a agree install it.

How lengthy will the last?

A life time warranty is standard; the maker will change the door if it falls short for as long as you own your house. Glass and also factory-finish warranties are one more story, typically 10 to twenty years and one to three years, respectively.

Where to buy?

Order through big-box shop or, for the largest choice of hardware, finish, and glass options, indigenous an elevation specialty home window and door supplier.

Fiberglass Door components


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man MacNeill
Think that a sandwich, through glued-on fiberglass skin as the bread and also rigid insulating foam together the filling. One interior structure of wood or composite rails and also stiles forms the exposed edges.

Where come buy fiberglass door components

Order v big-box stores or, because that the largest choice of hardware, finish, and also glass options, from an independent specialty window and door supplier.

Fiberglass prior Doors Pros and Cons

The Pros

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Laurey W. Glen It"s stable. Fiberglass doesn"t shrink and also swell favor wood, so this doors won"t stick in summer or permit in drafts in winter. And also the molded panels and window grilles won"t require recalling.It"s power efficient. many thanks to the insulating foam inside, a fiberglass door is typically about R-6, compared with R-2 for wood. Store in mind, however, that adding windows—even ones v low-e glass—significantly lowers the advantage.It"s low maintenance. The only routine upkeep essential is regular cleaning with a damp cloth. Since fiberglass doesn"t expand and contract, temperature ferris wheel don"t degrade the finish. A restorative top coat the clear maritime varnish (for a wood-look door) or paint can help prevent fading—which will take place sooner if your door deals with the beating sun, has a dark finish, or has actually no sheltering overhang. Save that protective coat fresh, states This Old House basic contractor Tom Silva, and also the complete will look an excellent indefinitely.Shown: Molded fiberglass panels and simulated separated lights can record the watch of timber French doors. Similar to shown: Prehung, factory-finished europe ¾ Light twin door, 96 inch tall, about $2,800; pella.com

The Cons

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It can not fit. thinking of installing a fiberglass slab right into an opened that"s not square? Make sure in development that you can make alterations. Part fiberglass doors can"t be trimmed in ~ all. Others have the right to be trimmed only along the top and also bottom. Also doors that deserve to be planed ~ above all four sides normally can"t it is in trimmed by more than fifty percent an customs on every edge.It have the right to crack. A fiberglass door won"t dent, yet the skin have the right to crack if it takes a difficult hit from an errant golf round or gets banged up throughout the distribution of your brand-new range. Also, delamination—the skin peeling far from the frame—can occur with doors that have wood stiles and rails, which will certainly absorb water and rot if not preserved sealed with repaint or varnish.It negates the one-of-a-kind option. unless you"re willing to shell out $20,000 to $30,000 or an ext to have actually a factory develop a unique mold because that you, you"ll need to pick and choose from all the obtainable standard sizes, options, and also extras.Pro advice: "If the fiberglass skin cracks, you deserve to use Bondo to to fill the gap. While the filler is quiet soft, use a sharp pencil to mimic the door"s graining. Sand the hardened spot lightly and refinish the whole door." —Tom Silva, TOH basic Contractor

Fiberglass vs. Lumber Door

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Keller & Keller It"s hard to argue with the organic beauty, warmth, and also authenticity that wood, and you can plane down the door"s edges if the home settles. Today"s laminated veneers and engineered-lumber cores reduce the notorious troubles of swelling and also sticking. Yet wood exterior doors remain fragile to sun and also rain and also will rot if friend don"t store up v the caulking and the painting or varnishing.

Fiberglass vs. Stole Doors

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photo by Courtesy of Jeld-Wen They represent the lowest-cost option and also still command the biggest market share. But if you desire an authentic wood look, metal-skin doors can"t difficulty the realism the fiberglass. Plus, steel skins space subject come dents and also dings and can be hot or cold come the touch. The finest steel commodities are galvanized, yet if the coating attract off, the door have the right to rust. In locations where salt waiting or constant rain is an issue, fiberglass has the leaf on durability.

Fiberglass entrance Doors: price

Good Value

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photo by Courtesy the Jeld-Wen Jeld-Wen agree Series

($200-$1,500)

Putty-like "sheet molding compound" is stamped under high heat and pressure with a steel dice to type the fiberglass skins. Stiles space inch-thick laminated veneer hardwood (LVL) capped through composite for rot resistance. Rails are complete composite.

Better Value

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picture by Courtesy the Jeld-Wen Jeld-Wen architecture Fiberglass

($1,500-$4,000)

Long-strand fiberglass is machine-pressed ~ above silicone molds actors from genuine wood doors for realistic graining. Four-inch-thick LVL stiles are capped with a hardwood sheet band. Rails are composite.

Best Value

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picture by Courtesy that Jeld-Wen Jeld-Wen Aurora custom Fiberglass

(starting at $4,000)

Thick fiberglass sheets room layered by hand ~ above the silicone molds and also vacuum pressed. Four-inch-thick LVL stiles and also rails have a hardwood edge band. Finish is hand used for an yes, really look.

Before you Order, understand Your Specs inside Out

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picture by Casey Dunn

Fiberglass Door Sizes

Companies stock many choices within a standard range, generally in 80-, 84-, and 96-inch heights and 2-inch broad increments. For a prehung unit, you"ll need the size of the turbulent opening and the total depth that the wall to recognize jamb width. To order a slab, measure the height, width, and also thickness that the door the is replacing and also choose a stock size to match.

Swing

From the outside, facing an exterior door the swings inward (as most residential doors do): If the hinges are on the right-hand side, it"s a right-handed door, and also vice versa.

Safety Codes

For extra security, you can order a prehung fiberglass door through a factory-installed three-point locking system, behind-the-jam steel brackets, and also a steel plate in the core. In hurricane zones, make certain your door meets the influence requirements specified by local structure codes.

Shown: Manufacturers sell a wide selection of clear, textured, leaded, and also low-e glass. Comparable to shown: Pulse collection prehung and also paint-ready door, starting at $580; thermatru.com

Fiberglass Door Designs

Craftsman Style

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Look for recessed panels, wood-grain texture, and duration details like dentil shelves and patterned and leaded-glass lights. The grain sample on this door was inspired by Mara, a south American hardwood.

Shown: Feather flow factory-finished door, around $530 (prehung); homedepot.com

Colonial Style

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Molded elevated panels suggest the look of wood. But due to the fact that fiberglass won"t increase or contract, castle won"t need recalling.

Shown: Six-panel slab door, with wood-grain-texture fiberglass skin and factory-applied paint, indigenous $450; plastproinc.com

Victorian Style

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A express oak-grain pattern and also tall arched lights provide this door a late-19th-century look.

Shown: Aurora custom Fiberglass Collection version A112 door, starting at $4,800 (prehung); jeld-wen.com

Contemporary Style

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crisp geometric lines provide this smooth-skinned door a clean, modern-day look.

Shown: Ari door through low-e glass, native the Pulse collection, native $684 (prehung and also paint-ready); thermatru.com

Spanish Mission Style

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A dark stain, optional stole strap hinges, and a speakeasy-style window grille provide this V-grooved slab its rustic appearance.

Shown: Factory-finished door, from around $1,735.

Neoclassical Style

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A mahogany-look stained finish and eight molded panels lend an wait of formality.

Shown: center Arch door through a factory finish, around $850 (prehung); pella.com

Cottage Style

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Tempered glass top a beadboard panel.

Shown: Paint-ready slab, about $610; masonite.com

Tudor Style

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This English-inspired arch-top door is also obtainable with strap hinges and nail heads because that a Southwestern look.

Shown: Classic-Craft Rustic repertoire door with factory-applied finish, around $2,400 (prehung); thermatru.com

Finishing Tips

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because that a painted finish, order a smooth-skin fiberglass door, either factory finished in the color of your selection or primed. If primed, repaint it through a high-quality exterior-grade paint, as you would certainly a wood door.For a stained-wood finish, choose a door through the grain structure of the varieties you want to simulate: oak, fir, mahogany, or alder, for example. Factory finishes are applied and also cured in means that can"t be copied at home and give friend the toughest, longest-lasting results.For DIY staining, stick through the stain kit noted or draft by the manufacturer for usage on the door girlfriend order; it contains all the products you need, and also you"ll be certain that the assets are compatible with the door.

Custom Fiberglass Doors

Split Doors

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numerous manufacturers sell the option of transforming an entry door through a center rail into a netherlands door.

Shown: Two-panel design A1202 prehung door, v Knotty Alder grain, from the Aurora practice Fiberglass Collection, beginning at $4,100; jeld-wen.com

Curves Ahead

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Don"t assume you"re out of lucky if the door you want to change with a fiberglass model veers indigenous the basic rectangle.

Shown: Eight-panel radius-top design A1308 prehung door, v Knotty Alder grain, from the Aurora custom Fiberglass Collection, beginning at $4,500; jeld-wen.com

Ornamental Metalwork

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Jazz increase a plain entry through decorative hinges, door handles, or pond head trim. The wrought-iron grille design gives this door Garden district style.

Shown: estate Cherry lumber grain fiberglass slab door with Sycamore finish, native $1,495.

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With Windows

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suppliers offer transoms, sidelights, and also decorative glass to complement your fiberglass door.

Shown: Craftsman prehung twin door through Homestead windows and also transom, around $4,340; pella.com