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Fiberglass vs. Steel Doors

commercial garage door

When selecting the suitable material for commercial doors, the decision significantly impacts not only the aesthetics but also the functionality and durability of the doors. Fiberglass and steel are two prevalent choices in the commercial door market, each with unique benefits and limitations. This article comprehensively compares fiberglass and steel doors, offering insights into which material may be better suited for specific business needs. Understanding these materials' properties is crucial if you're considering a new installation or replacing an existing door. Please visit our commercial doors section for additional information on commercial door options.

Overview of Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass doors are known for their versatility in aesthetics and excellent insulative properties, making them ideal for commercial settings where appearance and energy efficiency are priorities.

Key Features of Fiberglass Doors

  • Aesthetic Flexibility: Fiberglass can be molded into various shapes and designs and is available in multiple finishes, such as smooth for a modern look or textured to mimic wood.
  • Durability: These doors resist warping, denting, and rotting, maintaining their integrity even in humid or corrosive environments.
  • Insulation: Fiberglass doors offer superior thermal insulation with higher R-values compared to traditional wood or metal doors, helping to reduce energy costs by maintaining consistent interior temperatures.

Advantages of Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass doors offer several benefits that make them a preferred choice for commercial applications, particularly in areas requiring energy efficiency and aesthetic versatility.

Enhanced Insulation

  1. Thermal Efficiency: Fiberglass doors are constructed with a thermal break and packed with insulative materials, significantly reducing heat transfer.
  2. Energy Savings: The improved insulation helps maintain a stable interior climate, which is crucial in regions experiencing extreme weather. Thus, it reduces heating and cooling costs.

Aesthetics and Finishes

  1. Design Options: Available in various finishes, fiberglass doors can suit any architectural style, from contemporary to traditional, without the maintenance issues associated with natural materials.
  2. Customizability: The flexibility in design allows businesses to choose doors that enhance their building's exterior and interior aesthetics.

Corrosion Resistance

  1. Longevity: Fiberglass does not rust or corrode, which is especially beneficial in coastal areas or environments with harsh weather conditions.
  2. Low Maintenance: The material's resistance to environmental damage reduces the need for frequent repairs or replacements, ensuring long-term operational efficiency and cost savings. For detailed information on our commercial door installation services and options, consider visiting our commercial garage door installation page.

Disadvantages of Fiberglass Doors

While fiberglass doors offer many advantages, some limitations must also be considered when choosing the right door for commercial applications.


  1. Initial Investment: Fiberglass doors generally have a higher upfront cost than steel doors, which might be better for businesses operating with a tight budget.
  2. Cost-Benefit Analysis: The long-term savings on maintenance and energy costs might offset the initial higher price for some businesses, but the upfront investment could be prohibitive for others.

Strength and Security

  1. Physical Strength: Although highly durable, fiberglass might offer a different level of security and resistance to forced entry than steel doors.
  2. Commercial Security Concerns: Steel might be necessary for businesses that require a high level of security, such as banks or government buildings.

Overview of Steel Doors

Steel doors are popular in commercial environments due to their durability and security features. They offer a practical and cost-effective solution for many businesses.

Key Features of Steel Doors

  • Strength and Durability: Steel doors are solid and ideal for high-security environments.
  • Fire Resistance: Steel is inherently fire-resistant, providing additional safety in commercial settings.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to fiberglass, steel doors generally come at a lower initial cost, offering a budget-friendly option without sacrificing quality.

Advantages of Steel Doors

Steel doors provide several benefits that make them a strong contender in the commercial door market, especially where security and cost are significant considerations.

Superior Security

  1. Robust Construction: The inherent strength of steel provides superior protection against break-ins, making it suitable for locations that demand high security.
  2. Impact Resistance: Steel doors can withstand severe impacts, whether from equipment, vehicles, or potential security threats.


  1. Lower Initial Cost: Steel doors are less expensive on the initial purchase, making them accessible for a broader range of businesses.
  2. Long-Term Durability: Steel's durability reduces the need for frequent replacements, potentially lowering the total cost of ownership over the door's lifespan.

Fire Resistance

  1. Safety Features: The fire-resistant qualities of steel doors help minimize fire spread, which is crucial in commercial buildings to meet safety regulations.
  2. Compliance: Installing steel doors can aid in complying with local fire safety codes, providing both protection and peace of mind. Steel doors are often the preferred choice for businesses requiring robust, secure, and cost-effective solutions. To explore more about the types of steel doors we offer, please visit our steel doors page.

Disadvantages of Steel Doors

Despite their many advantages, steel doors have drawbacks when deciding on commercial applications.

Poor Insulation

  1. Thermal Transfer: Steel doors offer a different level of insulation than fiberglass doors, which can lead to higher energy costs if not adequately addressed.
  2. Necessity for Additional Insulation: In environments where temperature control is crucial, additional insulation measures may be required, increasing the overall cost and complexity of the door installation.

Vulnerability to Corrosion

  1. Maintenance Requirements: Steel doors can rust over time if not properly maintained, especially in environments with high moisture or corrosive elements.
  2. Regular Upkeep: Steel doors require regular painting and maintenance to prevent deterioration, which can increase the long-term cost and effort of upkeep.

Comparative Analysis

When choosing between fiberglass and steel doors, consider the specific needs of your business environment.


  • Fiberglass: Offers excellent resistance to corrosion and wear, often lasting longer in harsh environments without frequent maintenance.
  • Steel: While inherently durable, requires more maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion, potentially reducing its lifespan if neglected.


  • Fiberglass: Needs minimal upkeep due to its resistance to rust and corrosion.
  • Steel: Regular maintenance, including painting and anti-corrosion treatments, is required to maintain its condition and functionality.

Cost Over Time

  • Fiberglass: Higher initial cost but lower maintenance and energy costs can make it more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Steel: Lower initial cost but potentially higher long-term costs due to maintenance and energy inefficiency.

Suitability for Various Environments

  • Fiberglass: This material is ideal for coastal areas and places with extreme weather conditions due to its excellent corrosion resistance.
  • Steel: Best suited for secure, fire-prone environments where strength and fire resistance are priorities.

Fiberglass vs. Steel Doors: Which Is Right for Your Business?

Choosing between fiberglass and steel doors depends heavily on the specific requirements of your business, including budget constraints, aesthetic preferences, security needs, and environmental conditions. Both materials offer distinct advantages and come with certain limitations. By understanding these aspects, businesses can make well-informed decisions that align with their operational needs and objectives.

Are you ready to choose the right commercial door for your business? Please consult with our experts to find the best material suited to your specific needs. Visit our contact page for personalized advice, or call us directly. Explore our wide range of commercial doors, from automatic doors to fire-rated doors, and ensure your business is equipped with the best solutions available. For businesses in specific areas looking for local services, check out our service locations for detailed information and assistance.

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Paratec Door Solutions is your one-stop source for commercial and residential overhead doors, dock levelers, automatic doors, gate operators, and much more.

6626 Orchid Lake Road
New Port Richey, Florida 34653
13654 N 12th St, Unit 01
Tampa, Florida 33612