No two garage doors are exactly the same. The differences include their design, style, color, optional hardware and glass, and of course the material used for construction. When you’re shopping for a new garage door, you’ll find fiberglass and steel options, and you may begin to wonder: What are the differences between steel and fiberglass doors? While the two are similar, there are some key distinctions. Here’s a look at what sets them apart:
- Popularity: Steel garage doors represent the most popular material. This is more of the traditional garage door, though fiberglass garage doors are becoming more and more prominent. This shouldn’t necessarily affect your buying decision, but, if you’re wondering what’s most commonplace, the answer is steel.
- Durability: Both steel and fiberglass garage doors are known for their durability. Special paint helps enhance the toughness of steel and reduce the possibility of fading, while fiberglass doors are enhanced by the fiberglass coating applied to the exterior of the door. Which of these two materials is the most durable? You should expect to get longer performance out of fiberglass garage doors.
- Maintenance: Wood garage doors and some other materials are known for their need for maintenance. Both steel and fiberglass garage doors are relatively maintenance free. If you’re looking for which of the two materials requires the least maintenance, again, fiberglass is your best bet. The reason is that steel garage doors can dent if your car or something else comes into contact with them, while fiberglass garage doors have enough “give” to prevent these dents from appearing.
- Insulation: A fiberglass garage door comes insulated as a standard practice. This is due to the construction of fiberglass doors. When you want to reduce your heating and cooling costs as well as the amount of noise in your home, fiberglass doors make a great option. You can choose insulation for steel garage doors, but the insulation is an add-on rather than a standard feature.
- Customization: Steel garage doors are among the most easily customized. That’s because the steel surface is simple and easy to paint, which means you can easily create the look and feel you’ve always wanted — and one that complements your home’s existing architecture. Fiberglass does offer customization options, including the ability to choose a finish that provides the look and feel of hardwood without the cost or need for maintenance. That said, fiberglass isn’t as easily customizable because its surface isn’t quite as smooth and even.
- Cost: Steel garage doors are typically more affordable than fiberglass, but only slightly. You’ll find steel garage doors between $800 and $1,600, whereas fiberglass garage doors range between $1,000 and $2,000. When pricing out different garage door options, make sure you know what’s included in the full price. Providers will commonly quote a price that includes installation — but make sure before you decide.