Once upon a time, wooden garage doors were in vogue, but with the advent of time, they are slowly being phased out.

As the demand for wooden garage doors is decreasing, the demand for other alternative materials for garage doors is even increasing. 

Two such materials are vinyl and steel. But since these two materials have a lot going for them, there is an ongoing debate of vinyl vs steel garage doors raging on the online forums. 

Vinyl garage doors are made of vinyl, a synthetic material made of plastic among other things. On the other hand, steel garage doors are made of, well, steel. Vinyl garage doors are durable, waterproof, and last a long time.

Steel garage doors are more sleek looking, can be painted again and again, and cost a lot less than vinyl doors up front. 

Let’s take a deeper look at the differences between vinyl and steel garage doors.

Steel vs vinyl garage doors 

It is no secret that wooden garage doors are classy, elegant, and aesthetic and stand the test of time in terms of design.

But when it comes to functionality, wooden garage doors wear down fast, and repairing garage doors can be quite a hassle. Also, as more and more garage doors are being automated, the demand for wooden garage doors has been gradually falling. 

With the decline in the number of wooden garage doors, the number of other substitute garage doors has been on the rise. Two materials that have taken the garage door industry by storm are vinyl and steel.

These are two of the most popular materials for garage doors among homeowners, and for good reason. 

Both vinyl and steel garage doors have a lot of unique traits that make them desirable to garage owners.

Here is a comparative analysis of vinyl back vs steel back garage doors for understanding which one suits the consumers best. 

Vinyl garage doors pros and cons

Pros & Cons of vinyl Garage Doors

Vinyl garage doors are made of multiple layers of synthetic materials. These layers contain no natural material and hence are excellent against rotting and decay.

Here are a few advantages of using vinyl garage doors in your home.

Pros of vinyl garage doors: 

  • Durability:

The biggest selling point of vinyl back garage doors is their durability. These doors are surprisingly sturdy and can withstand a lot of punishment and stress without even showing the slightest sign of damage.

If you have kids in your house who love to play in the garage, these doors are the perfect fit for you. 

These doors can handle anything that is thrown on them and doesn’t dent or bend. This aspect of the vinyl garage doors makes them more desirable than their contemporaries. 

  • Weather protection:

Vinyl garage doors are excellent even in the most horrible of weather. No matter how stormy or warm the weather is, these doors will not be damaged. This can be attributed to these doors not being made of natural materials.

As a result, while other doors might suffer from rust or rot, vinyl garage doors work just fine. 

  • Easy to maintain:

Another big upside of having vinyl garage doors is they are very easy and cheap to maintain. Because these doors have a single finished layer, if they are scratched or strained, they are not very noticeable.

So, you don’t have to paint them every time the paint is damaged. Also, since they are very durable, they don’t require much maintenance. 

  • Saves a lot of money in the long run:

Due to their long life, durability, and low maintenance, vinyl garage doors tend to save a lot of money for the owners in the long run. 

Although the upsides of the vinyl garage are pretty alluring, there are some downsides to this material as well. You must know these disadvantages before deciding to buy one for your garage. 

Cons of Vinyl Garage Doors:

  • Cost up front:

Despite they save a lot of money down the line, the cost of vinyl garage doors is a lot more than most of its contemporaries.

So, you have to pay a lot more to install these garage doors upfront than most other materials. 

  • Poor insulation:

Vinyl garage doors are not very well insulated themselves, which causes a lot of problems when you stay in your garage for a long time.

But you can add insulating layers to your doors to make them as good as an insulator as wooden garage doors. 

  • Can’t be repainted:

Unlike wooden and steel garage doors, once the paint of the vinyl garage doors is chipped or fades, you have no way to repaint them. This is because the entire layer of the vinyl doors has a single color.

If you do paint the door, the paint job will never be as good as the first one and it will drastically reduce the door’s quality. 

  • Cracking in colder weather:

In extremely cold conditions, the vinyl garage doors are very prone to cracking and shattering. This is why they are more suitable for tropical and coastal regions than cooler ones. 

Steel garage doors pros and cons 

Pros & Cons of steel Garage Doors

Steel garage doors are one of the most popular garage doors in the world, due to their availability as well as their price.

Here are a few advantages of having steel garage doors in your home. 

  • Affordability:

One of the biggest advantages of steel garage doors is their low price. Among all the popular garage door materials, steel is one of the cheapest.

This makes them readily available and affordable to most homeowners around the world. 

  • Sleek look:

Another advantage of steel garage doors is how they look. These doors have a sleek look and can be repainted to make them look like wooden doors if anyone wants to.

These doors add a lot to the aesthetics of the home as well as the garage. 

  • They can be repainted:

When the paint of the steel garage doors is either damaged or faded, you can repaint it as many times as you want.

You can also pick and choose the color, shade, and pattern of the paint without any problems. 

But all is not good with steel garage doors, as these doors have some distinct disadvantages. They are

Disadvantages of Steel Garage doors:

  • They are prone to damage:

Unlike vinyl garage doors, steel garage doors are not as durable. They can bend and dent under stress and also are prone to rusting.

Rust and corrosion reduce the life of the steel garage doors by a lot, so they don’t last very long either. For a better understanding of damage read out the article garage door damage.

  • Poorly insulated:

Steel garage doors are very poor insulators due to them being excellent conductors of heat. But like vinyl doors, you can install insulating layers on them. 

  • They cost a lot in the long run:

Although steel garage doors can cost less than vinyl doors at first, due to them requiring frequent repair and maintenance, they end up costing a lot more in the long run. 

Key Differences Between Vinyl and Steel Garage doors at a glance:

Vinyl garage doors Steel garage doors
Are cost-effective in the long run Costly in the long run
Don’t dent or bend Prone to dents and bending
Doesn’t rust or corrode Prone to rust and corrosion
Can’t be repainted Can be painted as many times as the owner wants
Maintenance is very easy Tough to maintain

Author’s opinion

Although it is easy to become embroiled in the vinyl vs steel garage doors and become confused, to find out which one fits your bill the most, you have to look at what you need.

If you want a low-maintenance, cost-saving garage door, you can go for vinyl garage doors. But if you want a more traditional garage door that you can paint as many times as you want, steel garage doors are the best option for you. 


How long do vinyl garage doors last?

The average age of a vinyl garage door is between 15 to 30 years. But if you maintain the door regularly, these doors can last a lot more time than 30 years. 

Which garage door type is best?

There are a whole host of garage doors in the market nowadays. Among them, roller garage doors, or roll-up garage doors are the best in terms of functionality and ease of operation. 

Is vinyl door better than aluminum?

Apart from vinyl and steel, aluminum is another very popular material for garage doors. But vinyl doors tend to be better than aluminum ones as they are better insulated and more energy efficient.