Commercial Door.

A Complete Guide to Commercial Door Types, Uses, Pros & Cons

Have you ever visited a store or office building with a difficult-to-open door? If so, you would know how inefficient it made your entire experience. The entrance doors to your business are the first of many impressions, and you should always aim to exceed those expectations as a business owner.

We created this guide to commercial doors to help business owners choose exterior and interior commercial doors that are not only visually appealing, but best suite their security needs as well.


Why Choosing the Best Commercial Door Is Important

Contrary to popular belief, the type of door you choose can significantly impact your business. Your commercial doors are the first impression your customers get before walking inside.

Commercial door installation in Greenville, SCDo you think they will return to your place of business if they see an unsecured, rusty door instead of a secured and unblemished one? Choosing a professionally-installed commercial door will establish your building’s appearance and security.

It doesn’t matter if you own a boutique, restaurant, or office building; there’s a commercial door out there that’s perfect for your business. However, it’s always best to choose a door that fits your business needs and style and contributes to the traffic flow coming in and out of your building.

For that reason, we’ve assembled a comprehensive guide to door types to help get your foot in the door with what options exist for your storefront and employee entrances.

An Important Note On Door Types

Although we’ve split this up into interior and exterior doors, it’s important to note that many of these doors can and are used both interior and exterior. We’ve done our best to bucket these into their general application, meaning where they’re best used inside your commercial facility.

Commercial Wooden Doors

Tried, true, and older than locksmithing itself, wooden doors are an obvious choice for interiors for office buildings and, honestly, most anywhere that isn’t a manufacturing facility. From an upkeep and upgrade perspective, wooden doors shine in that swapping hardware or repairing them is a bit of a breeze for a qualified locksmith team.

Wood door and hardware installation by TFL of Atlanta NorthwestWooden doors are your best bet if you’re looking to add a rustic aesthetic to your commercial building. These durable doors are one of the best options because they’re natural and aesthetically pleasing.

Commercial wooden doors are often thin wood veneer sheets wrapped over tougher materials, like solid timber or pressed materials. However, this may not be your choice if you’re in a rainy or wet climate.

We choose this as an interior door type, because the most common wooden doors you’ll find are built for interior conditions. There are of course exterior-style wooden doors you can use.

How much does it cost for commercial wooden door installation?

Commercial wooden door installation is actually rather inexpensive in comparison to other door types. Most Flying Locksmiths technicians for instance can install a wooden door in about an hour and a half. If door coring is required, it can take a bit longer. Typically, our manufacturers mill and prep doors for us, so that’s rolled up into the price of the door itself and saves quite a bit on installation costs and time.

Depending on the application of the door and what hardware is coming on the door (hinges, thresholds, sweeps, locking hardware) it’s actually rather inexpensive. Using the Flying Locksmiths for the installation of commercial wooden doors is plug and play, we provision and install all door types and hardware.

Wooden Doors Recap:

  • Most interior doors are wooden, so it’s a classic, low-cost pick.
  • If you’re looking for aesthetic, try reaching out to some local craftsman and have them create you a custom wooden door. Just know—custom wood doors are typically much heavier than commercial wooden doors and can require specialized hardware to mount properly. We’re mainly talking stronger hinges though, so it’s not a massive cost difference.
  • Commercial Wooden Doors are cheap to repair and affix new hardware to, including smart locks & access control readers.

Fire-Rated Doors

It’s a bit of a no-brainer why fire-rated doors are used on interiors more than exteriors. The main purpose of fire-rated doors is to pair with fire walls (and windows) to slow the spread of fire throughout a building.

Fire Door are rated from 20 to 45 to 60, 90 and 180 minutes. Third-party agencies rate these doors for the time they’re able to exist under a fire condition without buckling. These doors are tested under UL 10B, UL 10C and NFPA 252 standards to ensure they’re meeting guidelines set forth within these standards. Typically, the fire rating of the door is dictated by the fire rating of the surrounding wall.

It goes without saying that only fire door certified technicians should work on fire-rated doors due to the fire codes associated with these doors.

Where and when are fire-rated doors required?

Fire rated doors are required either where fire walls exist or where an interior door separates sections of a building to provide a fire break as a general rule.

Where to buy fire-rated doors?

Fire rated doors are typically purchased and installed either by a qualified security team or by a general contractor. Unfortunately, messing with fire rated doors can open yourself up not only to code violations, but very costly litigation if it’s determined standards were not followed. Thus, it’s unlikely you’ll purchase fire rated doors yourself.

How do I know if a door is fire-rated?

Fire rated doors are identified by a fire rating sticker typically stuck to the top of the door itself. If you have trouble finding it, you can use a ladder or a mirror. You can also reasonably assume any door on a fire-rated wall is, likewise, fire-rated. Better safe than sorry if you’re questioning it.

Fire-rated door chart

Glass Interior Doors

If you’ve ever seen a glass interior door, you’ll know the level of prestige and beauty they can bring to an interior space. Glass interior doors open interior spaces and can be used to truly breathe new life into class A office space or executive suites.

You should avoid using glass on high-traffic doors where possible due to the fact they do have a potential to shatter. If you want to use a glass door in a high-traffic area, try Herculite doors.

What type of interior doors are best for commercial facilities?

To wrap up interior door types, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the area on a production floor?
  • Will the door get a lot of traffic?
  • What am I willing to spend?

If the door is in a high-traffic, high-abuse area, go with a hardy door type like wooden or, if it’s a truly high abuse area, perhaps a hollow metal door (more on that below.)

If you’re willing to put the money in and the door is in an office space, go with a glass interior door if you can swing it. If you can’t, wooden doors work just as well.

Types of Commercial Exterior Doors
Automatic Storefront Doors & Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass door repair by TFL of Hampton Roads, VAAutomatic Storefront Doors are used widely through most corporate businesses. Most people interact with this door type anytime they go shopping.

Automatic doors are ubiquitous throughout the country, and there are many different automatic door operator manufacturers including:

  • Stanley
  • Nabco
  • Norton by Assa Abloy
  • Dormakaba

And plenty, plenty others. Between these manufacturers, pretty much all sliding doors, swing doors, folding doors and revolving doors are manufactured and installed throughout the country.

It’s important to note that automatic doors can only be touched by AAADM-certified technicians. Luckily, The Flying Locksmiths is the largest AAADM-certified commercial locksmith company in the United States. If you need some help installing or identifying if automatic doors are right for your business, let us know and we’ll help get you started.

Glass Herculite Doors

Herculite glass doors refer to a particular brand—Herculite—which manufacture seamless glass doors for interior and storefront applications.

Naturally, they’re offer unique and modern option for commercial doors. We love that these doors have a polished look with tempered glass and sharp edges. Herculite glass offers a luxurious look to office buildings and retail stores of prestige. These types of doors can come in different levels of thickness to have better security while providing an aesthetically pleasing appeal.

TFL Tampa Bay door security specialists installing new full glass doorsGlass Herculite doors come in varying thicknesses from ½ inch to 13/16 inch. You’ll typically find thicker doors applied to exteriors due to their high penchant of abuse.

Mostly, Herculite doors are seamless, meaning they sit flush with headers and the non-active door as well. Automatic openers and access control systems work seamlessly with these doors to provide serious security control.

Additionally, hardware for glass Herculite doors is mounted directly through the glass, which allows it to retain its solidly modern aesthetic.

Herculite doors are most often found in Class-A office spaces or hung in outdoor malls, fitness centers, banks and churches. For these applications, herculite doors offer a truly inviting and prestigious aura to them.

What’s the difference between glass doors and Herculite doors?

There’s not really a difference. Glass doors are referred to typically as their brand name—Herculite—but they’re generally the same thing.

How do you mount hardware on Herculite doors?

Hardware for glass Herculite doors is mounted through the door itself, which allows it to retain a seamless aesthetic perfect for their application on prestigious storefronts.

Why is it so expensive to install locks on Herculite glass doors?

This is actually a myth. Once you prep a Herculite door, most locking equipment can fit snugly. Why people believe this is expensive is often because the only security professionals brave enough to work on these doors aren’t your average mom-and-pop lock shop. It requires a high level of insurance in case something goes wrong and the door needs to be replaced.

What is true however is non-locking hardware being more expensive on these doors. Because door closers are hidden in the door header, they require concealed door closers to operate. And trust us, you most definitely want door closers on these doors.

Hollow Metal Doors & Commercial Steel Doors

Commercial steel doors are a popular choice for businesses because they provide one of the highest levels of protection and longevity. These doors can withstand the most damage without showing signs of aging or wear and tear when properly maintained.

For those choosing Galvanized steel doors, the protective zinc layer can last more than 50 years and is resistant to strong weather conditions. Galvanized steel doors can make your doorway will look brand new throughout the years and still uphold its durability.

Hollow metal door replacement in Jacksonville, FLWithout proper care, these doors can absolutely go into disrepair however. Rust and alignment issues abound if the door isn’t properly taken care of.

Steel doors are typically hollow, meaning they’re not metal throughout. Instead, they’re thick sheets of steel soldered together.

These doors offer high security and have high impact and strength resistance, absorbing all the impact and decreasing the chances of wear and tear or dents. Hollow metal doors are long-lasting and resistant to all weather conditions and temperatures. These doors are also easily customizable, which is great for those looking to add extra security features to their building and exterior doors.

Recap of hollow metal and steel doors:

  • Because they’re so durable, hollow metal doors are your best bet for employee entrances and other high-traffic, high-abuse areas.
  • Knowing if you want a smart lock or access control system prior to installing one lowers the cost of the door and installation considerably, because the door doesn’t need to be re-prepped to accept the hardware you want.
  • Protect your hollow-metal doors and they can last for decades.


  • Keep the door dry
  • Paint and seal doors
  • Lubricate, tighten, and clean door hardware
  • Control the door properly
  • Don't leave doors propped open

Read Our Five Ways To Maintain Commercial Doors Blog Post.

How bad to steel doors rust?

Steel doors can rust in exterior environments rife with salt and humidity. Steel doors hate those two things, so it’s important to:

  • Paint your door with corrosion resistant paint
  • Reseal it from time to time
  • Clean it properly

What exactly are hollow metal doors?

Hollow metal doors are thick sheets of steel soldered together into a door and often sealed and painted to resist the elements. Simple enough! They’re often referred to as steel doors. Don’t be fooled though, the only doors truly steel throughout belong in bank vaults.

How much do commercial metal doors weigh?

Because commercial metal doors aren’t typically metal throughout, they’re actually more lightweight than they sound. Your standard hollow metal door weighs about 106 lbs. While there are ways to install one yourself, it’s rather difficult and requires some tact.

Glass Storefront Doors

Hollow metal door replacement in Jacksonville, FLGlass storefront doors are the manual equivalent to most automatic doors. You’ll find these more often than not in strip malls and gas stations. Most of the doors we work on are storefront doors surprisingly, so they’re a fairly common door type.

Storefront doors are aluminum frames wrapped around glass and reinforced horizontally with aluminum planks. Selecting hardware for storefront doors is extremely cost effective and simple, as is meeting code with these doors.

Because they allow an equal combination of strength, low-cost and the ability to see inside of a shop, storefront doors are an incredible choice for most businesses.

Affixing hardware to storefront doors is likewise extremely straightforward. Most often, storefront doors are equipped with:

  • Standard, lightweight door closers
  • Pull handles
  • Push paddles

Because of this, storefront doors easily meet ADA standards. Need some help? The Flying Locksmiths is among the nation’s top provider of storefront door repair services.

Where are storefront doors typically used?

Storefront doors are most often used as convenience store doors and strip mall entrances. Because of this, they’re widely used in most small businesses as well.

How Can We Help?

At TFL, we’re passionate about leading our customers in the right direction and supplying them with the best materials and services. Rely on our experienced team of security locksmiths to ensure that your commercial doors are secure while enhancing the look of your building. Contact us for more information or questions—we’re always ready to help!