Specialty Doors

Steel doors and frames are often specified as a standard product. However, design professionals are increasingly putting a new twist on an old classic by modifying them for better aesthetics or performance. These are the most common steel door upgrades.

Click the images for more information and a list of SDI Certified manufacturers.


Fire rated doors and frames play a vital role in keeping people safe and minimizing property damage. Hollow metal is the only material widely available as a 3 hour fire rated door. Browse a variety of resources to help bring you up to speed on fire rated doors and frames.


These doors have been tested to keep bad guys out. There’s a misconception that forced entry doors must look imposing, but they actually look just like standard doors because the heavier duty steel and hardware aren’t obvious to the casual observer.


Architects are keeping the peace by specifying acoustic doors in noisy buildings. Places like music rooms, schools, and hotels can all benefit from reduced sound transfer. And there’s no need to overspecify. A little sound resistance – say, STC 42 – can go a long way.


You’ll most likely never need a fire extinguisher, but you’ll be really glad to have one if you ever do. The same applies to bullet resistant doors. School and government architects are specifying BR doors to keep people safe if there’s an active shooter.


Many military, government, and industrial facilities are at risk of an explosion, whether accidental or intentional. Blast resistant assemblies protect the occupants and building from devastating shrapnel. They are also available fire rated, bullet resistant, and with vision lights.


Steel is incredibly durable and versatile. Custom steel doors and frames may be specified for function – perhaps with a unique width, height, or thickness. They may also be selected to bring a unique design element to the building.


These sturdy steel doors have been engraved and stained to look just like wood. People usually don’t realize they aren’t wood unless they look closely. Faux wood doors are ideal for high-use openings that would benefit from the appearance of wood.


There are more than 1,000 tornados in the United States each year, most of which can easily destroy standard doors. Steel is the only readily available door material that passes the FEMA 361 and ICC 500 tornado test (250 mph wind speeds).


Meet the requirements of ANSI/SDI A250.13 and the Florida Building Code with door assemblies that can withstand winds from 110 to 170mph. Hurricane rated doors are available flush, paneled, or glazed, and also prefinished with a durable coating.


On the cusp of meeting your energy efficiency goals? Thermal break frames have a lower U-factor and can be the difference maker. Its separator material breaks the thermal transfer of outside temperatures to reduce energy costs and increase comfort.


Specified for their sleek appearance, stainless steel doors are also rust resistant and hygenic. Architects often choose stainless steel for a modern design, or where moisture or cleanliness are a concern such as a processing plant or hospital.


Lead-lined doors are used in medical buildings to protect people from the radiation that emits from x-ray machines. They are also used for radiation shielding where security is a concern, such as aerospace and defense environments.


Reduce prep time at the jobsite and ensure a quality paint job with prefinished doors. These commercial-grade finishes comply with SDI standards for weather resistance and adhesion, and are available in any color.


In the event of a fire, temperature rise doors minimize the transfer of heat to the non-fire side of the door so people can safely escape from a burning building. They are commonly found in the stairwells of high rise buildings.

You may also want to see our Specialty Steel Doors course for more information. View a PDF of the course now or take the course for AIA credits.