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Garage Door Design: Upgrading from Basic to Beautiful with Wood Grain Finishes

Whether upgrading an existing door or selecting one for a new home, more of us are choosing a garage door with a high-end look

On most single-family homes, the garage door is our primary entrance and exit. For those with attached street-facing garages, not only is it our actual front door, it also may be our home’s largest visible exterior surface area. Realizing the value of this high-profile design element, many homeowners are shunning basic in favor of beautiful.

Whether upgrading an existing door or selecting one for a new home, more of us are choosing a garage door with a high-end look. The door’s color and quality clearly communicate a respect for the neighborhood’s architectural aesthetic, a compatibility with the home’s exterior materials and an appreciation of our personal style.

Wood garage doors often are considered to be in the premium tier, usually at a premium price. Maintaining their initial appearance also is an investment. Once installed, a lapse in care can lead to unpleasant stares from the neighbors. Aluminum doors can be finished to look and feel like real wood without the seasonal staining and painting, or worse concerns like warping, rotting or termites.

Because textured wood-look is prefinished and the aluminum is lighter weight than real wood, these garage doors also can take less time and labor at the jobsite. This maximizes your available workforce, allowing your crew to complete more projects, and ultimately, helps contribute to greater profitability.

Appearance remains the top selling-point for most homeowners. Aluminum garage door manufacturers offering textured wood grain coatings provide a range of traditional and modern designs. Panel options can be smooth, raised or recessed, and position in two, three or four sections. Decorative trim can be in horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and in ladders or K-patterns. Along with unique configurations and creations, some may want to order off-menu and specify a custom wood grain finish that simulates an exotic wood without the sourcing obstacles.

For contemporary home designs, garage door designs tend to favor large glass panel inserts. The aluminum framing surrounding each glass lite can be finished with textured wood grain to present a modern door with head-turning curb appeal.

As we want larger windows and views in our house, we also want design continuity and translucency in our garage. For more traditional or biophilic-inspired designs, doors can combine wood-finished metal panels with window inserts. Similar shapes, muntin grillwork and panel proportions can be specified for garage windows. Glass can be clear, but typically is smoked, frosted or tinted for privacy.

Insulated glass units with thermal barriers can be just as important on garage doors as they are on a home’s windows. Energy-efficiency is assumed to be part of the standard offering with better-than-basic doors. For south-facing attached garages, they also serve an important role in keeping our living space at its optimal comfort.

For homeowners with a heighten interest in sustainability, remember that recycled aluminum pairs well with textured wood grain finishes. At the end of its life on the home, the metal can be recycled for future use.


Tammy Schroeder Linetec

Tammy Schroeder

Tammy Schroeder, LEED Green Associate, is the director of marketing at Linetec, Tubelite and Alumicor brands. With more than 20 years of experience in the finishing industry, she serves as an industry educator on high-quality, high-performance architectural finishing and services. She can be reached at