Composite garage doors can provide the warmth, character and curb appeal of a real wood garage door but without the maintenance. For this reason, composite garage doors are referred to as faux wood garage doors.
Unlike real wood, composite is weatherproof and resistant to insects and rot. Plus, they don’t need to be painted or stained.
What is a Composite Garage Door?
Faux wood garage doors are usually constructed starting with a sectional, steel door that has a layer of composite material applied to the exterior of the door. The composite material is molded into panels, boards, and trim pieces, and embossed with a wood-grain texture. It is resistant to scratches, and thick enough to ensure that moisture doesn’t penetrate through to the steel and cause rust.
While they don’t “last forever,” a garage door with a composite exterior will look good significantly longer than a plain steel door.
Stylistically, composite garage doors are generally made to replicate the look of a traditional carriage house style door. The composite is adhered to the exterior of the steel door to create the appearance of real wood cladding with an overlay of rails, stiles, and additional trim pieces.
Although the carriage house look is the most common faux wood style, you can also find composite doors in other architectural styles including traditional and contemporary looks.
To further enhance the appearance of real wood, the composite is finished with a wood-tone stain. The look is complete once traditional decorative hardware, like hinges and handles are installed.
What is Composite?
The term “composite” is something of a catch-all for various material blends.
The composite material used to make faux wood garage doors most often consists of wood fibers encased in plastic. A binding agent holds the materials together, so that they can be formed into garage door panels. Wood composite is also known as wood-plastic composite or WPC.
But again, not all composite doors feature the same materials. Some manufacturers use composite that is made from fiberglass, PVC, polyurethane, recycled wood and paper, fiberboard, and low-density or high-density foam.
What about durability? Composites that are made with plastic, polyurethane, or fiberglass are stronger, and longer lasting than composites made with paper, fiberboard, or foams.
What Makes a Composite Door Look Like Real Wood?
The composite material used for these doors is formed and molded with a wood grain texture. Often, the molds are created from actual wood pieces of various species, so the texture is authentic. In some cases, the composite is then finished with a staining process that replicates the colors and graining of that wood species. In other cases, the wood textured composite is painted to create the look of a painted wood garage door.
Composite Garage Door Construction
Composite garage doors are most often built onto a steel door because the composite material needs an underlying base for strength and support.
Some manufacturers use a layer of wood, like fir, with the wood frame on the interior, so it is protected from the weather, and the composite material on the exterior.
Premium Faux Wood Doors
Premium or high-quality faux wood garage doors are generally made with 4 to 5 layers. Doors with 4 layers include an interior layer of steel, a layer of insulation, a second layer of steel, and a layer of composite cladding. You can find four-layer faux wood doors in contemporary styles like this modern garage door by Clopay.
Five-layer faux wood garage doors are most often made in the Carriage House style. These doors include 2 layers of composite, one layer making up the cladding and a second layer making up the composite rails, stiles, and trim pieces.
Composite Garage Door Prices
Composite garage doors can range from $750 to $10,000. There is a wide price range due to all of the features, sizes, and options available on garage doors. But here is some idea of what you can get for the money.
Low Price Range: At $750 to $1,500 you will get a lower quality, basic, one-c ar garage door without windows or insulation.
Mid-Price Range: At the middle of the price range, or from about $2,000 and up to $4,500, you can expect a good quality faux wood garage door with a combination of features including insulation and windows.
High Price Range: At the top of the price range, or about $4,500 plus, you can expect a premium, 5-layer door with both composite cladding and overlay, polyurethane insulation, designer windows with specialty glass, and decorative hardware.
Who Makes Composite of Faux Wood Garage Doors
There are quite a few manufacturers that produce faux wood garage doors. We give you details below on some of the most well-known brands, their faux wood collection.
You can find the price ranges for the doors in the following chart.
Amarr – Carriage Court
Amarr makes a carriage house style, 4-layer, insulated, steel door, with a 5/8” layer of composite on the exterior to create the rails and stiles.
C.H.I. – Shoreline and Overlay Carriage House
The Shoreline collection from C.H.I. features molded polyurethane face boards over an insulated steel garage door on their carriage house style door. The face boards are deeply embossed with a wood-grain texture and colored in wood-tone finishes.
The Steel Overlay Carriage House profile uses extruded polystyrene face boards to create the carriage house look and is available with a painted wood-look finish.
C.H.I. also makes a carriage house garage door with fiberglass bead board cladding and extruded polystyrene overlay boards in their Fiberglass Overlay Carriage House profile.
Clopay – Canyon Ridge, Coachman, and Grand Harbor
Clopay offers a variety of faux wood composite garage doors in various styles. They include carriage house, louver, and modern within their Canyon Ridge, Coachman, and Grand Harbor collections. These are all insulated steel doors with composite overlay available at a range of prices.
Haas Door – American Tradition Series
These are 4-layer, insulated, steel carriage house style doors with a 5/8” layer of polyurethane overlay creating the look of real wood cladding, rails, and stiles. The American Tradition Series are available in a wide selection of colors and design choices.
The Overhead Door – Courtyard
Courtyard is a 4-layer, steel, garage door with woodgrain textured composite overlay boards creating the appearance of a carriage house door.
Raynor – RockCreek and Eden Coast
The RockCreek profile starts with an insulated steel door and uses a vinyl coated cap stock or composite material to create the rails and stiles on the exterior of their carriage house style door.
Eden Coast features 5-layer construction with a steel interior, a layer of insulation, a second layer of steel, a layer of composite cladding, and a layer of composite overlay boards. This door is available in a wide variety of realistic looking wood stain colors.
Wayne Dalton – Carriage House 6600
Wayne Dalton’s 6600 collection uses an exterior layer of composite, which they call DecaTrim to create the look of a rail and stile carriage house garage door.
|Manufacturer||Profile||Composite Material||Price Range|
|Amarr||Carriage Court CC4000||Wood fiber/polymer||$3,500 – $5,000|
|C.H.I.||Overlay Carriage House||Poly or Fiberglass||$2,800 – $5,000|
|C.H.I.||Shoreline Accents Overlay||XPS||$2,000 – $3,500|
|Clopay||Canyon Ridge 4 or 5-Layer||Composite polymer||$3,500 – $6,500|
|Clopay||Coachman||Composite polymer||$3,000 – $4,500|
|Clopay||Grand Harbor||Composite polymer||$2,500 – $4,000|
|Haas||American Tradition Series||Polyurethane||$3,000 – $5,000|
|Overhead Door||Courtyard||Composite polymer||$2,300 – $3,500|
|Raynor||RockCreek||Vinyl||$3,000 – $4,000|
|Raynor||Eden Coast||Composite||$3,500 – $5,000|
|Wayne Dalton||Carriage House 6600||DecaTrim||$2,500 – $4,000|
|Raynor||Designer Fiberglass 9800||Fiberglass||$1,800 – $3,500|
There are also smaller manufacturers of composite garage doors, and they often have the ability to create custom composite and faux wood garage doors. If you want a completely custom composite garage door, look online for one of these smaller companies like Artisan Custom Doorworks.
Composite Garage Door Pros and Cons
Pros of Composite Garage Doors
Durable – Good-quality composite doors are weatherproof, which makes them resistant to moisture, staining, insects, rot, and rust. Unlike real wood, they won’t expand and contract with temperature changes, so they won’t warp or split.
Easy to Maintain – Composite garage doors do not need to be stained or painted.
Lightweight – Faux wood doors weigh less than real wood so create less wear on a garage door opener.
Can be Customized – Manufacturers of composite garage doors offer many options such as door panel designs, window styles, colors, and wood-tone finishes that a buyer can choose from to create a unique door with a custom look.
Cost – High quality faux wood and composite garage doors are not cheap, but they are typically less than real wood doors.
Cons of Composite Garage Doors
Fake Appearance – Inexpensive or cheap composite garage doors may have a “fake,” plasticky appearance and lack the warmth and color of real wood.
Chipping – The finish on composite garage doors can be prone to chips and cracks and may need occasional touch-ups. Most manufacturers include a touch-up kit with the garage door that includes a bottle of finish and an applicator.
Cost – While faux wood garage doors are generally less expensive than real wood, they tend to be more expensive than steel doors.
|Composite on Steel||Faux Wood look||Composite can chip|
|Wood||Warm, attractive||Damaged by moisture|
|Vinyl||Won’t dent||Can become brittle in cold climates|
|Fiberglass||Authentic appearance||Can become brittle in cold climates|
|Aluminum||Rust Resistant||Dents easily|
|Aluminum & Glass||Clean, contemporary||Glass can break|
Do Faux Wood Garage Doors Look Realistic?
Yes, but it always makes sense to see a garage door before you buy it. What matters is how it looks to you. Keep in mind that most people will see your garage door from the sidewalk or street.
To get the most realistically designed composite door, purchase a high-quality door from a well-known manufacturer like those listed earlier in this post. Technology today allows manufacturers to create cladding and overlays molded from real wood therefore replicating the grain patterns and surface textures.
Finishing techniques can duplicate the look of wood stain and further enhance the authentic look of real wood.
How Does Faux Wood Compare to Other Garage Door Materials?
Excellently. Faux wood garage doors have just as long a lifespan as other materials – and often longer. They are extremely durable, are very easy to maintain, and, with insulation, can provide some of the highest R-Values available for garage doors.
The charts below compare faux wood to garage doors made from various other materials:
|Material Options||Cost Range||Average Cost|
|Composite on Steel||$750 – $6,000||$2,500 – $3,200|
|Wood||$1,000 – $6,500||$3,000 – $4,000|
|Steel||$500 – $4,000||$1,800 – $2,500|
|Vinyl||$900 – $5,000||$1,800 – $2,800|
|Fiberglass||$1,200 – $4,000||$1,800 – $2,200|
|Aluminum||$1,200 – $5,000||$2,500 – $3,000|
|Aluminum & Glass||$3,500 – $7,000||$4,500 – $5,500|
Comparison of Composite Garage Door Options
|Material Options||Durability||Lifespan *||Maintenance|
|Composite on Steel||Excellent||12-40 years||Low|
|Aluminum & Glass||Average||12-20||Average|
*Depends on initial door quality and how well it is maintained.