Iron Doors vs. Wood Doors

Do you know the key differences between iron doors vs. wood doors? See what benefits make iron entries a better option.

What to Know Before You Buy

Your front entrance speaks volumes—it’s the first hello when you greet guests, family, and friends. That’s why it’s important to consider your door’s quality, material, security, and style. Today, most homes feature either wood or fiberglass doors. Less commonly, but certainly more attractive, other homeowners choose an iron door for an elevated, customizable entrance that can withstand the test of time while adding some serious value. In fact, realtors and remodeling magazines show that upgrading your front entryway with a custom iron door has one of the highest cost recoup percentages when compared to other home improvements.

Follow along as we discuss the difference between iron doors vs. wood doors, and touch on the details to consider for each. Whichever door you choose, it’s important that you understand the features and benefits so that you can make an informed decision that enhances your home’s curb appeal.

About the Materials

According to The Spruce, solid wood doors are typically made with a frame-and-panel construction that uses natural woods like a soft pine or a sturdier oak or maple. Wood doors are rarely made from a solid wood slab. On the other hand, iron doors and steel doors are more solid and secure, and they’re sealed and insulated to provide energy efficiency.

A couple visits Clark Hall's design studio to see custom iron door options.

The Difference Between Iron Doors vs. Wood Doors

After establishing a basic understanding of the materials, it’s important to dig into the details. This will be a helpful list to consider as you weigh your entryway options.

  • Maintenance
    • Iron Doors — Unlike most wood doors, iron doors require minimal maintenance to preserve their attractiveness or functionality. Simply wipe all surfaces with a mild soap, water, and non-abrasive cloth to refresh your entry.
    • Wood Doors — Keeping up with a wood door requires a high level of maintenance. For example, if you have to refinish the door due to sun damage or rot, you must remove all of the hardware, sand and strip the door, and then reapply the finish.
  • Warp 
    • Iron Doors — There is no risk of iron warping or bending.
    • Wood Doors — Warping is a common problem with wood doors, stemming from a rise in humidity, heat, or moisture in the air. This can affect how difficult it is to open or close the door.
  • Rust & Decay
    • Iron Doors — Our iron doors go through a detailed 7-step automotive finishing process, minimizing the risk of rust or decay. 
    • Wood Doors — Anything made of wood is easily susceptible to decay if it’s left untreated or unfinished. When wood doors come into contact with damp air or moisture, it can lead to mold or mildew damage.
  • Rot Repair 
    • Iron Doors — There is little to no risk of rot.
    • Wood Doors — It’s extremely difficult and expensive to repair wood rot in doors. The Family Handyman provides a DIY process to repair rot with polyester filler, but it’s tedious and labor intensive.
  • Finishes
    • Iron Doors — Our iron doors come with your choice of finish, selected from our catalog of five exclusive colors. The finishing and detailing process is thorough and seamless, and provides an unmistakable look that will last for years to come.
    • Wood Doors — Finishing or refinishing a wood door is costly and requires multiple sandings to prep or strip the surface.
  • Customization
    • Iron Doors — Specify every element of your custom iron door, including its shape and height, panels, window placement, and more. Also, while iron doors are an investment, they’re typically the least expensive to customize.
    • Wood Doors — You can customize wood doors to include transoms, sidelights, and decorative details, but it’s expensive to do so.
  • Warranty
    • Iron Doors — With the longest warranty in the industry, we protect you against manufacturing defects for 10 years on the iron door structure and mechanics. We also provide a 5-year warranty on the Elite finish and glass, and a 1-year warranty on the weather stripping and sweeps on the doors sold in the contiguous United States.
    • Wood Doors — Traditionally, wood doors come with a 1-year warranty if there is no overhang above the door. However, if the wood door is facing a certain direction, it may not carry a warranty at all.
A traditional double iron door entryway featuring a charcoal finish.

An example of a double iron door that features the traditional aesthetic of classic wood doors.

3 Reasons to Consider an Iron Door

After assessing the differences between iron doors vs. wood doors, a clear winner quickly emerges. To summarize a few of the key points, here are the reasons why we recommend buying an iron door for your home:
  1. Fully Customizable

Every Clark Hall iron door is made specifically for you, giving you the freedom to choose your style, silhouette, finish, hardware, and more. You can even choose to design a contemporary pivot door that rotates on a vertical axis, or spindle — a unique, functional design that’s more challenging to achieve with wood doors.

2. Secure & Durable

Iron doors take security to the next level. Our doors are certified to meet some of the strictest hurricane wind ratings and Florida building codes. From our 14-gauge steel door panels to the steel barrel hinges, each one is built with integrity.

3. Nearly Maintenance-Free

Our iron doors require minimal maintenance to preserve their attractiveness and functionality. We recommend cleaning the surface occasionally with a mild soap, water, and non-abrasive cloth. You can also touch up minor scratches with the touch-up paint that we provide with your door purchase.

If you’re interested in learning more about iron doors, please contact us to schedule a consultation. Our experts are available to share more about the features and benefits, and walk you through our custom design process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Iron Doors vs. Wood Doors

Is an iron door better than a wood door?

Yes, if you’re looking for a door option that’s more secure, energy efficient, and customizable, an iron door is better than a wood door. Plus, iron doors require minimal maintenance compared to wood doors.

Are iron doors more expensive than wood doors?

The price of iron doors and wood doors really depends on the size of the door and how much customizing is involved. On average, our projects start at around $10,000. According to Cost Helper, custom-built wood doors start at around $3,000. However, it’s important to consider your budget for ongoing repairs throughout a wooden door’s lifetime, and the value a custom iron door could add to your home if you were to sell.

Are iron doors more secure than wood doors?

Yes, iron is a more durable material compared to wood. Plus, our doors are certified to meet some of the strictest hurricane wind ratings and Florida building codes.

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