Wood composite garage doors are made by adhering a variety of materials to a metal door to make it resemble a wooden door. If you’re shopping around for a new garage door, there’s a good chance you’re considering one of these. They’re environmentally friendly, low maintenance and exceptionally durable. However, not all composite garage doors are created equal, and some lower-quality models fail to emulate real wood convincingly.
Read through our guide to learn about the pros and cons of faux wood garage doors and their authentic wood counterparts. We will also introduce some of the best composite garage doors on the market.
Real Wood Vs. Faux Wood
While faux wood and real wood can look similar, they are generally different in price, durability, maintenance and manufacturing process. In this section, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each garage door material.
Pros and Cons of Real Wood
The advantages of real wood doors include:
- Many customization options: The panels on wooden garage doors can be customized readily. You can choose custom features like glass panels, raised panels with artistic carvings and wood grain patterns with horizontal, vertical, herringbone or chevron designs.
- The wood is real: While many faux wood doors look like real wood, you may prefer having a door made of authentic wood. Owners of historic homes often choose real wood doors to go with the timeless design of their homes.
- Dent proof: Unlike aluminum or steel doors, real wood doors are not susceptible to denting. If you’re worried that your garage door will get damaged, a real wood door may be what you want.
However, real wood doors also have a variety of potential drawbacks, including:
- Potentially high cost: Garage doors made of solid wood cost more than those made of materials like fiberglass, composite and steel. However, the cost of a wood door depends on the species of wood. Common varieties are oak, cedar, mahogany, fir, tropical hardwood and redwood. Other features, including the door’s size and add-ons such as windows, insulation and decorative hardware, can also affect the cost.
- Termites love them: Since wood is organic, it’s susceptible to termites. Termites are constantly searching for a source of food, and they eat natural materials only. If you’re experiencing a termite problem with your wood door, act quickly. As time passes, termites will spread and eat away at more wood, which will eventually lead to structural issues. Termites can also put your security at risk, as they can spread from your garage door to your home, where they can eat papers, cardboard, books and other organic materials. If you live in a colder area, termites might come to your garage door for warmth and food, which will also allow them to multiply.
- They take time to order: One of the advantages of real wood doors is that they’re available in many styles, including carriage house doors that have raised panels and elaborate decorations. However, it takes considerable time to design, make and install real wood doors. So if you’re short on time, you may want to consider another garage door material.
- They often require special equipment: Wood is one of the heavier materials for garage doors, and they require particular openers and springs to hold up the weight. If you would like to open your garage door manually, wood isn’t a great idea.
- More costly repairs: Because wood doors often require special equipment, if something goes wrong, repairs will likely require special hardware, which will be more expensive.
- Susceptible to the elements: Wood is vulnerable to damage due to cold, humidity, moisture and other weather conditions.
- High-maintenance: Real wood garage doors require regular upkeep, and a new coat of stain or paint must be applied every year. Sanding is also a requirement. If you don’t properly care for your wood door, it will deteriorate.
- Potential insulation problems: If you get a real wood door, you may have issues with insulation, since most are only made from a two-inch-thick piece of wood. Other wood doors are simply a wooden frame with insulation inside, which is surrounded by plywood or a hardboard skin. White and red oak are particularly good at protecting from cold, but these options are more expensive.
Pros and Cons of Faux Wood
Faux wood emulates wood’s distinctive characteristics, with high-quality models very closely resembling actual wood. Some advantages of faux wood garage doors include:
- High durability: Faux doors are made from composite, fiberglass or steel, meaning that they’re sturdy and easy to maintain. They won’t warp, rot or crack like real wood garage doors.
- Lighter weight: They weigh less than doors made of real wood.
- Easy installation: Faux doors are easier to install than real wood doors. They can also be opened manually with ease.
The only drawback of faux wood doors is that, since it’s not made of real wood, some models may not be convincing, especially if examined carefully. However, if you opt for a high-quality model, it will be virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.
If you’re a homeowner who prefers a sturdy, budget-friendly door that has a wood appearance, a faux door may be the best option for you.
Benefits of Wood-Look Garage Door
Wood-look doors are often made of aluminum or steel and feature a natural-looking, durable woodgrain finish. They provide a significant number of benefits, including:
- Greater affordability: The affordable cost of composite wood is the primary draw for many buyers. A composite door costs a mere fraction of what you’d pay for a garage door made of real wood.
- Moisture resistance: One of the most considerable disadvantages of real wood is its susceptibility to humidity and moisture, which cause it to swell, expand and warp. A finish provides protection, but these finishes wear off with time, leaving the wood exposed to the harsh elements. Sunlight and excessive heat also cause fading. Faux wood, however, is designed to be highly resistant to heat and moisture. It won’t warp, rot, shrink or crack.
- Longevity: Due to their exceptional heat and humidity resistance, composite wood doors last longer than real wood ones.
- No staining: If your garage door is made of faux wood, you’ll never have to stain it.
- Easy cleaning: Cleaning faux wood garage doors is much easier than cleaning their real wood counterparts. It involves nothing more than just a quick wipe and, if necessary, a hosing. Faux wood garage doors are completely water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about water damage.
- Eco-friendliness: Faux wood garage doors are considerably more eco-friendly than those made from real wood.
- Attractiveness: High-quality faux wood doors are so good at imitating the beauty of real wood that many people have trouble distinguishing them from real wood doors.
One great collection of faux wood garage doors is Clopay’s COACHMAN® collection. Blending beauty and functionality, these high-quality doors closely resemble real wood but are made from multiple layers of low-maintenance, durable insulation and steel covered by a textured, woodgrain composite overlay. They also feature the appearance of a carriage house-style door, but function like convenient, modern overhead garage doors.
To better understand how these doors are built, here is an overview of the door’s components:
- Four layers: These steel garage doors are constructed in the carriage house style and feature four layers of construction.
- Various insulation options: With this collection, you have various insulation options, including 1-3/8″ polystyrene, 2″ polystyrene and 2″ Intellicore® polyurethane.
- Durable coating system: These doors feature steel skins protected by a layered, tough coating system that includes a galvanized layer, a primer and a top coat.
- Reinforcement for strong winds: If you live in an area that experiences strong winds, you can get a door that is reinforced to withstand them.
- Durable weather seal: Doors in the COACHMAN® collection also feature a vinyl weather seal that is in a retainer made of rust-free aluminum.
- Patented safety feature: We designed our Safe-T-Bracket® feature to prevent injuries that could result from someone removing the door’s bottom bracket while the door is closed and under tension.
The COACHMAN® collection also has a beautiful design and the following features:
- Four color options: Doors in the COACHMAN® collection come in four colors. You can mix colors together to achieve the look you desire.
- Many options for glass: These include clear, rain, seeded, frosted, insulated and obscure.
- Easily removable window grilles: These beveled-edge, attractive window grilles can be removed, allowing you to easily clean the windows.
- Many decorative add-ons available: You can choose to add step plates, spade lift handles and many other hardware options
CANYON RIDGE® Collection
The beautiful, distinctive carriage house-style doors from Clopay’s CANYON RIDGE® collection LIMITED EDITION series feature an insulated, energy-efficient base made of steel, finished with composite overlays and cladding. They look like real swing-out doors but conveniently open upward. Built from steel and composite, these doors combine the charm of an old-fashioned carriage house door with the strength and durability of a modern one.
Here is an overview of the construction of these doors:
- Five layers: These carriage house-style steel doors consist of five layers and feature a composite overlay.
- Superior insulation: Doors from the Canyon Ridge Collection come with 2″ polyurethane insulation, giving the door an impressive R-value of 20.4.
- Safe: These doors come with Clopay’s Safe-T-Bracket® feature, which helps prevent serious injury.
- Can withstand strong winds: You can opt for your door to be reinforced to withstand strong winds.
Features of the Canyon Ridge design include:
- Molded from real wood: The overlay and cladding materials were made using actual pieces of wood to emulate the species’ texture and elaborate grain patterns.
- Choice of wood species: For the composite cladding, you can choose between Mahogany, Pecky Cypress and Clear Cypress. For the overlay materials, you can choose Mahogany or Clear Cypress.
- Many options for glass: If you opt for windows, you can make them clear, obscure, rain, seeded, insulated or frosted.
- Easily removable window grilles: The grilles on the windows can be easily removed for cleaning.
- Five color options: You can choose between white wash, walnut, dark finish, medium finish, slate finish and primed.
- Many options for decorative hardware: These include step plates, spade lift handles, spade strap hinges and many more designs.
- Quiet rollers: To ensure quiet, long-lasting operation, CANYON RIDGE® garage doors are equipped with high-performance ball-bearing nylon rollers.
- Durable weather seal: The doors feature vinyl weather seals to protect them from the harsh elements.
- Sturdy hinges: The hinges are made of 14-gauge steel, ensuring smooth, reliable operation.
- Customizable top section: For the top section of the door, you can opt for solid panels or insulated windows, which come in arched, square and rectangular designs.
Upgrade Your Garage Door With Valley Overhead Door
If you live in Albany, Salem or Corvallis, Oregon and are looking to replace your garage door with a more durable and low-maintenance faux wood model, look no farther than Valley Overhead Door. Not only do we offer a wide selection of high-quality Clopay doors, but we also install them for you. To learn more or request a quote, contact us online or call us at 541-926-3828, and one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members will be able to assist you.