Fiberglass doors are favored for their ability to stand up to harsh abuse with little maintenance. Over the years, fiberglass door manufacturers have become so good at mimicking the look, feel, and acoustical properties of wood that fiberglass doors are often be difficult to distinguish from wood doors. Fiberglass doors are made from the same reinforced polymers used in aircraft, surfboards, and high-end sports cars and therefore will not warp, rot, shrink, or swell like wooden doors. Fiberglass is also resistant to insects and can offer protection against fire.
Fiberglass doors offer tremendous benefits in terms of energy efficiency. Because fiberglass is made of glass-reinforced polymer, it has a thermal expansion and contraction rate that is almost identical to that of glass. The result of this near match in expansion and contraction rates is reduced stress on the seals placed between door frame and glass components and thus longer seal life. Overall, fiberglass doors can last as much as 40% longer than doors made of other materials.
Fiberglass Door Construction
Most fiberglass is produced using a pultrusion technique in which fibers are pulled, while being heated, to created long panels. These panels then become the veneer used to cover composite cores that can be made of anything from wood to particleboard to lead. During the manufacturing process, pultruded panels can be textured to provide a wood-like appearance and can even have color injected into them to produce a color-fast, non-fading final product. Of course, fiberglass doors can also be painted. Most recently, staining and coloring techniques have been developed to allow fiberglass to almost exactly mimic the appearance of stained wood.
Fiberglass offers superior impact resistance and thus is often used in the construction of doors for costal homes. These doors can withstand debris carried by winds moving as fast as 160 miles per hour. Fiberglass is also impervious to salt, making it an ideal substance for use in doors and windows on homes exposed to harsh coastal environments.
Fiberglass Doors at Lee Lumber
Jeld-Wen, Marvin (under sub-brands), Larson, Therma-Tru, and Masonite all produce fiberglass doors. Many of these doors are rated for Impact Zone 3 and 4 applications, come with lifetime limited warranties, and can be customized to meet design requirements.