Fiberglass doors are a prevalent option for new residential construction across North America, and many Canadian homeowners are choosing the material for door replacement as well. This material is not only affordable but low-maintenance, waterproof and more difficult than ever to tell apart from wood.
Years ago, fiberglass got a bad rap because it looked like plastic. Today, the same technology used to fashion fiberglass for planes and sports cars is used for whatever fiberglass door replacement you choose. Consumers have a choice of slab or prehung. A slab is just the door, and a prehung product has pre-drilled holes, hinges, lock and latch, and weather stripping. You’ll usually get a lifetime warranty on the door itself, 10 to 20 years on the finish and one to three years on any glass. Purchasing options include local and online home improvement stores and specialty door and window suppliers.
Advantages of Fiberglass
If your choosing a door for new construction or as a door replacement, fiberglass offers many benefits. The material will never swell or shrink the way wood can, which means no drafts during the cold months and no stuck doors during the warm, humid ones. Since it has insulating foam inside, a fiberglass door is quite energy-efficient and significantly more so than a wood door. The only maintenance required is light cleaning with a damp cloth once in a while. A new coat of finish to ward off fading is an option, but temperature and sunlight don’t degrade finishes on fiberglass as they do with finishes on wood.
Disadvantages of Fiberglass
Fiberglass doors do have some potential negatives. If your doorway isn’t square, a door replacement may require some trimming. Unfortunately, fiberglass often can’t be trimmed or is only trimmable at the top and bottom. You also have to be careful when it comes to impact. Fiberglass can chip, such as when moving a new refrigerator or range into a home, and once the surface chips, the door becomes susceptible to absorbing water, which will undermine it.
The Many Styles of Fiberglass
Fiberglass doors range from economy options to high-end products. You can purchase them in a wide range of finishes, including stain and paint. Sizes generally range from 80 to 96 inches high, and widths are available in 2-inch increments. Both inward and outward swings are an option, and if security is a concern, you can opt for a prehung door with a three-point locking system installed at the factory.