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Fiberglass vs Steel Garage Doors A Comprehensive Comparison

Fiberglass vs Steel Garage Doors: A Comprehensive Comparison

Your garage door is one of the most essential parts of your home to make it look better, work better, and feel safer. Keeping your cars, goods, and family safe is critical as your house’s most significant moving part.

However, finding the right garage door can take time because there are so many materials to choose from. Fiberglass and steel garage doors are two popular choices that frequently compete with one another. This in-depth piece will discuss the main differences between these two materials. This will help you make an informed choice that fits your needs, tastes, and budget.

What are Fiberglass Garage Doors?

Fiberglass garage doors are relatively new to the market, but they are quickly becoming popular because they last a long time, don’t need much upkeep, and look good. The inside of these doors is made of steel, and the outside is made of fiberglass pieces. 

The skin is made of fiberglass, shaped and often textured to look like natural wood, but without the upkeep that comes with it. The steel frame gives it strength, and the fiberglass gives it a long-lasting, dent- and rust-proof finish.

Fiberglass garage doors let natural light into your garage, which is one of their best features. Some types come with clear or semi-translucent fiberglass panels, which you can choose from. This can help you use less artificial lighting during the day, making the space friendlier and saving money on energy costs.

Advantages of Fiberglass Garage Doors

  1. Durability and Low Maintenance: Fiberglass garage doors are durable and don’t need much upkeep. Weathering, denting, and corrosion only affect fiberglass garage doors a little. They won’t rot, bend, or crack when exposed to the weather like wood does. Also, they don’t rust like steel doors, making them an excellent choice for homes near the coast or in places with a lot of humidity. When it comes to care, fiberglass doors don’t need much. They don’t need to be painted, and all you have to do to clean them is wipe them down with a wet cloth.
  2. Flexibility in design: One of the things that makes fiberglass garage doors so appealing is the way they look and feel like natural wood. The fiberglass is shaped and raised through molding to look like natural wood grain. The result is a door that has the warmth and beauty of wood without being maintained. Fiberglass doors also come in many colors and finishes, so you can make the door look how you want it to match the style of your home.
  3. Efficiency and insulation: Fiberglass garage doors often have insulation built in, which helps keep your garage at a comfortable temperature. This is very helpful if you use your garage as a living area, home gym, or workshop. The insulation also has a shield that keeps outside noise out of your home. Insulating your garage can save money on your energy bills and make the space more comfy.
  4. Lightweight and straightforward to use: Fiberglass garage doors are light, so they stress your garage door opener and are spring-less. If you do this, your opener may last longer and need less upkeep. Because they are lighter, they are easier to open and close by hand if the power goes out or something breaks.

Disadvantages of Fiberglass Garage Doors

  1. Costs More: One of the main problems with fiberglass garage doors is that they cost more than steel doors. Generally, a fiberglass door will cost more than a basic steel door. The exact price will depend on the brand, style, and amount of insulation. But it’s essential to consider how much a fiberglass door will save you in the long run because it’s long-lasting, low-maintenance, and energy-efficient.
  2. Impact Resistance: Regarding impact resistance, fiberglass garage doors don’t dent easily, but they can crack or break when struck. This is especially scary if you live in a place that often gets terrible weather like hurricanes or hailstorms. If you break a fiberglass door badly, you might have to get a new one because it can be hard or impossible to fix.
  3. Fading and Yellowing: Some fiberglass garage doors can fade or turn yellow over time if exposed to UV rays. This is likely to happen with better doors or in direct sunlight for an extended time. Look for fiberglass doors with coatings resistant to UV rays, or add an awning or shade to your door to protect it from the sun’s harsh rays.
  4. Limited Repair Options: If a fiberglass garage door has more damage than just a crack or chip, it might be hard to fix. Steel doors can usually be patched up or sanded down. However, the fiberglass doors might need to have the panels replaced. Sometimes, the whole door needs to be changed, which can be pricey.

What are Steel Garage Doors?

There’s a good reason why steel garage doors are the most popular door type for homes. They offer the best sturdiness, security, and price mix. The panels in these doors are made of galvanized steel with a protected finish to prevent rusting and improve appearance. Steel doors are an excellent choice for any home because they come in many styles, sizes, and insulation options.

One of the best things about steel garage doors is that they are strong and don’t break easily. They are made to handle the wear and tear of daily use and mild to extreme weather. Steel doors also offer exceptional security because they are much harder to break through than doors made of other materials like wood or metal.

Advantages of Steel Garage Doors

  1. Low Cost: One of the best things about steel garage doors is their affordability. They are usually less expensive than fiberglass, wood, or aluminum doors, so many low-income homeowners choose them. Even though they are less costly, steel doors still cost a great deal when it comes to performance, security, and sturdiness.
  2. Strength and Security: Steel garage doors are known for being solid and hard to break into. They make your home and things safer by adding an extra layer of security because they are much harder to break through than other materials. This is important if you keep expensive things or cars in your garage. Steel’s general strength is also affected by its thickness; steel with a higher gauge offers more protection.
  3. Style Options: Steel garage doors may make you think of simple, practical designs, but modern steel doors come in many different styles and finishes. Every home’s style can be matched with a steel door, from classic raised panels to sleek contemporary styles. Many steel doors can be painted or made to look like wood, so they have the beauty of natural wood without the upkeep.
  4. Insulation: For better energy economy and less noise, steel garage doors can be insulated in the same way that fiberglass doors can be. Insulated steel doors usually have two layers of steel and a core of styrofoam or polyurethane foam in the middle. The weather inside your garage stays more stable, staying warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Better sound protection is another benefit of insulated doors. They help keep outside noise out of your home.
  5. Easy Maintenance: Although steel garage doors might need more upkeep than fiberglass ones, they are still simple to keep in good shape. A simple do-it-yourself kit can often fix minor dents and dings, and scratches can be rubbed down and painted over. Your steel door will look great and stay rust-free if you clean it regularly with water and light soap.

Disadvantages of Steel Garage Doors

  1. Rust and Corrosion: One of the main problems with steel garage doors is that they easily rust and corrode, especially near the coast or in places with a lot of humidity. Most steel doors have coats that keep them from rusting, but if there are any chips or scratches in the finish, water can get in and cause corrosion over time. For rust to stay away, you must do regular upkeep and touch-ups.
  2. Dents and Dings: Steel garage doors are solid and long-lasting but are still susceptible to denting and dinging from impact. This can happen because of cars, sports gear, or bad weather like hail. Dents may be able to be fixed, but they can still make your door look bad. You might need a professional to repair or replace the panel for more significant dings.
  3. Painting and Finishing: Steel garage doors may need to be painted or refinished regularly to maintain their appearance and protect against rust. If you hire a professional, this process can take a long time and cost a lot of money. If you decide to paint your door yourself, make sure you use good paint that stops rust and carefully follow the instructions that come with the paint.
  4. Weight: Garage doors made of steel are heavier than doors made of fiberglass or metal. This can put more stress on your garage door opener and springs. Because of the extra weight, the opener may need to be stronger and serviced more often to keep it running smoothly and avoid premature wear and tear. If you have an older or less powerful opener, it might not be able to lift a heavy steel door, which could cause problems and even break down.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Fiberglass and Steel

  1. Budget: Your budget is one of the most important things to consider when choosing between fiberglass and steel garage doors. Steel doors are generally cheaper than fiberglass doors, so if you are on a tight budget, steel may be a better choice. However, it’s also essential to consider the long-term costs, like repairs, upkeep, and energy savings.
  2. Climate: The weather in your area can significantly affect how well and long your garage door lasts. Fiberglass may be a better choice if you live near the coast or in a place with a lot of humidity to avoid rust and corrosion. In areas where lousy weather, like hailstorms, happens often, steel doors may better protect against damage from impacts.
  3. Style and Aesthetics: Since your garage door is a big part of your house’s exterior, it’s essential to pick a material and style that complements the rest of your house’s look. Fiberglass and steel doors come in many different styles and finishes, so think about which will look best with your home’s architecture.
  4. Insulation and Energy Efficiency: If you live in your garage or spend a lot of time there, insulation and energy efficiency should be one of your top concerns. Different levels of insulation can be found in both fiberglass and steel doors. When choosing, you should consider the R-value, which measures how well the insulation works. Higher R-values show better insulation and energy economy.
  5. Security: Since your garage door is a big part of your defense against thieves, safety should be a top priority. Steel doors are usually more substantial and more challenging to break into than fiberglass ones, so if security is critical, choose steel doors. A well-built fiberglass door with a robust closing system can offer enough protection.
  6. Maintenance: Consider how much time and work you will put into keeping your garage door in good shape. Steel doors may need to be painted and protected from rust more often than fiberglass doors, which need little upkeep. Fiberglass might be a better option if you want something that requires little maintenance, but steel can be a good choice if you are okay with some care and want to save money upfront.


Picking between fiberglass and steel garage doors depends on your wants, tastes, and budget. Both materials have pros and cons, so it’s crucial to consider your goals carefully before choosing.

Fiberglass doors are great for homeowners who care about how they look, how long they last, and how little upkeep they need. They are perfect for coastal areas or areas with high humidity because they offer better resistance to weathering and corrosion. Fiberglass doors also give you a lot of design choices, and many look like natural wood. On the other hand, they cost more and might be more likely to break when struck.

On the other hand, steel doors are a strong, safe, and adaptable choice. They come in many different styles and materials, and you can insulate them to make them more energy-efficient. However, steel doors may be more prone to denting and dinging and require more upkeep to avoid rust and corrosion.

Ultimately, what kind of material is best for your garage door will depend on your unique needs. Before making a choice, consider your income, the weather where you live, the style you want, the amount of insulation you need, how secure you want it to be, and how you like to keep it up.

If you still need to decide which material is best for you, talk to a professional garage door installer. They can examine your case and give you advice tailored to your needs based on their knowledge. If you get the right advice and know what you need, you can choose a garage door that improves your home’s look, usefulness, and safety for years to come.

Mehrs Garage Doors can help homeowners find the ideal garage door for their homes. We’re your trusted partner for improving the look and usefulness of your home. We offer a wide range of high-quality fiberglass and steel doors, professional installation services, and a dedication to customer satisfaction.

Contact us right away to set up a meeting and start the process of getting your dream garage door.