Are you preparing to open a business or upgrade your existing storefront? There are numerous door design options to choose from, including residential-style doors. However, residential doors differ from commercial doors, making them a less-than-ideal solution for your property.
There are numerous differences between these two doors, but it mostly comes down to material, security, appearance, durability, and cost. Here’s why you should choose a commercial door over a residential door for your business.
Commercial doors typically offer better security than residential doors.
For one thing, they’re larger, allowing them to withstand heavy, long-term use better. Although commercial wooden doors are available, many businesses choose doors made from durable materials, like steel or fiberglass. These materials are more resilient than the ones used in residential door fabrication.
A commercial exterior door must also follow specific codes, including local building codes, fire codes, and ADA regulations.
The door to your business protects it from many external threats, meaning the safety of your employees and patrons may be at stake if you don’t select the correct entry. There are several reasons why a residential door probably won’t satisfy the needs of your commercial property.
Some businesses receive hundreds or even thousands of guests every day. That’s a lot of hands twisting the doorknob and pulling your door open and closed. A residential door likely won't hold up to that kind of use for long, requiring you to replace your door after a short time.
By contrast, commercial door handles and knobs are heavy-duty, capable of withstanding the constant traffic your business may receive.
Residential doors are often made from wood or fiberglass. Exterior doors have many options, like steel, aluminum, glass, vinyl, and rubber. Wooden doors may be more attractive than doors made from other materials, but they’re also more susceptible to warping, rotting, and general wear and tear.
Steel is a common material for commercial doors because it makes them far more secure. Although steel can dent, it takes a lot of effort to damage a steel door, making it one of the most effective materials for commercial doors.
Commercial doors must meet specific fire-safety requirements before they can be sold. They undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they’ll provide adequate protection in the event of a fire.
Many commercial doors also follow the standards set down by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), an organization responsible for quality control regarding door hardware fabricated for commercial buildings.
ANSI tests hardware to ensure that it’s sufficiently strong and long-lasting. It then issues grades, with the most heavy-duty doors receiving a Grade 1 rating.
Grade 1 doors are ideal for buildings like schools or hospitals, while Grade 2 doors are better suited for commercial buildings with a lower traffic volume, as well as residential buildings like apartments. Grade 3 doors work well in low-traffic buildings but aren't typically used on commercial properties.
While having a door with an ANSI rating is crucial, it's not the only requirement. The doors to your home aren't required to comply with the same codes and regulations as those providing entry into a business, such as compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
Commercial doors must be secure and easily accessible for those with disabilities. For example, they must be lightweight and open with five pounds of force or less. Door handles and latches must also be easy to maneuver and not place strain on the wrist when in use.
There are other ADA guidelines your business entryway must also comply with. As such, residential doors aren’t a viable option for your commercial property.
Another key difference between commercial and residential doors is how they’re secured. Unlike homes, businesses often have doors with digital access mechanisms like keyless entry or electric locks. For this reason, they may require high-security or restricted keys that aren't available with residential doors.
It may seem counterintuitive, but high-security commercial doors can actually save you money.
When equipped with the proper locks and seals, a commercial door will prevent drafts, moisture, and insects from entering your business, effectively limiting the amount of money you spend on HVAC and pest control services. Cutting costs, in turn, allows you to focus on growing and maintaining your business.
Contact CDF Distributors to browse our inventory and learn more about our commercial door products.