Garage Door Types & Materials

Garage Doors Types

A wide variety of residential and commercial garage door types are on the market—sliding, folding, up-and-over, and roll-up, to name just a few. In the US, the most common is a sectional door, which has several horizontal panels hinged together and fitted with rollers. The entire assembly rides in two parallel tracks. A heavy-duty torsion spring, which is in turn wrapped around a torsion bar, serves to counter balance the weight of the door. Homeowners are able to lift the door either manually or by switching on a motorized garage door opener. The actual lifting may be chain, belt, screw, or direct driven.



Aluminum Frame/Steel Garage Doors

Garage doors fitted with aluminum panels eliminate the problem of rust but are easier to dent. They are available in contemporary brushed finishes, as well as in many colors. (Translucent glass panels may be used in place of aluminum panels; these admit daylight without compromising privacy or security.)

Aluminum Frame/Steel garage doors are durable, maintenance-free, and can be painted virtually any color. Steel doors also have a light-weight carriage that can be well insulated for temperature control. These doors are the least expensive but can succumb to dents and scratches that are a hassle to repair.


Vinyl Garage Doors

If you live in a coastal area, vinyl is a good choice – it will not rust, fade, dent, or crack. Vinyl garage doors are promoted as being “kid-proof” because they are difficult to break. Typically built upon steel frames, these too are filled with polyurethane insulation.  Vinyl garage doors appear similar to fiberglass garage doors but are available in fewer colors. They are very durable and require little maintenance aside from an occasional hosing.

Vinyl doors are the highest quality doors available and easiest to maintain. These doors are scratch and dent resistant and will not rust or crack. They are also insulated, making them excellent energy savers.


Wood Garage Doors

Wood garage doors are built with layers, or plies, to prevent warping.  Woods include cedar, redwood, fir, and meranti (luan). Wood garage doors may be factory-stained or painted, or finished on-site.
Wood garage doors add an element of beauty to a home and can be painted or stained to match a home’s décor. Garage doors have a wide price range depending on the type of wood and style and they also require some maintenance such as cleaning and staining to prevent rotting and extend the life of the wood. Wood doors are customizable and operate quieter than steel doors. Customized wood doors can be made any size out of any type of wood such as cedar, hemlock, and mahogany


Wood Composite Garage Doors

Composite garage doors typically have a wood frame covered with sheets of fiberboard.  Better models offer higher-density fiberboard skins and include realistic details, such as overlays and grooves to simulate real wood door.  Cores are filled with polystyrene insulation.

Wood composite doors are in between the price range of steel and vinyl doors and have some advantages over wood garage doors. These doors can be painted any color, require little to no maintenance, and can give the appearance of wood without the risks of splitting, warping, or rotting that comes with wood doors.


Fiberglass Garage Doors

Garage doors made from fiberglass are less subject to denting or cracking.  They do not rust but can break upon impact.  Two layers of fiberglass are typically bonded to a steel frame and filled with polyurethane insulation.  Steel end caps help improve rigidity.


Glass-Paneled Garage Doors

For a contemporary look, consider a garage door that features clean lines and translucent glass panels. Without sacrificing security, a glass-paneled door admits light during the day and when backlit at night, radiates like a jewel.