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Steel vs. Aluminum Doors

Both are timeless, classy, and popular — here’s what to know to make the right decision for your space.

Steel vs. aluminum doors: Which is the right choice for you? While both types of doors are incredibly popular in today’s design aesthetics, each has unique pros and cons that shouldn’t be overlooked. Below, our design specialists walk you through both types of doors for your home, covering everything you need to know to make your decision in confidence. Read on to learn more. 

Choosing Between Steel and Aluminum Doors

The materials used in your home’s door(s) should always be considered, as they directly impact the durability, security, look, and “feel” associated with your home’s entry and exit points. All homeowners will have different needs and expectations across these key areas, which is an important idea to take note of before you begin your own evaluation process. Understanding what your ideal solution looks like will help your design team create a customized solution that exceeds your expectations. 

Steel vs. Aluminum Doors

The team at Clark Hall Doors & Windows has summarized what to know about steel vs. aluminum doors below, organized into key categories that will likely influence your purchase decision. 

Strength and Durability

When it comes to door strength, which is the best option? If you were to ask a pool of experts, you’d receive a unanimous answer: Steel takes the prize when it comes to unparalleled durability and security. 

Steel and stainless steel alike are harder than aluminum. Steel also features a higher melting point (which stands at about 1400 degrees Celsius compared to aluminum’s 400 degree Celsius threshold). This toughness is partially what led to the trend of steel garage doors that we’re seeing sweep the country. 

Lastly, steel is also more corrosion-resistant than many other types of metal, making it a popular choice for homeowners who live in areas with four seasons and weather events. 

However, we do want to note that the strength found in steel doors doesn’t come without a point of compromise —  its weight. One of the benefits of aluminum is that it is still strong enough to act as a barricade, but it remains light. Steel is approximately 2.5x denser than aluminum, requiring a heavier pull than the latter. 


The customization possibilities are endless with either listed option. Even more become available when you enlist the help of a professional design team. Both can be custom-designed to fit your opening and aesthetic needs. We offer a variety of different styles including traditional and modern footprints.


While both doors are insulated, the level and type of insulation that each one gives differ. Stainless steel doors are typically manufactured with insulation between the panels, helping homeowners to maintain a static atmosphere inside the living space. Aluminum doors, however, are excellent at transmitting heat on their own, as an element.

While aluminum doors, then, can be an ideal choice for homeowners looking to maintain a warm, cozy atmosphere inside, it can be detrimental to those who live in excessively hot climates. If you do live in such a location but still would like to go with an aluminum door, we recommend confirming the presence of a thermal break inside the door as this can give you similar benefits to an already-insulated steel door.


When it comes to the debate of steel vs. aluminum doors, it’s important to note that both are about the same when it comes to maintenance. Both are naturally rust-resistant, although steel is significantly less so compared to aluminum. They may need to be repainted from time to time to maintain their rust resistance, especially in wetter climates. 

Aluminum, however, holds up incredibly well against all elements. It won’t need to be repainted to remain rust-resistant and can be wiped clean in most cases with gentle detergent and warm water. 

Cost Analysis

The overall cost of your door typically depends on a few factors; including the level of customization you opt for in the design process, the size of your door, and the subtype of material used for your door — such as raw steel vs. stainless steel. 

However, steel is more durable than aluminum overall — and with proper care and maintenance, it can remain rust-resistant long-term. Despite its higher up-front cost, on average, steel doors might be more cost-effective for those in drier climates. They may be less ideal in wetter climates, however, as they’re more rust-prone. To mitigate this risk for our clients on the coastlines and lakesides, the team at Clark Hall uses a seven-step automotive finish that includes a rust-resistant component.  

Pros and Cons of Steel and Aluminum Doors

Ready to finalize your decision? Here are the pros and cons of both steel and aluminum doors, showing you exactly which option is the better choice for your unique needs. 

Pros and Cons of Steel Doors

Steel doors have plenty of pros to consider: 

  • They’re more durable than aluminum doors, by comparison. 
  • Most steel doors are typically made of hollow metal before insulation is added in assembly, allowing for maximum temperature regulation potential and energy efficiency, with less overall heat transfer.
  • Many are completely customizable as far as appearance goes, making them a great choice for homeowners and business owners alike. 
  • Due to their versatility and polished, modern appearance, custom steel doors are becoming popular across use cases — acting as low-maintenance commercial doors or home doors.
  • They also have natural corrosion-resistant properties, and can maintain rust-resistant properties when they are properly maintained. 

However, they also have a few cons: 

  • Unfortunately, steel doors are several times heavier than your average aluminum door
  • Steel front doors can be higher in price than aluminum doors, but often make up for the price difference with their performance and durability over the alternative options (even compared to glass doors, or other door materials). 

Pros and Cons of Aluminum Doors

Aluminum doors have a few pros and cons of their own to consider: 

  • Generally, they require even less upkeep than steel doors, and are nearly entirely rust-resistant. That’s why you see many aluminum doors on homes near coastal areas, or in areas with a lot of moisture.
  • They’re typically less expensive than their steel counterparts, which is ideal for homeowners on a budget. 
  • They also retain heat well, which is ideal for those who live in cooler climates 

As with steel doors, aluminum doors come with a few cons of their own: 

  • They’re slightly less durable than steel doors, and they also have a lower melting point. 
  • The “pro” of optimized heat retention that’s so often associated with aluminum doors can be a con if you live in a place that is warmer in climate. If you do, consider asking for a thermal break in the door to enable better temperature regulation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, steel or aluminum doors?

It truly depends on what you’re looking for. Homeowners in coastal or moist climates will appreciate aluminum’s minimal upkeep and natural rust resistance, while those looking to maximize durability and temperature regulation should consider a steel door. 

What are the disadvantages of a steel door?

Steel is fairly resistant against the elements, but aluminum has been found to be more resistant. It’s also fairly costly compared to other door materials, and it is heavier than aluminum — driving up the cost. 

Are aluminum doors cheaper than steel doors?

On average, aluminum doors are cheaper than steel doors. However, the end cost of your door comes down to a variety of factors —  the size and complexity of your build and the materials used in it. Additionally, certain design elements and the type of glass used can also contribute to the overall cost of your doors. 

Which is more durable: steel or aluminum doors?

Steel is more durable than aluminum overall. However, location and area-specific needs factor into your final decision. Here at Clark Hall, we offer both options—and our design specialists would be happy to help you navigate what is best for your needs. 

Can both steel and aluminum doors be customized to fit my design needs?

Both steel and aluminum doors can be customized to match your unique aesthetic and style. Connect with us today to learn more. 

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