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Door Guide: Steel v Wood v Aluminium v Fibreglass

December 20, 2015

Door Guide: Steel v Wood v Aluminium v Fibreglass

When selecting a steel door to protect your property, it is important to tailor the level of security to your requirements. Whilst wood has traditionally been the material of choice, increasing numbers of people are selecting steel as their door material replacement due to the benefits they offer. Whether you are seeking to protect an agricultural, industrial, commercial or domestic premises, a steel door can provide you with peace of mind that you and your assets are safe.

Wood Aluminium Fibreglass
Appearance Available in smooth, textured or wood finishes in endless colour combinations, including extra life paint warranty Traditional high end appearance which can be painted or unpainted, but finish will fade over time Lightweight and slim line with an aesthetically pleasing appearance, available in a range of finishes with no limitation on glazing Attractive finish, able to convincingly mimic almost all grains of wood
Endurance Won’t shrink, crack or warp Can peel, bubble or delaminate Weather resistant and unlikely to dent and rust Finish may fade when exposed to sunlight
Energy Efficiency Highly efficient andprovided with weather seals Not energy efficient Typically energy efficient, dependant on glazing Good insulation values and won’t conduct heat to touch
Security The best solution for those concerned with home or business security. Steel doors are available with the benefit of added third party certification For adequate security, wooden doors must be of solid construction but most are weak around the hinge area. Wooden doors are available with third party certification Suitable for low- medium risk locations Not particularly secure due to a wide lack of reinforcement in door frame, best suited to low risk domestic properties
Maintenance Low maintenance if purchasing a quality product, cheaper options may rust if not properly primed and painted Requires regular maintenance Low maintenance if not fully glazed or in a marine environment Very low maintenance and impervious to rot, usually comes with a good warranty
Cost Cheaper on average than wooden doors, and more cost effective when taking into account the projected lifespan Generally an expensive option, however cheaper models will be flimsy and won’t provide adequate security Most variations are more expensive than steel, but still more cost effective than wood Inexpensive in comparison to wood but less cost effective than steel and aluminium

Steel doors are available in a wide range of colours to suit individual requirements (including wood-effect finishes). Bradbury Group products have a high-quality, polyester powder-coating which is hardwearing and robust. This means that our products can become an attractive feature for any premises, and offers endless possibilities to customise and personalise orders.

Although generally cheaper than other door alternatives such as wood and fibreglass, the life expectancy of a steel door ranges from 10-20 years depending on the level of usage. All Bradbury doors are available with a Cromadex ‘Extra Life’ paint guarantee which will preserve the door for an average of ten years (up to 16 years, dependant on situation of site).

Energy Efficiency
Steel doors have significantly higher insulation values (U values) than wooden and aluminium doors, resulting in lower heating and cooling costs for your property. Most are fitted with weather seals to prevent heat escaping.

As windows and doors tend to be the primary point of entry for burglars, it is important to take precautions to keep yourself and your assets safe. Steel doors present a good visual deterrent to potential thieves, especially when installed in industrial estates or business premises that tend to stand vacant in the evening.

If your site or property is at a high risk of break-ins, it is logical to buy third party tested and certified doors. The most widely accepted accreditations for doors are LPS 1175 Security Rating 1-7 – the increasing levels of security indicate to the buyer the attack they can resist. For example, to achieve LPS 1175 SR3, our M2M3 doors were exposed to a prolonged attack for 20 minutes with an array of tools. These levels make it easier for the buyer to select their product in line with the anticipated level of attack, with the added assurance that the door is guaranteed to perform as expected. Domestic properties would benefit from Secured by Design accredited doorsets, which have been developed with the principle of ‘designing out crime.’

Steel doors are durable and easier to maintain than their wood, aluminium and fiberglass counterparts — most can be washed down with mild household detergents or washing up liquid diluted with warm water, and dents and dings can be repaired.

The cost of a steel door varies dependent on security level, chosen hardware and quality of product. Although imported products tend to be cheaper, the grade of steel and substandard assembly means the product could quickly perish and require a replacement. Bradbury Group’s M2M+ doors are a cost-effective and secure option to protect your premises, and as all Bradbury products are manufactured in our UK factories, our doors are available to the public at a highly competitive price with unbeatable lead times.

Steel v Wood v Aluminium v Fibreglass

Steel doors give security, style, durability, and at the same time, are the best investment if you require fire protection, insulation and thermal control properties. Wood, although providing a higher-end look and finish, is not an energy efficient entrance option and will not provide a comparable level of security to steel, aluminium and fibreglass. Combining the strength of steel with the appearance of wood, a woodgrain finish is available on all Bradbury Group doors. Aluminium can be an expensive option but is the most suitable material for fully glazed doors; Bradbury Group subsidiary, Newton Security Doors, manufactures aluminium communal doors which are ideal for communal buildings and the public sector. Fibreglass is an attractive and cost effective alternative to wood but, again, is lacking in security when compared to steel.

Bradbury steel doors are available with a range of security ratings and access options. We can supply doors with panic escape (push pad or bar) and personnel hardware (sashlock or deadlock), or electromechanical locking options (maglocks, solenoid bolts, etc.) to link up to access control devices. Door leaves and frames are available at varying levels of thickness depending on specification, and each range comes with an extensive selection of ancillary items, vision panels and louvres. We have established ourselves as the industry leader in certified security doors, offering the widest range of LPS 1175 accredited products (security rating 1-4) in the UK, meaning that these doors have undergone a rigorous testing schedule in order to meet industry standards. Our doors are available with a patented ‘fast-fit’ frame option which greatly reduces fitting times, and we also have a dedicated delivery and installation service. Because each door is bespoke, we are able to work with our customers to devise the best possible solution for their security requirements.

For advice on the right steel door for your property, please contact our experienced sales team on or 01724 271999.