Close this search box.
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Steel Doors vs Wood Doors: Which is Best?

When choosing between steel or wood for an external door, consider longevity, durability, and customization.

A look at the pros and cons of steel and wood exterior doors

Homeowners put a lot of thought into their entry doors. After all, exterior doors are an important factor in the aesthetic appeal of your home. Depending on the type of door, an updated entryway can even provide a healthy boost in property value

Steel and wooden doors are two popular options. Steel is a versatile material that allows for plenty of customization, low upkeep, and high durability. Wood is a more classic option that can be stained and painted to suit your taste, but it doesn’t always fare well for longevity. Let’s examine the pros and cons of both.

Features of Steel Doors vs. Wood Doors

Deciding which material is right for your front door involves several important considerations. Are you thinking of safety and security, design and aesthetics, or a combination? These factors, plus maintenance, are something to keep in mind.

Strength and Durability

Unlike hollow metal doors, steel is known for its strength. A steel door is virtually impenetrable and can last for decades. Clark Hall Doors, in particular, can withstand harsh weather conditions, even meeting hurricane building codes. Solid wood doors can also be strong, but they are at risk of splintering, cracking, sagging, or warping over time, which makes them less durable long term.

Curb Appeal

Wooden doors have a classic look and can be stained and refinished as needed to provide added curb appeal. On the other hand, steel doors are a more modern design that offers a standout aesthetic. A quality steel door offers high levels of customization in the design, cut-outs, and finishes. Steel doors also offer 100% ROI, taking the cake on curb appeal and added property value.

Customization and Design Options

Our custom steel doors are handcrafted, meaning each one is completely bespoke. We offer a range of neutral finishes like Cinnamon and Slate, plus an exclusive catalog of colors. Buyers can also choose from ten different types of glass to meet their design needs. The main design option for wooden doors is the type of wood. Choosing poplar, cedar, oak or cherry, to name a few, will change the look of the door. Paint colors and stains are another way to customize.

Cost Comparison: Steel Doors vs. Wood Doors

Both steel and wood doors can range significantly in price depending on the weight, design, and level of customization. For wooden doors, the price will depend on whether it’s a solid door or hollow core, as well as the type of wood (like mahogany, cedar, etc). A hand-crafted steel door is more expensive upfront but will require much less maintenance over time. Comparing the cost of a wooden door to a custom steel door is mostly apples to oranges. A basic prefabricated wooden door can cost as little as $150, but the investment in a steel door offers both tangible and intangible benefits, including ROI, longevity, security, and more.

Making Your Decision

The right front door for you will depend on your wants and needs. Budget, upkeep, and design preferences are some of the first considerations.

  • Cost. Money is often a factor in choosing an exterior door, and there’s a wide gap between the cost of a custom steel door and a wooden door. We recognize that budget is important and encourage our customers to do their research on initial cost vs. long-term payoff. 
  • Maintenance. Steel doors are very low maintenance and, in most environments, only need to be cleaned once to twice a year. All of our doors come with touch-up paint to keep your steel door in pristine condition. When it comes to a wood door, buyers should consider potential refinishing, warping, and expanding, which can incur additional costs.
  • Customization Options. A new exterior door can bring beauty and functionality to your home. Both steel and wooden doors offer variety in colors and finish, but the similarities end there. Custom steel doors are available in unique designs and styles with options for cut outs, guaranteed to be different from your neighbors’ door.

Care Tips for Steel and Wood Doors

There’s a big difference in the level of care needed for different types of doors. In this instance, a steel door requires minimal care, while a wooden door requires the maximum level of maintenance.

Steel Doors

Steel doors don’t require a lot of care, but some upkeep is a good idea. Homeowners can clean their steel door with a mixture of water and mild dish soap by wiping it down and drying it with a clean towel. Plan to use plain, warm, soapy cleaner (ammonia-free) to avoid damaging the door with chemicals. In the event of any scuffs, a little touch-up paint can be good to keep on hand.

Wood Doors

To properly maintain a wood door, homeowners should plan to take a few regular steps. First, a wooden door needs to be sealed every 12-18 months. The door should be examined for peeling paint or wear every 6 months or so and refinished and painted as needed. Also, homeowners need to examine the caulk during weather changes, as expansion and contraction of the wood can cause the caulk to crack. Wood should also be dusted and polished every one to two months to keep up the appearance of the door. 

Make an informed choice when selecting the best material for your new door. If you have any questions about custom steel doors, feel free to contact us with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are steel doors better than wood doors?

The best door for you comes down to personal preferences. Steel doors are better suited for security, durability, and unique design, whereas wood doors are more cost effective.

What are the disadvantages of wood doors?

Not all wood doors are truly made of wood. Many exterior doors have a wood-like appearance but mostly consist of wood scraps and other materials. Dependent on quality, some wooden doors lack durability and longevity and are difficult to keep up.

Are metal doors more expensive than wood doors?

Wooden doors are typically the most inexpensive doors on the market. The cost of metal doors can vary significantly, but they’re almost always more expensive than a basic wooden door. While steel may cost more upfront, the money you spend on the maintenance of a wooden door will add up over time.

Related Articles

The Latest Home Highlights

Every refreshed entryway starts with a vision-here are a few of our favorites.

Open the Door to Something New