When you’re comparing your top options for commercial doors, it often comes down to a choice between hollow metal and solid core wood doors. Both have core materials surrounded by a thin veneer of either metal or wood. They differ in performance, looks, and cost, so the decision is a meaningful one. Which kind of door should you choose? Usually, we recommend hollow metal doors. Here’s why.
1. Lowest Cost: Hollow Metal Doors
Doors are important but they are probably not the biggest line item in your budget. Cost is an important factor, even for those who need the highest quality doors. When it comes to offering the best value and the lowest price, hollow metal doors win. Solid core wood doors are typically more expensive to purchase outright. They also need more costly maintenance over the long term.
2. Best for Moisture & Temperature Concerns: Hollow Metal Doors
Wood is a great material, but it doesn’t handle moisture or high temperatures very well. Wooden doors will warp during changes in humidity and temperature, which can mean they get out of line with the door frame which means they may no longer work properly. Even when they can be opened and closed, they may have gaps which makes them less secure.
In contrast, hollow metal doors stay much more stable regardless of humidity and temperature. They are made of stainless steel to resist rusting and can have additional treatments to stand up to other environmental concerns.
3. Best for Aesthetics: Mixed Opinion
Solid core wood doors remain popular because they are beautiful. The natural wood grain is hard to replicate, and you can stain the wood to get all kinds of lovely shades. On the other hand, hollow metal doors can look great too. They have a wide variety of flourishes, like paneling and windows. The metal can be finished to achieve different looks, or you can paint them. There are hollow metal doors which replicate the look of solid core wood doors, but the grain is never quite as perfect as the real thing.
So, which type of door wins? This one is up to you. Take a look at various door options and see which type looks best to you and would look best on your specific property.
4. Best Fire Ratings: Hollow Metal Doors
Naturally, you would assume that a metal door would perform better in a fire than a wood door, and you’d mostly be right. Most wood doors are not great options for fire resistance, but you can find high-end solid core wood doors with the highest fire ratings. The catch is that these are more expensive doors than the metal options that achieve the exact same rating.
You can get wooden fire doors; you’ll just spend more. For that reason, hollow metal doors win out.
Put Your Needs First
While someone may want to sell you a more expensive solid wood core door by talking up its beauty, most people end up choosing hollow metal doors for their commercial property because they simply offer better features with only a small sacrifice, if any, in looks.