FRP doors and frames are a great solution for openings that are susceptible to rust, corrosion and abuse. Since fiberglass cannot rust, corrode, split, chip or rot, these products are ideal for use in our Canadian environment as well as in locations that are heavily corrosive to steel doors and stainless steel doors.  When considering the benefits of using FRP doors and frames the question that always follows is the cost. The answer to that question means one thing to the new construction manager who is budgeting for the initial cost of the opening.  It means something else to the building owner who needs to consider the initial cost with the cost to own and maintain.  

Initial costs vs. Lifecycle costs

Entrances represent a small percentage of total construction cost, but a significant percentage of a facility’s annual operating budget. Facility managers can control their ongoing maintenance costs by specifying entrance components that reduce lifecycle costs. The total investment of an entrance extends beyond your initial cost. The life cycle cost equals the cost of the product, all the maintenance (painting, sanding, repairs), and deconstruction costs that are involved with an entrance. Some questions to consider when budgeting for an opening are:

  • What is your hourly cost of labor?
  • How much time do you spend repairing and patching door frames each year?
  • How long does it take to remove your existing hollow metal door and frame? If the frame is grouted then it could take longer.
  • How much time does it take your team to reinstall a door and frame?
  • How often do you replace a hollow metal door?

In this example of an equipment room door in a car wash, a hollow metal door and frame was not the best choice for this application. Even though the initial cost was less expensive, this opening actually cost the building owner considerably more.

Door & Frame Cost Analysis

Hollow Metal FRP
Initial Investment
purchace price $575 $1,800
installation $200 $200
painting at time of install $200 $0
door and frame $575
paint $200
removal of existing opening $300
installation $200
Total Cost after 2 years
$2,200 $2,000

If the owner of this car wash had replaced his door and frame with steel ones after 20 years, it could have cost up to $13,725. And this without taking into account the maintenance costs. This example is extreme, I agree. When using steel doors and frames, rust and deterioration are inevitable. Special-Lite fiberglass doors and frames deliver unmatched performance in the toughest interior and exterior applications and stay new for years. Even suitable for environments that would destroy stainless steel doors.

Special-Lite FRP Doors

AF-100 – Smooth Pultruded All-Fiberglass Door.

Hermetically sealed with no seams making it easy to clean and sterilize, the AF-100 is immune to moisture, corrosive gasses and liquids. Comes with a 6lb./cubic foot closed cell form core that is impact resistant.  Lifetime warranty against corrosion. For environments that need a door sealed from abuse, corrosive surroundings, moisture and harsh chemicals.  Applications include wastewater treatment plants, food processing plants, pharmaceutical labratories, locker rooms, grow houses, swimming pools, shower areas, aquatic parks, pump houses, cafeterias and kitchens.

For environments that need a door sealed from abuse, corrosive surroundings, moisture and harsh chemicals. When FRP edges are needed to enhance corrosion resistant qualities. Lifetime warranty against corrosion. With the added benefit of SpecLite 3, this door is great for environments prone to scratches, graffiti, and impact. Applications include daycare centers, veterinary offices, kennels, hospitals, zoo maintenance facilities, swimming pools, shower areas, aquatic parks, pump houses, tunnel service doors, electrical stations and rear entrances on school doors. Available in 20, 45, 60 or 90 minute fire-ratings.

AF-217 All-Fiberglass Door with SpecLite3