Two options stand out when picking your garage doors — wood and faux wood. Each of these materials has unique advantages and characteristics that can greatly influence your garage door’s overall aesthetics and performance. Your decision will ultimately hinge on your priorities and preferences.
If you prize authenticity and are willing to invest in maintenance, genuine wood may be your top choice. However, faux wood is an excellent alternative if you seek a cost-effective, low-maintenance option that doesn’t compromise on aesthetics. There are different factors, considerations and benefits to investigate to ensure your garage door becomes a harmonious extension of your home’s beauty and functionality.
Let’s look at real wood vs. faux wood garage doors in more detail.
Wood Garage Doors
Authenticity is the hallmark of a wooden garage door. Crafted from natural wood species such as cedar, redwood or mahogany, these doors exude timeless charm and warmth. The richness of wood grain patterns and the option to stain or paint it in various finishes let homeowners achieve a customized look that complements their home’s architectural style.
With proper upkeep, wood garage doors can stand the test of time and become a defining feature of your home’s architectural character.
Pros of Wood Garage Doors
Here are a few benefits of using wood as your material of choice for your garage door:
Aesthetic appeal: The distinct grain patterns and rich colors of wood species lend an air of sophistication to any home, making them a perfect choice for those who value a classic appearance.
Customization: One of the standout advantages of wood garage doors is their ability to customize them. Homeowners can stain or paint the wood to achieve their desired finish, allowing for a unique look that complements the home’s architecture.
Durability: Well-maintained wood doors can last for decades, with some wood species naturally resistant to rot and insects. They can withstand harsh weather conditions when properly sealed and finished.
Cons of Wood Garage Doors
There is always another side to the coin. Let’s now look at the cons of using wood:
Maintenance: Perhaps the most significant drawback of wood garage doors is their required maintenance. Wood is susceptible to moisture, which can lead to warping, rotting and the need for frequent refinishing or resealing.
Cost: The elegance of wood comes at a price. Wood garage doors tend to be more expensive than their alternatives due to the cost of materials and craftsmanship. Additionally, ongoing maintenance can add to the long-term cost.
Weight: Wood doors can be quite heavy, which may necessitate the installation of a more powerful garage door opener.
Installation and Maintenance Needs
Due to their weight and specific requirements, the installation process can be more complex than other materials. Special care must be taken to ensure proper framing and reinforcement of the garage structure to support the weight of the wood door.
Regular maintenance is also needed to keep wood garage doors looking their best and functioning correctly. Here are some of the maintenance needs:
Sealing or staining: Depending on the wood species and local climate conditions, applying a protective sealant or stain every few years to prevent moisture infiltration and damage is needed to keep your garage door fresh.
Repairs: Promptly address any scratches, dents or damage to the wood surface to prevent further deterioration. Small repairs can often be done by sanding and refinishing the affected area.
Cleaning: Regularly clean the door with mild soap and water to remove dirt and debris. Avoid using abrasive materials that can damage the finish.
Inspect hardware: Periodically inspect and lubricate the door’s hardware, such as hinges, springs and rollers, to ensure smooth operation.
Faux Wood Garage Doors
Faux wood doors, also known as wood composite or wood-look doors, are designed to mimic the appearance of real wood. Advanced manufacturing techniques have made faux wood garage doors look good and remarkably convincing, with textures and grain patterns closely resembling genuine wood. While faux wood may not possess the authenticity of real wood, it offers a more budget-friendly option for achieving a similar aesthetic appeal.
These doors typically consist of layers of materials such as steel or fiberglass, which are then overlaid with a wood-like veneer.
Pros of Faux Wood Garage Doors
Here are some of the benefits of faux wood garage doors:
Aesthetic appeal: Faux wood garage doors look strikingly similar to genuine wood. Advanced manufacturing techniques, with textures and grain patterns, have made them remarkably convincing.
Durability: Faux wood garage doors are resistant to moisture, rot and insect damage thanks to their composite materials. This durability means they can withstand various weather conditions without warping or deteriorating.
Low maintenance: Unlike real wood doors, faux wood doors require minimal maintenance. A simple cleaning with mild soap and water is typically all needed to keep them pristine.
Cons of Faux Wood Garage Doors
Here are a few things to consider:
Lack of authenticity: While faux wood garage doors do an excellent job of mimicking the appearance of real wood, they may lack the authentic character and feel of genuine wood for those who appreciate the real thing.
Limited customization: Faux wood doors may have limited options for customization compared to real wood.
Installation and Maintenance Needs
Installing faux wood garage doors is typically straightforward and can be handled by a professional installer. They are often lighter than real wood doors, which can simplify the installation process and may not require as much structural reinforcement.
Maintaining faux wood garage doors is relatively easy compared to their real wood counterparts. Here are some of the maintenance needs:
Cleaning: Regularly clean the door with mild soap and water to remove dirt and debris. Avoid abrasive materials that could damage the finish.
Inspect hardware: Periodically inspect and lubricate the door’s hardware, including hinges, springs and rollers, to ensure smooth operation.
Main Differences Between Wood and Faux Wood
Each material has unique characteristics and advantages, catering to distinct homeowner preferences and priorities. Your decision should align with your architectural vision, budget constraints and your willingness to invest time and effort in maintenance. You want your garage door to complement and enhance your home’s overall beauty.
Below, we highlight wood vs. faux wood garage doors pros and cons:
Wood garage doors are crafted from natural wood species. Faux wood garage doors are constructed using composite materials, frequently incorporating layers of steel or fiberglass as the core. These materials are then overlaid with a wood-like veneer designed to mimic the appearance of real wood closely.
Wooden garage doors are better if you want unparalleled authenticity. They feature genuine wood grain patterns and rich, organic colors, creating an aesthetic appeal that’s truly authentic for those who value wood’s natural beauty.
Faux wood garage doors come remarkably close in mimicking wood grain patterns and colors, though individuals with a keen eye may still notice subtle differences in authenticity.
Durability and Maintenance
Real wood garage doors, while capable of being durable, demand a high level of maintenance to maintain their appearance and longevity. Regular staining or sealing is essential to safeguard against moisture, rot and insect damage, preventing potential issues such as weathering and warping if maintenance is neglected.
In contrast, faux wood garage doors are engineered with durability in mind. Their composite construction renders them highly resistant to moisture, rot and insect damage. They are significantly more low-maintenance, typically requiring occasional cleaning with mild soap and water to keep them looking their best.
Regarding cost, there’s a notable distinction between the two options. Real wood tends to have a higher upfront cost due to the expense of materials and craftsmanship. Faux wood garage doors provide an attractive and cost-effective alternative to real wood.
How to Choose the Best Material for Your Home
To ensure you make the best choice, consider the following factors:
Begin by assessing your home’s architectural style. A harmonious garage door should complement the overall design. Here’s how architectural style can influence your choice:
Traditional or classic homes: If your home has a traditional or classic architectural style, such as Colonial, Victorian or Craftsman, real wood garage doors may be a perfect match. Their genuine wood grain patterns and rich colors complement the timeless elegance of these architectural designs.
Modern and contemporary homes: For modern or contemporary homes characterized by clean lines, minimalism and sleek designs, faux wood garage doors can be an excellent choice. They offer the aesthetics of wood while maintaining a more streamlined and contemporary appearance.
Cottage or rustic homes: Wood’s natural warmth and charm can beautifully complement these architectural styles.
Mediterranean or Spanish-style gomes: Homes with Mediterranean or Spanish architectural influences often feature ornate details and earthy color palettes. Real wood garage doors, especially those made from rustic wood species, can align well with these designs.
Mid-century modern homes: For midcentury modern homes, which emphasize simplicity and integration with nature, faux wood garage doors can balance the clean lines of modernism and the natural look of wood.
Suburban or Colonial Revival homes: Suburban homes and Colonial Revival designs often feature classic and symmetrical facades. Depending on your personal taste, wood and faux wood garage doors can complement these architectural styles, with real wood adding an authentic touch and faux wood providing practicality.
Budget of Materials
Set a budget and explore options within that range, keeping in mind long-term maintenance costs. Here’s a more detailed look at how budget considerations can influence your decision by starting with real wood garage doors:
Higher upfront cost: The cost of the materials themselves, including the specific wood species used, contributes to the higher upfront cost.
Craftsmanship: The craftsmanship required to create real wood garage doors is another factor that adds to their cost. Skilled artisans meticulously shape and finish the wood to achieve the desired aesthetic.
Long-term costs: Factor materials and labor costs over time into your budget.
Here are the budget considerations for faux wood garage doors:
Budget-friendly option: Faux wood garage doors provide an attractive alternative for homeowners on a budget. They offer a remarkably similar appearance to real wood at a more affordable price.
Cost savings on maintenance: They typically require minimal upkeep, reducing long-term maintenance costs compared to real wood.
Installation costs: Faux wood doors are often lighter than real wood doors, simplifying the installation process. This can result in potential cost savings on installation labor and structural reinforcement.
Carefully assess your budget constraints and long-term financial considerations to make a choice that aligns with your financial goals and priorities.
Durability and Climate
Evaluate your local climate. Durability becomes an issue in an area with extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall or intense sunlight. Faux wood doors are highly resistant to moisture, making them suitable for humid regions. Real wood doors may require more protection in such environments.
Insulated doors, whether wood or faux wood, can help regulate temperatures inside the garage, which can influence your home’s overall energy efficiency. Insulation is a factor, especially if your garage is attached to your living space. Here’s an exploration of how energy efficiency factors into your decision, starting with real wood:
Insulation variability: The energy efficiency of real wood garage doors can vary depending on the specific wood type, thickness and the presence of insulation. While some wood doors may come with insulation options, others may not provide the same level of thermal protection.
Potential energy loss: If your real wood garage door lacks sufficient insulation, it can contribute to energy loss, particularly if your garage is attached to your living space.
Weather sealing: Proper weather sealing is needed for real wood doors to minimize drafts and energy loss. Periodic checks, seal maintenance and weather stripping are necessary to maintain energy efficiency.
Let’s look at faux wood garage doors and their energy efficiency:
Built-in insulation: Many faux wood garage doors have built-in insulation as a standard feature. This insulation helps regulate temperatures inside the garage and can contribute to better energy efficiency.
Energy savings: Insulated faux wood doors can reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, creating a more comfortable environment within your garage. This can impact your home’s energy efficiency.
If you’re environmentally conscious, investigate eco-friendly options. Some wood garage doors are crafted from sustainably sourced wood. Faux wood doors are often constructed using recycled materials and have a smaller carbon footprint.
By assessing these factors, you can make an informed decision that enhances your home’s visual appeal and provides a functional and durable solution tailored to your unique requirements.
Here are a few other considerations to take into account that are often not thought about:
Security and safety: Consider the security features and safety aspects of your garage door material. You can equip both wood and faux garage doors with various security measures, such as robust locking systems and smart technology for remote monitoring. Additionally, consider the door’s impact resistance— some materials may offer better protection against potential break-ins.
Noise considerations: The noise generated by opening and closing a garage door can be a factor to consider, especially if you have bedrooms or living spaces adjacent to or above the garage. Insulated garage doors, whether wood or faux, can help reduce noise levels, providing a quieter and more comfortable living environment.
Local expertise and availability: Check the availability of materials and expertise in your local area. Availability can affect pricing, installation and maintenance services. Choosing a readily available material supported by local professionals can make your garage door project more convenient.
Warranty and longevity: Examine the warranty manufacturers offer for the garage door material you choose. A strong warranty can provide peace of mind regarding the product’s longevity and performance. Additionally, research the expected life span of the material to ensure it aligns with your long-term plans for your home.
Compatibility with garage door opener: Some materials, especially heavier ones like solid wood, may require a more robust opener to operate effectively.
Invest in Your Home With Viking Overhead
At Viking Overhead, we understand the importance of making the right choice for your garage door needs. Our team is passionate about garage doors, as we’re dedicated to serving our local community and ensuring your satisfaction. As a veteran-owned and operated garage door repair company, we share your commitment to protecting and serving our community.
We provide 24/7 professional service, fair pricing and courteous attention in every interaction. Your satisfaction is our priority, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to be part of your home improvement project.