Are Steelback Doors Better?GDS Doors
The traditional wooden garage door is quickly being replaced by more durable models made from steel and vinyl. For many consumers, it can be difficult to choose between these two materials. While each has its own advantages and disadvantages, buyers can base their selections on factors such as price, maintenance and durability.
Vinyl garage doors are substantially more expensive than steel in regards to upfront costs. When the product warranties and maintenance requirements are taken into consideration, however, vinyl is often the more cost-effective of the two. Most vinyl doors come with a lifetime warranty, while steel door warranties may cover only 10 to 20 years on average.
One of the primary benefits associated with vinyl is the fact that it is highly resistant to dents. Steel tends to develop dents or dings when struck by a stray ball or other object. These dents not only detract from the door’s appearance, but can also lead to rust or corrosion that can shorten the life of the unit. The only exception to this rule is in very cold climates, where a sharp impact may cause vinyl to crack, while steel will simply dent under the same conditions.
Color and Damage
Most vinyl doors feature integral color throughout the entire thickness of the door. In the event that the vinyl is scratched or scuffed, the damage will be less noticeable because there will be no color change. Steel on the other hand, has a painted or baked on finish. It is highly susceptible to scrapes and scratches, and these signs of damage are highly visible in areas where paint has been removed. At the same time, a steel door can be repainted to change its appearance, while a vinyl door cannot be refinished.
In most cases, steel garage doors are made of two sheets of metal with a layer of insulation sandwiched in between. Vinyl doors are often left uninsulated. This means that vinyl doors may make it difficult to maintain a consistent temperature in your garage and may lead to increased heating
and cooling bills. Insulated steel doors help keep cold air out so that less energy is wasted.
One of the primary differences between vinyl and steel garage doors is their appearance. A steel door can be embossed to resemble wood, or may be pressed to form panels or other designs. Vinyl that has been embossed with wood grain does not look nearly as realistic as steel, especially on lower-end models. When choosing a smooth or panel design, however, vinyl may be the better choice. It is rust-resistant and often contains a UV-resistant finish so that the color of the vinyl won’t fade. Paint used on steel garage doors often fades after years of sun exposure.
When it comes to garage doors constructed of steel, basic types available in the market are non insulated garage door, which is hollow on the inside and it is usually called one layer door or in the industry is sometimes referred to as a pan door and usually comes in 24, 25 26 gauge sheet metal. The 24 gauge being a bit more rigid and thicker gauge of steel than the standard 25 gauge. A 26 gauge garage door is a builder grade which is light and weak. This type of garage door is commonly known as a one-layer construction.
The next type is a two-layer constructed door, which is commonly called a vinyl back, or a semi insulated garage door. It’s pretty much exactly like the single layer garage door. The only difference is the Styrofoam inserts with a vinyl backing that is clipped into place on the inside of the garage door.
The third type of steel garage door is commonly called steel-back or three layer construction that means it is steel on the outside and steel on the inside and they are always insulated. Steel-back garage door are usually the top of line when it comes to steal garage doors.
Some manufacturers have steel back doors in one and three eighths inch thick and up to two inch thick sections – the thicker the door the better R-value you will get. This is related to insulation value some two inch thick garage door having an R13++ value that is similar to a four inch thick wall at your home insulated with fiberglass insulation.
The only difference is the insulation in a two inch steel back garage door is that the insulation they use is different since it’s a poured foam insulation similar to the cans of insulation you buy at a hardware store and when you spray out of the can you see the foam expansion. The density of the foam gives the garage door a better R value at half the thickness.
Most garage door manufacturers will use a thinner gauge of sheet metal when constructing a steel back door because it is triple layered and will already have more rigidity. The best quality steel garage door you can buy is a triple layer steel back garage door with two inch thick garage. The main differences between two inch steel back door and one and three eighths inch steel back door are:
- Outside / Inside Climate insulation
- Outside noise prevention
- Material thickness, dourness and weight
For craftsman or hobbyist that spends a lot of time in their garage, a good recommendation is, installing a steel back garage door. We encountered customers who wanted to replace their garage door with a new steel back door without track system because the homeowners did not even want to open the garage door but wanted the opening insulated.
Another reason why steel back garage doors are a better choice when you are installing a new door in your garage is because on average a one layer or non insulated garage door usually last for around 10-20 years, and a two-layer constructed garage door or semi insulated will last usually around 15-25 years. A steel back garage door is very durable and we have seen them with a perfect condition at many homes for more than 25 years!