Steel Exterior Doors - The Empty Truth

January 01, 2010

Are you surprised that steel exterior doors make up more than one half of the residential doors sold on today's market? Maybe it's so surprising because steel exterior doors don't look or feel like steel. They look like wood, feel like wood and certainly don't weigh as much as steel. That's because many steel exterior doors are what's known as hollow core. This not only makes steel doors more manageable to handle, but it also makes them easier to add design elements to - such as raised panel effects and special edging techniques. But there's more to the story than just looks and weight.

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Steel exterior doors have a hollow core to help with energy efficiency. That 'hollow' core, sometimes called dead space, actually contains insulating properties that help keep the elements out and the heating and air conditioning in. The five most common cores include:

  • Kraft honeycomb cores for interior use with medium traffic;
  • Styrene cores popular for exterior use where a strong insulating performance is needed;
  • Urethane core steel doors where superior insulating performance is required in harsh climates;
  • Steel stiffened core doors which have steel ribs in the interior for high traffic locations where security is an issue; and
  • Specialty core doors which are used primarily in commercial settings such as stairwells.

When you're considering steel exterior doors for your home or business, know what the interior core consists of. Ask questions, gather information and comparison shop. While steel exterior doors are known for their durability and energy efficiency - not to mention their affordability - not all steel doors are built alike. Choose the right steel exterior door for your use and location.


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