The great debate continues about the best option for Exterior doors for your home. So let's compare, from real experience, the pros and cons of Solid Wood Doors vs. Composite/ Fiberglass Doors.
SOlid Wood Doors - PROS
Well it may be obvious but the biggest advantage of solid wood doors is their BEAUTY! You cannot beat the appearance of a solid wood door. Deb has replaced all her exterior doors on her home and has an antique Fir Front door she found that fit her home perfectly! The character of this door is so beautiful. Britt recently installed a White Oak door and loves the character and style it adds to her farmhouse.
Solid Wood Doors can be polyurethaned, stained or painted. So the options for finishing a solid wood door are great!
SOlid Wood Doors - CONS
When you take away the beauty of a front door made from real solid wood you will find a few big disadvantages. First, bring its durability! Especially when it comes to front doors, a solid wood door can get dings, dents and warp.
Britt would not have switched out her composite front door for the White Oak Door if it was their primary door. Having 3 boys means that doors get bumped and dinged constantly. Also she can't count the number of times the boys have opened the door with their bike tires. However, the large front door at Britt's house gets used very little and thus stays in excellent condition.
Maintenance is the last CON! You need to care for your solid wood door if you want it to continue to look good. Especially if you live in a 4 season climate you will need to keep it protected from moisture and from sun exposure. Also living in Alberta, Canada means that these wood doors expand and shrink multiple times a year.
Composite Doors - Pros
A major trend for building contractors is to install composite entry doors. The pros of these doors is that they come in multiple designs and styles. There are composite doors that come with wood grain detail that can be refinished to mimic a real wood door.
This style of door is extremely durable! They are a great option for high traffic areas and provide great heat and cool resistance for your home.
Composite Doors - cons
The #1 disadvantage of a composite door is the unique character that they lack. Every door looks similar and they lack that beauty that wood doors have.
While factory finished composite doors (that are usually white or a solid color) have a durable finish, faux wood finishes can be finicky. Britt was lucky to find a local girl who was experienced in faux finishes on composite doors. These doors have held up for 6 years and still look great. However, we have seen multiple composite doors in our communities that weren't finished the proper way and they are flaking and fading quickly.
Before you give a composite door a wood stain appearance do the research to optimize the durability of your entry door. A quick run down of how Britt's door was finished was that:
1. A solid paint colour was applied as a primer (this also helped determine what color the stain would end up.
2. Gel stains were applied.
3. a clear Polyurethane was applied.
Also we should note that while a composite door may be more affordable in the beginning the cost of refinishing a composite door is expensive. Britt paid just over $300 / door to have them refinished but that was a good price. It would be hard to find someone to redo it for under $400 Canadian.
If you are looking for this exact White Oak Solid Door here are the details...
The door was ordered from Windsor Plywood in Airdrie, Alberta.
What we recommend
SOLID WOOD DOOR
PROS / CONS
1 = Weak or Low 5 = Good or High
To sum up this decision as to the best entry door for your farmhouse we would say ...
If it is a high traffic area where people (or specifically kids) will not be careful we would recommend a composite door. However, if style is very important and you are careful about the wear and tear of your home then we would say go for a Solid Wood Door!
Let us know below what you think the best option would be for your home? A Solid Wood door or a Composite Door?