The doors in your home are much more than functional elements that open or close to provide privacy and security. Whether it’s a main door, a garage door or an internal door, it should look stylish and blend into the design of your home. There are several types of materials that you can use for your doors. Today, we look at the options available in the market. From these, you can choose the best one based on your requirements.
Among the types of materials for doors, wood is a popular choice, especially for the entrance. Besides adding style to the home’s main entrance, wood also has the advantage of being easy to customize, whether it’s colour, design or with the addition of glass panels or any other decorative feature. The benefit of using wood as the material for the main door is that it is strong and provides security, insulating and soundproofing.
One of the main disadvantages of using wood for doors is that the material warps over time due to its exposure to the natural elements. As a result, wooden doors will need to be replaced more often than those made of other durable materials such as steel or fibreglass. Wood is also relatively expensive compared to some of the other materials.
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Although it’s a relatively new entrant to the market fibreglass is becoming a popular option among the types of materials for doors because it is strong, waterproof, soundproof and provides good insulation. Compared to wood, fibreglass is more durable as it is not affected by the natural elements and doesn’t require replacement for many years. The material can be stained or painted in almost any colour or finish. It can even be made to look like natural wood.
The disadvantage of using fibreglass for the main door or internal doors is that it is an expensive material. However, considering its durability and the energy savings it offers due to its insulated core, the additional cost is well worth it.
If safety is your primary concern when analysing the materials of doors, then nothing beats the strength and toughness of steel. This material is known for offering security, which is why it is often used for the main entrance door or even for the frames of screen doors and grilles. A steel door usually has a sheet of insulated foam sandwiched between two panels of steel, which is what makes it very strong.
While the material is tough, the problem is that the surface can get dents, which are not easy to repair. Therefore, the only solution to ensure that the dent doesn’t interfere with the aesthetics of the entrance is to replace the main door.
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As a material, aluminium is affordable, strong, lightweight and durable. It can be used for the internal doors as well as external doors for the garage or garden shed. Due to it’s lightness, it is rarely used for the main door, which requires a tougher and stronger material. Like fibreglass and wood, aluminium can be painted in any colour to suit the rest of the house.
The disadvantage of using aluminium for doors is that it offers poor insulation and conducts heat easily. This makes it unsuitable among the types of materials for doors as it does not offer energy savings. However, it is an extremely affordable option that can work well in parts of the house where insulation is not a priority.
Although it’s most often seen in the frames of glass doors, UPVC can be used to construct a door that is lightweight and solid. This synthetic material is available in rigid as well as flexible sheets. For a main door, rigid UPVC can work well as it offers security. Even for other external doors, UPVC is a suitable material as it provides good insulation and can resist very high temperatures without getting damaged. This makes it an excellent option for doors for homes in regions with a hot climate.
In terms of cost, UPVC is more cost-effective than some of the stronger materials such as wood and steel but is more expensive than aluminium.
Very rarely does one see a full glass door at the main entrance of a house. Of course, it depends upon the preference of the home owner. For instance, in some houses, glass could be used in the main door to optimize natural light or a beautiful view.
However, using glass for the front door minimises privacy and security. One of the ways to work around this is to combine glass with wood or fibreglass at the entrance. This can be done by having a glass pane built into the main door. Alternatively, sidelights next to the door or a transom above it can serve the purpose of not blocking the natural light or view without compromising on security. Stained glass panels can also be used to add a decorative feature to a wood or fibreglass door.
While the use of iron as one of the materials of doors was more prevalent in earlier times, it is not commonly seen today. In many of the ancient palaces of India, iron was used in the door of the main entrance. As a material, it is strong, secure and durable. Additionally, it can be customized to almost any design using decorative features on the surface. It can also be painted in any shade to suit the rest of the façade.
The disadvantage of iron is that it can get rusted easily, especially when it is exposed to the natural elements. Therefore, a door made of iron will require a considerable amount of maintenance.
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If you want a door that looks like wood, but is lighter and less expensive, then a hollow core door is ideal. This type of door has a honeycomb cardboard sheet in the centre that provides the support for the outer surface, which is usually composed of sheets of plywood, laminate or vinyl. The cardboard helps in soundproofing to a small extent, but not as much as a solid core wood door. This type of door is mainly used for internal doors as it is more affordable than wood. However, it is not strong and is unsuitable for a main door.
While some homeowners resist using this type of door because they feel it will look cheap, the fact is that a well finished hollow core door can look exactly like a solid wood one. With a variety of finishes to choose from, these doors can be created to suit almost any design style.
The disadvantage of hollow core doors is that they don’t handle moisture well. If the surface is exposed to water splashes regularly, the laminate or plywood tends to peel off, and the stain or coating will wear out and need frequent maintenance.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide what you expect from a door, whether it’s a main door or an internal one, in terms of safety, style or any other feature. If you are unsure about what type of material to use for your doors, consult an interior architect or designer for professional inputs on what will or won’t work in your home.