Are you in the market for a new garage door or considering replacing your old one? Well, you’re not alone! With so many options, deciding which one is right for you can be overwhelming.
One common debate is whether to go with steel vs aluminum garage doors.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a detailed comparison of the two. We’ll look at important factors like durability, lifespan, cost, and maintenance requirements. By the end, you’ll better understand which material suits your needs. But before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let’s start with a quick overview.
What Is the Difference Between Steel and Aluminum Garage Doors?
While both steel and aluminum make excellent garage doors, there are some major differences that you need to consider to decide which material will better suit your needs.
Following is a thorough description of what each of these materials has to offer:
Steel Garage Doors
Steel is the most popular material for making garage doors.
The main reason for their popularity is that they offer a huge bang for your buck and don’t require much maintenance, and all you need is to wash it occasionally or repaint it if required.
Because steel is durable, it can be used to make garage doors that last for decades.
They’re also more challenging to break in.
Owing to their popularity, they’re available in various sizes. Finding one that fits perfectly into your garage wouldn’t be hard.
They’re also customizable, so don’t worry if you don’t like the designs available on the market.
Usually, steel garage doors are made of galvanized steel. Galvanized steels are coated with a thin layer of zinc which protects them from rust for a long time. However, they will rust eventually.
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Aluminum Garage Doors
Aluminum garage doors are second only to steel in popularity. But in terms of value, aluminum has a great deal to offer.
Aluminum is a lighter metal that is quite durable. It’s also water-resistant, which means rust won’t trouble you.
Remember that If you live close to saltwater, salt and other elements in the air can build up on the surface, leading to oxidation.
Therefore, homeowners living near the ocean must take extra precautions to regularly inspect their aluminum garage door to ensure it doesn’t experience any damage due to rusting.
Also, Since aluminum is a great conductor of heat, aluminum garage doors offer poor insulation.
Adding insulation to your aluminum garage doors is preferable to prevent heat and cold from getting inside.
Which is Better Steel or Aluminum Garage Door?
Below is a table with a comparison of the pros and cons of steel and aluminum garage doors:
|Garage Door Type||Pros||Cons|
Vulnerable to impact damage
|Not suitable for harsher climates|
How to Pick the Right Type of Garage Door for Your House?
Are you still confused between Steel garage doors and Aluminum garage doors?
Let’s see how each performs based on the following metrics to decide which would suit your garage best.
Steel is a heavier metal and has more strength compared to aluminum. That is why you’ll find that steel garage doors are much more resilient to damage and wrapping.
Compared to that, a lightweight aluminum garage door, while easier to install, can get damaged easily by a strong thunderstorm.
So if you expect kids to play around your garage, you might want a steel garage door to bear the unsolicited thuds and hits from children.
Both aluminum and steel are durable materials and will last a long time with due care. You can expect an aluminum garage door to serve you for up to 30 years; the same is true with steel garage doors.
Aluminum garage doors win this round–no competition. Steel garage doors, even with galvanized steel, will rust over time. Aluminum, on the other hand, has no issues with fresh water.
That is why getting an aluminum garage door is best if you live in Washington or other states facing a lot of rain.
Aluminum garage doors have the least insulation. Adding an insulation layer will not only keep your energy bills at a minimum but also add strength to your lightweight garage door.
Steel garage doors, on the other hand, have moderate insulation. But it’s best to add a layer of polyurethane insulation to maintain a moderate temperature inside your garage.
When it comes to insulated steel garage doors, homeowners usually have the following options:
Double-layer Steel Garage Doors – have a layer of steel backed by a layer of thermal insulation made from polystyrene. Vinyl is used to hold the insulation in place.
Triple-layer Steel Garage Doors–come with a layer of insulation sandwiched between two layers of steel. Also called by some a sandwich garage door, the triple-layer steel garage doors provide the most strength and insulation of all steel garage doors. As an added advantage, the extra layers prevent outside noise from disturbing you while you work in your garage.
Four layered Steel garage doors – include two layers of insulation added to two layers of steel. Garage doors with four layers are uncommon; only some manufacturers make them.
Steel garage doors are much better at dealing with harsher climates.
Being heat-resistant, hotter temperatures do not harm steel garage doors. Homeowners in hotter and hurricane regions like Florida are better off with steel garage doors.
Steel doors can also withstand strong winds, which could be detrimental to aluminum garage doors owing to their lesser weight and strength. All in all, you can depend on a top-coated steel garage door with insulation in various climates.
Aluminum garage doors don’t offer much in terms of customization.
There are limited options for door design, hardware, and door thickness. There’s also a limited number of colors to choose from.
On the other hand, steel garage doors have a tremendous variety in designs, thicknesses, hardware, insulation, and colors.
Steel garage doors come in the following design options:
- Sectional Garage Doors
- Roll-Up Garage Doors
- Slide to the Side Garage Doors
- Side-Hinged Garage Doors
- Tilt-Up/Up and Over Canopy Garage Doors
- Tilt-Up/Up and Over Retractable Garage Doors
With such variety, it’s fair to claim that there’s a steel garage door that’ll fit perfectly into your home’s aesthetics regardless of your home’s style.
Maintaining a steel garage door is simple. You need to keep an eye out for rust and clean them from time to time to avoid the accumulation of dust and debris.
For cleaning, wash it with mild soap and water. After washing, apply a wax coating on the panel to maintain its finish.
Aluminum garage doors are no different when it comes to maintenance. Just watch for any dents or damage and follow the exact cleaning procedure.
A steel garage door will cost around $600 to $1500.
On the other hand, aluminum garage doors are slightly more expensive, with an average price of $1000 to $2000.
For higher-end models and added features, the price of steel and aluminum garage doors can exceed the average price.
Steel vs Aluminum Garage Doors: The Winner
Now that we’re at the end of the steel vs. aluminum garage doors battle, it’s time to decide the winner.
There are some similarities between the two, such as the fact that they are both in the same price range and require little maintenance.
But there are some resounding differences, i.e., aluminum garage doors are lighter and rust-resistant, while steel garage doors are heavier and more challenging to break in.
Both garage doors provide tremendous value, and it comes down to personal preference and requirements.
For example, a homeowner living in harsher climates will benefit more from a steel garage door, while one living in regions with more rain is better off with an aluminum garage door.
Depending on your needs, you can go with any of the two when buying a garage door. But if you’re serious about looks, a steel garage door will provide more options in color and design.