Alternatives to Wood

Both steel and fiberglass doors need less maintenance and get higher fire ratings than wood doors. And because they have foam cores, they insulate about twice as well. MDF (medium-density fiberboard) doors, made of glued wood fibers, are relatively recent arrivals to the marketplace. None of these alternatives have as many design options for you to choose from as wood does.

Magnetic weatherstripping makes these entries as tight as a refrigerator, but they're susceptible to dents, dings, and rust. The embossed panels do not mimic wood convincingly. Steel is the least expensive wood alternative.

Better than steel at imitating wood, resisting water, and standing up to blows, but susceptible to fading. Keep it clean by wiping it down with soapy water. The cost is comparable to a high-end stock wood door.

It looks like paint-grade wood but typically costs less and carries a fire rating of up to 90 minutes. These doors must be kept painted on all sides with an exterior oil-based paint to maintain their five-year warranty.
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