Architects, GCs, designers and other members of construction projects don’t have it easy.

From trying to stay current on all applicable codes, to keeping up-to-date with the latest and greatest products and trends, it can be a huge challenge to wrap your mind around it all.

One of the biggest questions we often get is, “What type of door and frame is best for my application?” A recent report entitled, “Why Steel?” delves into a variety of comparisons based on data to show why steel doors and frames should be on your list of contenders for your next project.

So… you’re looking at your next project

Alright… So your boss just came to you and said, “Our next project is going to have a sleek, modern feel – find me the right doors and frames!” If you’re like me when faced with a broad, wide-ranging ask like that, it can be a bit overwhelming.

Don’t worry – be happy!

Not to fear, my friend! We’ve got some things to consider when choosing the right door for your application, and thankfully, this report breaks things out pretty plainly when considering what qualities are important.

Why choose steel?

So, when it comes to a door or frame, what should you care about, really?

  1. Does it stand up to the surrounding environment and conditions?
  2. Does it meet safety, sound and cleanliness requirements?

As a part of the decision-making process, you want to ensure that you do your due diligence and determine the best door and frame for your application. In order to help you out, we’ve pulled a few key areas from the “Why Steel?” report.


  1. Steel or stainless steel doors earned the highest ranking of any of the four door materials for every one of the ten performance characteristics evaluated in this study.
  2. … steel doors have the lowest total cost of ownership of any of the materials in this performance comparison.


1: Swing Test. This “replicates opening and closing a door within a door, frame and hinge assembly.”

As you can see below, in a high cycle environment, steel is by far the best choice. In cases where traffic is not as high, other types of door might be suitable for your needs.


Additionally, steel – when installed and maintained properly – has a common lifecycle of 20-40 years and can be easily and inexpensively repaired in the field as required, unlike wood and aluminum.

2: Fire Rating Test. Steel is the only material that offers a three-hour fire rating (except for highly specialized/very expensive alternate materials).


3: Sanitation. While there is no standard test for sanitation properties, for applications where germs are a concern, steel – especially stainless – is a great fit.


Bonus: Door Strength. In applications that may be subjected to abuse or attack, steel stiffeners can be welded into the door to strengthen the door. Additionally, specific gauges of steel and core combinations can be used to make the door safe and secure. Examples of areas that might be subjected to additional abuse include school doors, arenas, and retail applications, to name a few.

Wait! Doesn’t steel limit my aesthetic possibilities?

Sometimes when you’re trying to achieve a certain look or feel, it would seem that steel would be a last resort, yet, at Apex, we can help you achieve a myriad of possibilities. Here are just a couple examples of the types of looks you can achieve:

  1. Beautiful designs. We can have custom etching included on projects like these stunning doors we did for the Ottawa Convention Centre (Shaw Centre) in Ottawa:
    See more details about this project here.
  2. Beautiful, textured appearance. Ever seen a door that looks like a razor blade? Neither did I, until I saw this:Check out more details here on how we prepped this awesome project to coincide with a firm’s branding.Custom stainless steel door complete with pocket glazings and brushed edge for Razor Creative
    Check out more details here on how we prepped this awesome project to coincide with a firm’s branding.
  3. Powder coated finish, including texture. We can provide a variety of powder coating options in a wide-range of colours and finish options. Below you can see a textured example that we provided to one of our customers:Just_in__why_steel_is_the_superior_choice_for_your_door_and_frame_-_Google_Docs 2

Should steel be your choice of material for your next project?

Well, we’ve presented a bit of the evidence as to why you should choose steel. Great durability, safety and customizability are just a few of the reasons to consider steel – is it right for you?

Have follow-up questions? Send me an email: [email][/email] or give me a call (506-857-1620 ext 108) and I’ll put you in touch with the right expert!

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