Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Wood door or Metal door, which is better?
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scott1967
Wood door or Metal door, which is better?

I live in WI and the front and back doors both are metal doors. During the winter they get very cold and I think add to the cold that comes in the house. I would like to replace them with wood doors. Any possible issues with this? Any reason a metal door should be chosen over a wood door?

Thank you

A. Spruce
Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?

I would do some research as to the thermal values of wood vs. metal doors, my suspicion is that a metal door is a bit better, even though it feels colder, it isn't. Here is a quick explanation of what's going on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqDbMEdLiCs

A metal door is two separate skins of metal with a wood frame around their perimeter and foam insulation between them.

While wood is a decent insulator, the thickness of a door isn't very thermally efficient.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?

Plus the usual maintenance issues with wood doors.

Consider a fiberglass clad door.

dj1
Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?

A possible reason why your home has metal doors and not wood doors is your weather conditions.

Check with a few of your neighbors and compare.

ordjen
Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?

Metal and fiberglas doors are extremely stabil. Wooden doors are going to swell and schrink with the seasons. Even if the wood door had superior R values, the inherent movement of the door makes for poor weatherstripping. A poorly weatherstripped door will lose far more heat than a tight, lower R value door.

Speaking as an old painting contractor, I hated natural wood doors. Unless sheltered from sun and rain, they are a continuing pain in the rear to keep the varnish in good shape. Paint holds up far better, but again, compare to a finish on a metal or fiberglas door panel door, paint holds up far better due to the stability of the panels.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?

Solid metal doors do have heat conductivity problems but most residential doors are metal-clad wood which mitigates that. Go for the fiberglass doors, they're about as good as it gets in terms of strength, longevity, and insulation when you consider the whole package. Focusing on only one aspect of anything is likely to give you grief in other areas which also need to be considered. I love a good solid wood door (I'm a traditionalist there) but nowadays there are better things so go with them.

Phil

Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?

I have wood door and metal door in house. My metal door have less maintenance compare with wood door.

Rootoo
Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?

We have both metal and wood doors as well and we also live in a cold area. I find the metal door is usually cold to the touch in winter but provides a good barrier against the cold entering the house. I would think the wood door would require more painting over the years but they do look nice on a house.

ericburns4
Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?

According to me metal doors are much better as they are fireproof ,stronger and made of heavy metals so its alway a best option to have long durable metal doors.

A. Spruce
Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?
ericburns4 wrote:

According to me metal doors are much better as they are fireproof ,stronger and made of heavy metals so its alway a best option to have long durable metal doors.

No they're not, not even commercial doors are fireproof. All doors have a burn through rating from the manufacturer, but not all doors are technically fire rated. Those that are will have a metal tag on the door edge itself, possibly the jamb too.

A residential metal door is a sandwich of materials, the core of the door is a wood or MDF perimeter frame with a foam center mass. Thin metal skins cover either side of the core. In a fire, the core will burn, while the metal skins will melt.

DavidMartinez
Re: Wood door or Metal door, which is better?
ordjen wrote:

Metal and fiberglass doors are extremely stabil. Wooden doors are going to swell and schrink with the seasons. Even if the wood door had superior R values, the inherent movement of the door makes for poor weatherstripping. A poorly weatherstripped door will lose far more heat than a tight, lower R value door.

I totally support you Ordgen.. I just love my 4 panel Richmond doors installed last year, I have added it with scarlett glasses. the curb appeal it provides perfectly illuminates my entrance. As I am living in a northern region, this perfectly match my preferences. The main benefit of fiberglass doors is that they don't dent, rust, scratch or crack and their unique construction makes them extremely resistant to thermal bowing.

Just for an additional help in choosing replacement doors: http://www.clerawindows.com/blog/your-front-door-you-only-get-one-chance-to-make-a-first-impression/
All the very best with this project:)

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