You won't see fiberglass doors on a run-way in Milan, but door manufacturers do take style seriously. Many homeowners are upgrading their entry systems with custom art-glass inserts, wood finishes, and other options. Fiberglass door manufacturers are capitalizing on that fact with choices galore.
“We're in the fashion business,” says Marcel Chehade, national sales manager for Plastpro. “[We make] sure we have products that fit all styles of decor.” Plastpro's newest door line includes built-in miniblinds that are sealed between tempered glass and can be tilted as well as adjusted completely up or down.
Many homeowners will pay more for premium designs if given the choice, pros say, especially if they can select a door that matches the style of their home. “We're seeing increased demand for ‘other' designs,” beyond the traditional six-panel, four-panel, and flush doors, says Dale Mayfield, vice president of marketing at Masonite. Fiberglass doors now offer many more panel configurations, so homeowners are going with choices such as two-panel square or eight-panel parliament styles, he adds.
“Having door products that can sync up with the architectural look of the home is much more important today,” Mayfield says. The company's Barrington Craftsman fiberglass entry door series complements Mission- or Craftsman-style architecture. The door features three recessed panels, and the glass is integrated into the door's design, maintaining the simple, clean look of the panel sticking.
Manufacturers continue to roll out new standard glass patterns, with decorative caming offered in trendy finishes such as brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze. Customers even can add details such as dentil shelves, popular on Craftsman-style doors (shown), or clavos and straps for an Old-World feel. Manufacturers say they expect more performance and more glass in fiber-glass doors as they look to surpass steel on the entryway.
—Jeffrey Lee. This story originally appeared in BUILDING PRODUCTS.