Because garage door replacement has proven to be a popular and proven way to refresh a home’s aesthetics and to add resale value, upgrading your garage door is a rewarding home improvement project that requires careful consideration of the best options, including your choice of door materials.
When it comes to just about anything for the house, wood is a classic choice. Whether it’s wood floors, furniture, windows or doors, wood conveys a sense of warmth, beauty and quality that draws people in and adds perceived value to just about any home.
Among all garage door style selections, wood is often considered the ultimate material for added curb appeal. And for many years, there was no arguing that wood was the superior choice.
Recent advances in door panel material construction, however, have minimized the gap in aesthetics to the point that faux wood surfaces are almost indistinguishable from the real thing, even in close proximity. Chances are that the attractive new wood garage door you’ve seen in your neighborhood recently is not wood at all!
When combined with the many convenience and cost advantages provided by wood alternatives, the reasons to consider these new materials are growing, especially if you live in a harsh climate that isn't kind to real wood in exterior applications.
Exterior materials such as composites, steel and vinyl can now do a respectable job of echoing vintage styling of wood while addressing its disadvantages such as wood finish failures, tendency to warp or rot, potential damage by insects, weight issues requiring heavy-duty openers, and less insulation value than foam-insulated doors.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the top alternatives to wood doors:
1. Woodgrain Composite Material on Steel
Example: Eden Coast™ by Raynor
Featuring a new, environmentally friendly composite exterior panel applied to a strong steel base, Eden Coast by Raynor provides the beauty of naturally stained wood without any of the maintenance. These heavy-duty composite overlays are impervious to moisture, mold and mildew and are resistant to fading and dents. The impressive 18.3 R-value of the NeuFoam insulation offers more protection from temperature fluctuations than wood.
Eden Coast by Raynor
- Environmentally friendly, composite material
- Square, routed or round over edges available
- Custom inlay molding available on square edge
- Board thickness ranges from 1″ to 1-¼” to achieve desired detail
- 2″ steel sandwich door with NeuFoam™ insulation with an 18.3 R-value
- Doors come pre-finished in a stain color of your choice.
2. Woodgrain-Textured Steel Doors
Example: Aspen™ Series by Raynor
New steel surfacing technology has made it possible to imprint highly realistic wood textures onto steel panels, making these doors – prized for their durability and flexibility in design – a popular choice among homeowners looking for options that balance form with function.
Raynor’s expanding range of door-panel options makes its lineup of woodgrain-textured steel doors even more appealing and more likely to complement any home’s architectural style. Panel options include: Recessed Colonial Grooved, Recessed Ranch Grooved, Mixed Panel Raised or Recessed Grooved, Raised Colonial and Raised Ranch.
Dual Direction Woodtones, now available on the Aspen AP200 Series, provide an even more realistic wood look. Oak woodgrain patterns run vertical between the embossed panels (on the stiles) and horizontal with the rails to deliver a distinct, true grain appearance.
Optional Dual Direction Woodtones (Steel)
The Aspen AP200 Series, featuring 2-inch thick steel doors, can also be ordered with VersaView windows, allowing windows to be placed in any arrangement along with the Dual Direction Woodtones for an impressive, upscale aesthetic.
Woodtones that feature a single directional woodgrain pattern that runs uniform across the entire width of the door can give a stunning woodgrain finish on an economically priced pan door, such as Raynor's dependable BuildMark® product line. Three new woodtone options, Auburn, Mocha and Walnut, are now available on BuildMark® steel pan doors.
3. Woodgrain Vinylboard-on-Steel Overlay Doors
Example: RockCreeke™ design by Raynor
The door exterior of this option features a lightweight, yet durable vinyl trim material with a deep, distinct embossed woodgrain effect applied to strong steel panels. Providing the character of wood along with a long-lasting, low-maintenance design, this vinyl overlay door is available in Carriage House and other popular styles.
Raynor’s ColorWave™, an optional post paint system available with the RockCreeke Series, provides the ultimate in customization and style. With 1,500 Sherwin-Williams® colors to choose from, homeowners can couple this elite paint system with state-of-the-art Raynor construction to craft the perfect look for their home.
4. Wood-on-Steel Overlay Doors
Example: Rockwood Series™ from Richards-Wilcox, a Raynor Company
If the upscale visual effect and texture of real wood is critical to your home’s aesthetics, real wood panels applied to steel provide added structural integrity that will minimize some of the drawbacks of all-wood doors, such as cracking and warping. The added benefit of foam insulation, provided by the Rockwood Series, offers protection from the elements and energy savings beyond traditional wood doors.
Interested in seeing what a new woodtone'd garage door would look like on your home? Explore all of these options using our Design-a-Door visualizer website. It's really quite easy to use and obligation-free.