Are You Using the Right Door for Your Commercial Building?

right door

Joan Smigel
Business Manager for PDL Building Products

We use the doors of buildings every day, multiple times a day. They create that first impression of quality and security since they are the first thing the owner touches. What do they say about the building?

When selecting door systems for a project, there are several items to consider, such as the building application, type of opening, frequency of use, the allotted budget, and, not to be overlooked, the door itself. What is best for commercial use? Here are two important points to consider:

Hollow Metal

The most widely used for commercial buildings, hollow metal doors are affordable and can perform well over a long period of time when used and maintained properly.

Galvanized Steel

Exterior doors should always be made of galvanized steel in order to prevent rusting. The rusted door frames so often seen on not-so-old, commercial buildings are the result of using cold-rolled steel, which is meant for use in interior applications. Even a good coat of paint will not prevent the eventual rusting at the bottom of the door frame, which comes into contact with all the moisture on the ground.

Note: galvanized doors and frames are not always readily available at the local door and hardware supplier. Typically, interior door openings far outnumber exterior openings so the demand for cold-rolled steel is much higher. It is best to plan ahead and discuss your galvanized steel needs with your supplier early in the development phase to ensure the product is available when you need it.

Do you have questions concerning what type of door is best or other factors that should be considered in choosing the right door? Comment below! We want to help you find the right fit.

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Joan Smigel

Joan Smigel is part owner and Business Manager of PDL Building Products. Prior to her 16 year tenure at PDL, Joan spent 14 years in the commercial real estate industry working in development, management and leasing.


  • Avatar
    Reply October 19, 2016

    Jasper Whiteside

    I would imagine that if you are using doors a lot, it would get tiring to move a heavy door often. I think that is a big appeal of the hollow metal door in a commercial building. Automatic sliding doors can be a good option as well, however, a builder might want to be careful in planning where to put them.

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    Reply November 18, 2016

    Cindy Tesler

    Thanks for pointing out that the type of door that you have will determine what type of hardware you’re going to use. You also mention that hollow metal doors are affordable and are widely used. I think it’s important to choose a door hardware that is rust resistant.

  • Avatar
    Reply November 28, 2016

    Jade Brunet

    Thank you for this information concerning what door should be used for a commercial building. It is good to know that galvanized steel is a good option. I did not realize that this material prevents rusting and keep a building looking newer for longer.

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    Reply December 11, 2017


    It helped a lot when you mentioned how you should take into account the frequency your door will be used before choosing one. I understand that taking the time to do some research and compare several companies can help you find the best door for the type of building you have. We are planning on replacing the door frame of our house and want to make sure we find one that can last, so I’ll consult with a professional in order to get the services I need.

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    Reply December 15, 2017

    Vivian Black

    It’s interesting to learn that a number of exterior commercial doors are made of galvanized steel which makes it rust-free and perfect for outdoor applications. That should be very helpful for those commercial owners that are thinking of establishing their own building since having a durable door will be significantly cost-effective. Hopefully, I’ll be able to use this knowledge someday too if I ever got into the business industry myself. Thanks!

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    Reply July 26, 2018

    Yuppy Sher

    Fabulous and amazing tips and tricks thank you so much.

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    Reply September 27, 2018

    Michael Lee

    Using galvanized steel on a door is something that I have never heard of before. The logic of using it to prevent rust makes a lot of sense. At work, we have been talking about replacing the door because it is rusting so I’ll have to show this to my boss.

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