The Benefits of Wood and Faux Wood Garage Doors
In our article, "5 Pro Tips For Choosing A New Garage Door" we outlined garage door basics: material, color, style, insulation, windows, and hardware.
And here's what we wrote about materials:
"Nowadays garage doors are made from a wide variety of material including natural wood, wood lookalikes, steel, composite, fiberglass, aluminum, glass and more. Each product has a different price point and will offer certain advantages depending on your needs. So first, decide which exact material best complements your home, lifestyle, location and budget. Hint: Weather conditions, HOA regulations or special city ordinances might also impact your material decision."
Today let's take a deeper dive into wood vs. faux wood garage doors, outlining the pros and cons of each material.
A common (and smart!) question among homeowners interested in a new garage door with a wood tone is: “Which is better, 'real' wood or a door that looks like wood?”
At first glance, genuine and artificial wood garage doors seem similar in appearance; however, there ARE significant differences. Distinctions and variations are found in:
- manufacturing process
- price points
- maintenance requirements
So, which is better? Each can be a terrific option depending on... well, let's look into it.
The pros and cons of 'real' wood garage doors.
Cost, customization, construction
Solid wood garage doors are more expensive when compared to other materials like steel, composite, or fiberglass. But among wood options, prices also differ by species. Varieties include cedar, fir, oak, mahogany, redwood, tropical hardwood, and even reclaimed wood.
Beyond wood species, a door's price will also depend on features such as: the size of the door, number of doors and add-ons like insulation, windows, decorative hardware, and openers.
But regardless of the species and add-on options, wooden garage door panels can be readily customized. Custom nuances such as panel design are beneficial, uniquely reflecting architectural detail and personal tastes of the homeowner. Examples include:
- solid, flat sections free from embellishment
- raised panels with depth and dimension or artistic carvings
- wood grain patterning with vertical, horizontal, chevron or herringbone designs
- sections with a row of windows across the top, down the side, or arranged as a mosaic
- glass garage door panels framed in natural wood
Maintenance and durability
Wooden garage doors not only have aesthetic appeal, they've 'stood the test of time' as a building material. No doubt about it, natural wood is traditional in style with a stunning appearance... but there ARE drawbacks.
- Wood requires TLC; maintenance can't be avoided. Regular upkeep with a fresh coat of paint or stain each year is 'a must'. Sanding is involved too. And without proper care, the door will deteriorate.
- Wood is finicky when exposed to moisture, cold and humidity; hence, certain climates cause extra wear and tear on a wood door.
- Unlike steel or aluminum doors, insects and vermin can chew through wood.
- Wood doors, depending on the exact construction, are extremely heavy. Manual operation, if necessary, is not simple.
- And with the added weight of solid wood, special garage door springs and openers may be required as well.
The pros and cons of faux wood garage doors.
Low maintenance, long lasting and affordable
For homeowners who prefer a budget-friendly, sturdy, hassle-free garage door with a wood vibe, an imitation wooden door offers the 'best of both worlds'. And since faux doors are constructed from steel, composite or fiberglass they're strong, easy to care for and won't crack, warp or rot like their wood counterparts.
- Depending on the specific material chosen and the quality of construction, faux products attempt to re-create the unique characteristics of wood. Some more. Some less. For instance, high-quality fiberglass doors are molded with realistic wood textures and graining. Fiberglass doors can look pretty darn close to the 'real deal'.
- Other doors resemble wood in one of two ways: they're manufactured with a wood tone finish (for example oak or walnut) OR are designed to look as though they are a painted wood door.
- And compared to solid wood, faux wood doors are lighter weight. Easier to replace, easier to install, and easier to open manually.
Remember: Faux wood is NOT 'real wood
The biggest 'con' to faux wood?
Well, no matter how authentic a lookalike garage door is made, it's NOT real wood. And depending on the quality of the door, the material may be more (or less) convincing, especially upon close examination.
How To Decide?
In the end, wood vs. faux wood boils down to personal preference. If your primary concern is maintenance, choose a wood lookalike for your garage door. But if you truly love the look and feel of 'real' wood, go ahead and pick wood; but be prepared to manage the drawbacks.
- Today's garage doors are NOT your parents (or grandparents) doors! There are options, aplenty, for both natural wood and wood lookalikes.
- Cost and design are only one aspect of choosing a wooden door. The biggest perk is 'customization' for reflecting your home's architecture and to mirror your sense of style.
- Compared to other garage door materials, solid wood is high maintenance. Is it a 'labor of love' or huge hassle? Well, it depends on your perspective but be prepared for chores like sanding, repainting or staining.
- Selecting which type of 'wooden' garage door material - genuine or imitation - should also be based on your home, the climate where you live, neighborhood norms, HOA rules and, of course, your budget.
- In upcoming weeks, we'll tackle the pros and cons of additional door materials including aluminum and glass. So stay tuned!
- Don't get overwhelmed by the options. Just ask the pros!
Curious whether your existing door needs to be replaced? Or wondering if instead, a good cleaning, tune-up or repairs might do the trick? Well, if you're wondering these things, just call a reputable company like ProLift Garage Doors.
If you reside in Greater St. Louis - or surrounding communities including West County, South County, St. Charles and St. Charles County - give us a try.
We know ALL about garage doors so you don't have to: we're friendly and professional too!
Reach us at 636-362-6960 or visit our website to email questions, or to schedule an appointment.
Outside of Greater St. Louis, Missouri call 888-754-3063.
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Editor's note: Updated 5/1/2020