The differences between residential and commercial doors can be many and varied, but for the most part come down to a handful of factors that include materials, security, looks, sturdiness and cost.

Broadly speaking, commercial doors tend to offer better security than residential doors. They’re typically larger than residential exterior doors and have to stand up to heavy use long-term. Think of an overhead door at a loading dock vs the overhead door on your home’s garage. It’s a different level of durability and security.

When it comes to materials, public entrance doors are often made of stronger and more durable materials than residential doors. This is because they need to withstand heavy usage, extreme weather conditions, and potential break-ins. A commercial door is more likely than a residential one to be made of steel or fiberglass, and may be thicker than its residential counterpart. Exterior doors in commercial settings also have codes to worry about, including ADA regulations, fire codes, city codes, and building codes. Considering needs, cost, maintenance-level and longevity, different commercial door materials have different things to offer.

The appearance of industrial doors also tends to be different from that of residential doors. While residential doors are often designed to be aesthetically pleasing and match the style of a home, heavy duty doors prioritize functionality over appearance. This means that commercial doors may have a more industrial look. Features such as heavy-duty hinges and locking mechanisms that provide security aren’t always a visual treat.

The merits of different door materials

Residential outer doors tend to be wood or fiberglass. But exterior commercial doors might also be steel, aluminum, vinyl, rubber or glass.

Wood Doors Offer a Classic Look But are High Maintenance

It’s true that exterior wooden doors exude a charm and allure that is often unparalleled, thanks to their inviting, warm, and timeless aesthetic, they do come with certain considerations. Wooden entry doors, while undoubtedly attractive, can be vulnerable to issues such as warping and rot. Additionally, they tend to demand a higher level of maintenance to keep them looking their best.

The captivating allure of wooden doors is undeniable, and with proper care and maintenance, homeowners can enjoy their beauty for years to come. Due to these requirements, it’s less commonly used in commercial settings. It’s just too high maintenance so few outside of smaller shops will use them.

Fiberglass is Secure but Can Crack

Fiberglass doors have earned their reputation for being a secure and durable choice. They stand strong against common issues like warping, rotting, and corrosion. They’re a more reliable option than wood for exterior use. Their versatility shines, offering a range of design possibilities, and their excellent insulating properties contribute to energy efficiency.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that even the most durable materials may undergo changes over time. In the case of fiberglass doors, extended exposure to environmental factors can lead to increased brittleness. This can result in cracks if the door is subject to damage. Regular maintenance and careful handling can mitigate these concerns but they can still occur.

Steel Is Secure but Some Styles Can Be Too Heavy for Home Use

Steel stands as the ultimate material choice when it comes to exterior doors that prioritize security. They’re commonly used as overhead doors at loading docks. The remarkable strength of steel means that it doesn’t shatter. Steel may dent under force, but breaching a steel security door is an exceedingly challenging task. The same holds true for steel-slat roll-up overhead doors, which should not be confused with the typical steel sectional garage door found at most homes. Steel is your unparalleled ally in safeguarding valuable assets and maintaining safe access. It’s the material of choice for business’ who prioritize durability and security in their door solutions.

Alternative Commercial Garage Doors are Modern and Sleek

Recent years have witnessed a surge in the popularity of alternative styles for commercial overhead doors. One notable and contemporary choice is the full-view glass and aluminum overhead door. They’re distinguished by its composition of large glass panels enclosed within a lightweight aluminum door frame. This door style not only bestows a modern and sleek aesthetic but also welcomes abundant natural light into the space. As a result, it has become a favored option for a diverse range of commercial settings. They’re a popular choice for storefronts, restaurants, and various other commercial buildings.

Beyond its aesthetics, full-view glass and aluminum doors are also champions of energy efficiency. They contribute significantly to a reduction in heating and cooling costs. They align with the growing emphasis on sustainability and cost savings in commercial operations. This innovative overhead door solution combines aesthetics, functionality, and energy conservation. They’re an ideal choice for modern commercial spaces seeking a new overhead door.

Rubber and Vinyl are Heavy Duty Commercial Door Materials for Harsher Weather

Within the realm of industrial-grade doors, rubber and vinyl overhead doors emerge as an alternative style. Crafted from robust and heavy-duty rubber or vinyl materials, these doors establish a resilient and flexible defense against the harshest of weather conditions. The remarkable adaptability of these overhead doors positions them as a common choice in settings where large vehicles are heavily used. They’re prominently used in areas such as loading docks, warehouses, and similar environments.

These doors serve as stalwart guardians. They preserve a secure and efficient working atmosphere while offering exceptional durability and noise insulation. Their practicality as an overhead door material makes them a great choice for louder commercial settings.

Air curtains paired with plastic-strip doorways are another popular alternative to traditional non-residential doors. Air curtains use a stream of high-velocity air to create a barrier between two spaces. The pressurized wall prevents air, dust, and insects from passing through. When paired with plastic-strip doorways, they create an effective seal to help with temperature and air quality. You’ll find air curtains and plastic-strip doorways in restaurants and grocery stores.

Of course, a business may want the door to its main entrance to be visually striking and attractive as well; double full-glass entry doors, heavier gate-style wooden doors, or more clean-lined, modern metal doors.

Commercial-grade doors handle high traffic and heavy use

Another reason a commercial storefront door needs to be sturdier than a residential front door is that it gets opened and closed much more often, and with less care. A sturdier, heavier door that gets constant use also requires commercial-grade door hardware to match, such as the spring system that’s used to close some commercial doors, or reinforced plates for arm openers.

With greater thickness and stronger materials comes higher cost, so commercial doors do tend to be more expensive than home doors. As with any purchase, though, a higher initial cost may end up being worth it when the durability of the door over time is factored in.

They’re Two Door Installations that Couldn’t Be More Different

Commercial doors and residential doors have several distinct differences. From materials, security, durability, compliance with codes and regulations, to even cost. Choosing the right type of door for a specific setting depends on various factors. This can include the building’s purpose, level of traffic, and security needs. A key takeaway from all this, is that commercial doors are often more expensive than residential doors. However, they also require less maintenance and repair over time, which can save money in the long run.