Looking Inside A Fiberglass Entry Door

MAUMEE, OHIO – You open and close it thousands of times each year, but do you really know what’s inside the front door?

A fiberglass entry door is more than just a beautiful decorative accent; it’s a hard-working part of a home’s structure. Constructed to meet durability guidelines and standards set by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) for resistance to air leakage, water penetration and wind pressure, a residential fiberglass entry door must also pass a testing standard of 25,000 door slams before it can be certified.

Mentally peel back the layers of an energy-efficient Therma-Tru® Classic-Craft® fiberglass door and you’ll find components that combine to provide the home with protection from air and water infiltration.


Tour de Door

Start with the core of the door. The polyurethane foam core offers up to four times the energy efficiency of a wood door and contains no CFCs. A solid hardwood square edge for strong performance that reproduces the look of a real wood door surrounds the foam core and a wood lock stile runs the entire length of the door to add structural integrity and heft.

Covering the insulation materials is a door skin. Fiberglass door skins can be made to replicate real wood (which can be stained and finished easily) or come in smooth, paintable surfaces. The fiberglass door skin resists denting, cracking, splitting and splintering. It also resists rust, shrinking or swelling with temperature changes, or warping.

To gain a tight fit with the door, a composite adjustable sill (a component of the Therma-Tru Tru-Defense® system) reduces the destructive effects of water. Adjustability allows for an air-tight seal with the door bottom to prevent moisture damage. The composite materials resist rotting, warpage or splitting to provide long-term durability.

Next on the “tour de’ door” is the kerf-applied dual bulb door bottom on a Therma-Tru fiberglass door. This provides a tight seal by mating with the door’s composite bottom end rails. Another feature of the Tru-Defense system, this component features dual bulbs and dual fins that sit tightly on the sill for improved resistance to air and water infiltration.


Adjustable Hinges

When it comes time to hanging the door, adjustable hinges on the door frame provide horizontal and vertical adjustment allowing for a perfect fit. Foam-filled compression weather stripping surrounds the door frame to form a solid seal against moisture and air infiltration.

Every homeowner wants a door that opens and closes easily, so Therma-Tru uses heavy-duty ball bearing hinges to provide support and smooth performance in its Classic-Craft door. The hinges are self-aligning for added stability.


Multi-Point Locking System

Two major components of an entry door are extremely visible at all times --- the locking system and the decorative glass.

The multi-point stainless steel locking system offered by Therma-Tru adds security to the door while resisting rust and corrosion. On a shootbolt locking system, three points of locking features with bolts shoot out from the top, bottom and center of the door. A tongue locking system is also available that has a three-point locking features with tongues that come out from the side of the door for a secure fit. Multi-point locking system strike plate packages are available for both versions to add additional stability to the door unit.


Decorative Doorlites

Finally, homeowners have the option of adding decorative, clear or privacy doorlites to their exterior doors in a wide variety of styles, colors and designs. Created to reflect the personality of a home, decorative glass packages -- available in a variety of sizes and shapes  -- are encased between two panes of tempered glass for energy efficiency and easy cleaning.

Unique to Therma-Tru, each privacy glass panel (available in Chord, Chinchilla, Rainglass and Granite designs) is triple-paned and ENERGY STAR® qualified for energy efficiency and security. The textured glass is sealed between tempered, clear glass sheets to provide reduced heat transfer, increased thermal performance and improved sound-dampening features within a reliably-constructed frame.

For a complete diagram and more information of the components of a fiberglass door, visit http://www.thermatru.com/products/entry/components/index.aspx.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, Therma-Tru engineers its products for high performance as an entire entryway system. Therma-Tru pioneered the fiberglass entryway system in 1983 with key features such as increased energy efficiency and eye-catching curb appeal elements. In 2007, Therma-Tru launched the Tru-Defense Door System for entry and patio doors, providing builders and remodelers with advanced engineering to help withstand damaging weather and harsh conditions. For more information, visit www.thermatru.com, www.fypon.com or call (800) 537-8827.