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    Entry Doors 101: The Answers to All Your Burning Questions

    Apr 9, 2018

    Jul 12, 2024

    13 min read


    You probably know that the front door is the most important feature of your home. It creates a first impression and sets the standard for the rest of your home, so choosing a replacement door will require thorough research and careful consideration.

    Moreover, exterior door replacement is constantly in the Top 10 home improvement projects among Canadian homeowners, thanks to its high ROI (~70%) and long-term savings.

    To achieve the best possible fit, you’ll want to match your home’s architectural style and blend it with your own personal taste. You’ll also need a product that ensures top-notch security, maximum energy-efficiency, durability and lifespan.

    We’ve compiled all the burning questions about entry doors into this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the market. Keep reading to discover our expert insights and practical tips for choosing the best entry doors for your home.

    Choosing the Right Material – Steel, Wood or Fibreglass Doors?

    When it comes to selecting an entry door, the material is often the top concern for homeowners. Steel, wood, and fibreglass each offer unique benefits and drawbacks. Understanding these differences is crucial for making the best choice for your home.

    Steel has been around for a long time and is well-tested. Although fibreglass is a relatively new material, it’s already proving to be energy efficient and durable. Of course, wood is still the most popular for its high-end look and resistance to wear and tear. Here’s a breakdown of pros and cons for each door material:

    • Fiberglass doors are strong, durable, dent-resistant, maintenance-free, energy-efficient, and best of all, affordable. They hold up well in harsh Canadian winters and even mimic the look of real wood. They’re generally available in a smooth surface and embossed wood grain texture. They can be stained or painted to match your home architectural style but can crack under severe impact.
    • Steel doors offer the best security and durability among the three material options. They are the most structurally sound with a strong inner frame made from wood or steel. They are filled with foam insulation to provide good insulating value, and they won’t crack or warp. Steel doors are usually smooth or have an embossed wood grain pattern that are coated with a baked-on polyester finish. However, steel doors can be easily dented and scratches can rust if not repaired quickly. Adding glass may reduce their energy efficiency by allowing heat loss.
    • Wood doors provide an elegant, stylish look that other materials try to copy. They are the most wear-resistant, dent- resistant, and minor scratches can be repaired easily. A solid wood door with a heavy wood frame also provides greater strength than other materials. They cost significantly more than fiberglass or steel and require regular painting or varnishing to maintain their attractive appearance. Moreover, the energy-efficiency is less compared to fibreglass doors.

    Moreover, if you are curious about which doors offer better soundproof features, steel and fiberglass exterior doors are excellent choices. They do not compromise on soundproofing and provide the same level of noise reduction as wood doors. So, rest assured, any door you pick from these materials will be effective in minimising sound transmission and ensuring a quieter home environment.

    Glass Entry Doors vs. Panel Doors – What’s Better?

    After choosing the door material, the next step is to decide on the door type—whether you want glass inserts or a solid panel design. Each option has its own set of advantages.

    In fact, glass entry doors are more popular in Canada due to their enhanced aesthetics. Still, depending on the region you live in and the level of energy efficiency you seek, you may need a different option.

    Glass Entry Doors:

    • Natural Light: Allow more sunlight, brightening the interior.
    • Aesthetics: Provide a modern, elegant look.
    • Visibility: Offer an outside view, enhancing the sense of space.

    Panel Doors:

    • Privacy: Provide more privacy than glass doors.
    • Security: Typically offer better security due to their solid construction.
    • Insulation: Better insulation properties, which can improve energy efficiency.

    The choice between glass and panel doors depends on various factors, such as your personal preferences, your home’s architectural style, and overall weather conditions.

    Glass doors are ideal for those who value natural light and aesthetics, while panel doors are better suited for those prioritising privacy, security, and insulation.

    Entry Doors – Privacy and Decorative Glass

    Adding decorative glass to your entry door allows you to create a unique, artistic look to the front of your home, but privacy may be a concern if you don’t choose wisely.

    Every door system provides a Glass Privacy Level rating so you can clearly identify which collections offer the most privacy. All decorative glass selections are rated between 7 and 10 (where 10 is totally obscure glass.) This would apply to single- and double-door systems, transoms and sidelites.

    Remember, some decorative glass includes ornaments made from smaller transparent glass pieces. The more intricate the detail, the more glass pieces will be used, and privacy will be reduced.

    Obscure glass is available in three textures to completely block any unwanted attention. Clear glass can also be used but to ensure privacy, you should consider installing mini blinds between the glass. They can be raised, lowered or tilted to allow natural light in during the daytime hours or closed at night.

    Sliding Patio Doors vs. Garden Doors – What’s Better?

    Even though entry doors are crucial, back doors are equally important. Two popular options are available when choosing a back door: sliding patio doors and garden doors. Each type has distinct benefits, making it essential to understand their differences to choose the right one for your home.

    The distinction between a patio door and garden door is that a patio door slides while a garden door swings open. Often the decision to choose one style over another is because of size and space restrictions. Both can server as accent doors and drive attention due to the variety of choices when it comes to colours, glass types, operation, hardware and design.

    • Garden doors swing open like regular doors, providing a traditional look and feel. They are durable and built to last, but they do occupy more space when opened. Typically, garden doors are more expensive than sliding patio doors, reflecting their robust construction and classic design.
    • A sliding patio door features a large glass area to maximise natural light, brightening your living space. They often come with triple-pane glass for maximum energy efficiency, ensuring your home stays comfortable throughout the year. Additionally, they offer a variety of design options, including 2-panel, 3-panel, and 4-panel configurations, allowing you to choose the perfect style for your home.

    Mini-Blinds – Do You Really Need Them?

    While mini-blinds are a popular feature among homeowners, there are pros and cons to including them between the glass panes in your door:

    Mini-blinds Pros:

    • Beautiful, streamlined look.
    • Blinds don’t bang against the door when opened and closed like those installed with an interior curtain rod.
    • The glass is easier to clean without a curtain or blinds to get in the way.
    • There are no hanging cords for children to get hurt with.
    • Kid- and pet-friendly—they can’t pull on them or bend them.
    • They offer privacy against prying eyes.

    Mini-blinds Cons:

    • They reduce the energy efficiency of the door. Glass is a poor insulator, so to double-paned windows are used with argon gas between the panes to improve efficiency. A Low-E coating can also be applied to reflect heat from sunlight. If you add mini blinds between the glass, you can’t include argon gas which significantly reduced their efficiency.
    • If you buy a triple-pane window to include both the argon gas and mini blinds, the costs could be prohibitive and you’ll still get a lower U-factor than a triple-pane window without blinds.
    • Blinds can still get dusty as there are small holes in the frame to allow dust to penetrate. Even with the ability to remove a glass pane, cleaning them can be complicated and difficult.
    • The mechanism that allows the blinds to operate can break. If you have a removable pane of glass, you’ll be able to access them to do a repair but it will be very costly. For units without this access, the only options are to live with a broken blind or replace the entire door.
    Doors with mini-blinds

    Modern Exterior Doors – Locks & Hardware

    Keeping your family safe from intruders should be a high priority when purchasing a replacement entry door. Rather than adding an unattractive deadbolt or inferior chain lock, you’ll be happy Ecoline’s Multi-Point Lock System will be included with your door.

    Once the door is closed, the door automatically locks with a 20mm latchbolt. The deadbolt is engaged with a quick turn of the key that also activates top and bottom latchbolts (3-point deadbolt locking system.) The lock system also includes these features:

    • Capability to fit both 6′-8″ and 8′ doors.
    • Durable mortise construction with reinforced locking system return.
    • Security against forced entry with 10 to 20mm latchbolt projection.
    • Locking points engage without lifting the handle.
    • Non-handed latch that can be reversed.
    • Gasket prevents air infiltration.
    • The multi-point lock system helps protect the door panel from warping.

    All Ecoline’s front doors come with:

    • Heavy duty hinges that allow for maximum security and better sealing;
    • Hidden Adjustment Screws. They are to eliminate possible water infiltration while ensuring a cleaner look. Optional screw caps for sil crown adjustment screw and keeps the dirt out;
    • Multi-point hardware options. Ecoline offers a range of the best quality multi-point door levers and gripsets. Homeowners can choose among 9 styles and multiple colour finishes. It is ideal for those looking to retain a traditional style on their entrance system, while for a more modern feel, we also offer 2 types of pull handles that come in 3 finishes and 3 heights;
    We offer a range of the finest quality, multi-point door levers and gripsets available in a choice 8 styles and multiple colour finishes.

    How Much Do New Entry Doors Cost?

    The cost of new entry doors can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as style, type, material, energy-efficiency features, size, and installation complexity.

    On average, a single steel entry door costs between $1,400 and $2,500, while fiberglass entry doors are more expensive and typically cost between $2,000 and $3,500.

    When selecting an entry door, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and budget, as investing in quality materials and professional installation can provide long-term benefits in terms of durability and energy savings. Use our door replacement cost estimator to determine the approximate price for your project.

    What Type of Warranty Comes with a Replacement Door?

    For over twenty years, Ecoline Windows and Doors has been committed to providing homeowners across Canada with durable, high-quality windows and entry doors. Your satisfaction is our reputation, so all our products come with a direct warranty from the manufacturer. Our hassle-free warranty ensures:

    25 years warranty for:

    • Seal failure of insulated glass
    • Tempered glass
    • Vinyl (PVC) components
    • Hardware

    15 years: warranty for:

    • Door installation is level, square and plumb
    • Rough opening insulation

    10 years warranty for:

    • White vinyl wrapped frames and components
    • Steel slabs warranted against defects
    • Factory applied colour paint
    • Insulated thermal unit warranted against failure

    Wrapping Up

    Selecting the right replacement entry door is a critical decision that impacts your home’s security, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. With so many materials, styles, and features to consider, the selection process can be daunting.

    At Ecoline, we offer a comprehensive range of entry door options and professional guidance to help you make an informed choice. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote and apply for a $3750 door replacement grant.


    How to choose the best energy-efficient doors?

    Buy and install only Energy Star-rated entry doors with a minimum energy rating of 34. Fibreglass doors are considered best for energy efficiency, but they are more expensive than steel doors.

    What are the best soundproof doors?

    Fiberglass and steel doors offer excellent soundproofing, making them ideal for a home’s front entrance.

    Fiberglass vs. steel entry doors – what’s better?

    Both fiberglass and steel entry doors have their advantages. Fiberglass doors are durable, energy-efficient, and can mimic wood aesthetics. Steel doors offer superior security and durability. Homeowners often choose based on their specific aesthetics, security, and maintenance needs.

    What are fire doors?

    Fire doors are specially designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke within a building. Made from fire-resistant materials, they have intumescent seals that expand in heat, ensuring the door remains sealed. They are crucial for enhancing safety and providing safe evacuation routes.