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Commercial Entry Doors vs. Residential Doors: What’s the Difference?

If you’re in the market for commercial entry doors, you’ve likely noticed there’s a price difference compared to residential doors. But what is it that makes commercial doors so much different from the doors we use in our homes? As experts in Cleveland commercial entry doors, we can offer some insight.

Durability and Construction

Commercial entry doors and residential doors are fundamentally different in durability and construction – because they were designed to meet different requirements based on their usage and the environment in which they are installed.

In most cases, commercial doors need to withstand heavier usage and higher traffic levels. They’re made with robust materials like aluminum, steel, or fiberglass. These go a long way toward providing added durability and security.

Residential doors need to be secure as well, but they typically aren’t faced with nearly as much traffic. Aesthetics is often a bigger concern for residential entry doors, so people opt for wood or hollow metal doors: less durable, but prettier.

Security Features

Security is important for both residential and commercial spaces. But there’s often a great deal more monetary valuables in commercial spaces. Extra security is prioritized.

Enhanced security features for commercial entry doors include reinforced frames, tamper-resistant hardware, and multiple locking points. Many commercial property owners also invest in higher tech locking and security systems to prohibit unauthorized entry, particularly after-hours.

Design and Aesthetics

Although the look of commercial entry doors DO matter, particularly if the business routinely welcomes members of the public, clients, etc., most commercial doors tend to be more utilitarian than residential doors. The focus is on functionality rather than how it looks. Many commercial property owners opt for an appearance that is simple and professional.

Residential property owners, on the other hand, will often review a broad range of styles, finishes, and decorative elements to see what compliments the overall look of their home before making a decision.

Size Considerations

Commercial buildings are generally going to have much larger entryways – and therefore much larger entry doors (or more of them) – compared to residential spaces. Commercial entrances need to facilitate high traffic, automatic traffic, oversized traffic, etc. The entry doors used need to account for that. There are often many options and customization features when it comes to commercial doors too, because there’s a significant diversity between the traffic flow of one commercial space to the next.

Residential doors, meanwhile, typically come in standard sizes that will suite residential homes.

Code Considerations

Depending on the type of business and its location, there may be city ordinances or building codes that dictate the type of commercial door a property owner/manager needs to install in a given place.

Commercial doors are generally manufactured with standard requirements (i.e., fire safety rules, accessibility mandates, etc.) in mind. However, there may be some need to customize depending on the circumstances.

Residential doors are also designed with standard building codes in mind, but residential building rules tend to be less rigid.


All the aforementioned factors together add up – and that’s why commercial entry doors tend to be pricier than residential doors. The latter are typically more budget-friendly, but that can change depending on the material, customization requirements, and timeline.

Knowing the “why” of some of these differences is helpful when buying a new door of any kind. Ultimately, our goal is to hep you find an entry door that meets the functional, aesthetic, and cost parameters of your space.

Advance Door Co. provides commercial door products, services, repairs, and replacements to customers throughout Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland, Parma, and surrounding communities.

Additional Resources:

City of Cleveland Department of Building & Housing Ordinances

More Blog Entries:

Why Cleveland Commercial Door Customers Choose Hollow Steel Doors, May 15, 2023, Cleveland Commercial Door Blog