Every year, more building owners choose to install and use steel doors instead of traditional wooden doors, but why is that?
Steel doors commonly see both industrial and commercial use, and doors and door frames that are made of steel also commonly appear in stores, schools, and even homes. But why are more businesses (and homeowners) choosing steel doors these days?
It's simple: Metal doors outperform their wooden counterparts (in most ways).
What Makes Industrial & Commercial Steel Doors So Beneficial?
Many qualities of steel doors make them appealing to industrial engineers and commercial architects.
Some of these benefits might even surprise you:
1. Steel Doors Provide Long-Term Value
Steel provides the best long-term value for doors, whether you’re looking for the entire door or just the frame.
The initial cost of a steel door is often less than the cost of a fiberglass one, however, steel doors can sometimes cost more than similar wooden doors.
Wooden doors may offer opportunities for a handsome, customized, natural look, but ones featuring intricate design or high-quality wood quickly become expensive, often becoming more expensive than an equivalent steel door.
Repair & Maintenance
Many engineers and architects feel that they can save money by purchasing wooden doors when in reality they’re sacrificing cost-effectiveness. Since wood absorbs moisture easily, it can peel, bubble, warp, twist, & bow. Replacing or repairing these damaged doors can be extremely expensive.
If you’re looking for long-term value, metal doors are key, routinely lasting 30 years (or more) with proper care. If they do happen to need maintenance or repairs, costs are often much lower than repair costs for similar wooden doors.
2. They Provide Both Increased Safety & Security
Providing Safety From Fires
In most cases, steel doors are designed with fire resistance (and other safety measures) in mind, though it should be noted that not all steel doors with frames are fire-resistant. The same can be said for certain wooden doors; some wooden doors can be fire-rated.
In general, fire-resistant steel doors offer a 20-minute fire rating. In case of a fire, they can handle dangerous heat levels for up to 20 minutes, allowing the building's occupants ample time to reach safety.
Each steel door is adorned with a fire-rating sticker that indicates just how long it will hold up in the event of a fire.
Providing Security From Unauthorized Access
Security is essential for commercial buildings that deal with large quantities of inventory or cash.
Steel doors are much harder to manipulate or break down than wooden doors, preventing unauthorized and uninvited access to the building's interior.
Steel doors are also often chemical resistant and bulletproof, whereas wooden and fiberglass doors are not.
3. They're Designed To Outlast Their Wooden Counterparts
Wooden doors require routine maintenance, when in contrast, steel doors require little to no maintenance, with metal doors being resistant to:
- Rust (if properly primed and painted)
Steel works best in exterior-facing doors that need to withstand heavy traffic and brave the elements.
Since steel doors offer insulating properties, they can even lower your building’s temperature-control costs. Wooden doors, however, are not nearly as energy-efficient.
Even though steel doors can become scratched or dented somewhat easily, they're simple to repair and rarely require a time-consuming replacement as often as fiberglass or wood options.
Other Factors To Consider
What else should you be aware of when considering steel doors?
- They’re temperature-affected. Steel can feel cold or hot to the touch because of its conductivity.
- They offer superior sound reduction. Metal doors can help to reduce sound pollution from leaking from one room to another.
- They’re easy to clean. Steel is useful in buildings where sanitation is vital, such as hospitals.
Steel Doors For Residential Purposes
Many of the benefits steel doors grant to industrial and commercial applications also apply right at home.
- They secure your house. Aside from a lower-level window, the most common means of entry for home burglaries is the front door. There's very little chance that would-be thieves can compromise the stiff opposition of a steel door.
- They lower your bills. These energy-efficient doors are filled with a foam inner layer that keeps heat and cold inside. Many homeowners will find that steel doors eventually pay for themselves.
- They’re tough. Steel is one of the most durable, weather-resistant materials on the planet. This is especially comforting if you live in an area prone to storms with high winds and other fickle weather.
Steel doesn’t have to mean cold and impersonal, either.
Doors can have panels that are either embossed or bolded to add character. Decorative glass can be inset, and sidelights and transoms can be added to further style it.
Even though commercial steel doors and frames may lack the design options of wood, metal mouldings applied appropriately can transform their appearance with no impact on their functional qualities.
Do Commercial & Industrial Steel Doors Make Sense For Your Building?
Many of the top traits of steel doors are especially handy in environments with high precipitation and temperatures. They even offer environmental friendliness, since they're 100% recyclable. With so much to like about steel doors -- cost-efficiency, peace of mind, and durability -- it’s little wonder their market keeps growing.
To learn more about the decorative side of metal doors, ask for a free sample of moulding:
(Editor's note: This article was originally published in June 2017 and was recently updated.)
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