Exterior fiberglass doors can be manufactured to receive removable glass inserts or to have non removable flush glazed glass panels. The difference is that the flush glazed glass panels are made as a glass unit then sealed into the door during manufacture and are not removable, which is not a good feature in our opinion.
The removable option is recommended for many reasons:
- Selection. Wide range of choices. You can order clear or textures, Decorative or plain! The flush glazed typically only comes clear and plain.
- Hurricane Impact choices. The flush glazed fiberglass doors with glass are not impact resistant. The removable inserts are standard tempered or hurricane impact. Therefore, to be prepared for a storm, the glass etching is recommended on the removable inserts that are available in hurricane impact choices.
- Cost effective. In the event of breakage of the glass, it can be replaced without the need to replace the doors. Decorative removable glass door inserts are 1″ thick and provide better insulation with the increased airspace. The flush glazed doors are offered at 1/2″ only.
How Are Inserts Secured in the Door?
The frame for glass door inserts holds the glass in the door with an overlap of 1/2″ all around the cutout area where the insert fits into the door. This is the main difference between glass door inserts and flush glazed fiberglass doors.
The frames accommodate the thickness of the glass and hold the glass in the frame at the same time as holding the glass in the door. The inserts are either a sealed insulated unit overall glass thickness of 1″ or 1/2″. The 1/2″ thickness is only found on standard tempered clear door glass units. All decorative, textured, or miniblind units are 1″ thickness overall.
The frames for standard tempered have a pressure sensitive aggressive glue that is factory applied to the perimeter holding the frame to the glass and the glass to the door. This also prevents water infiltration.
Hurricane impact glass door inserts are extra strong to achieve the hurricane impact rating for approved glass doors. They also have to be able to hold the extra weight of the impact glass. The similarity is the overall thickness of the glass at 1″. The frames are screwed together with plugs to cover the screw holes. Additionally they also have factory applied aggressive glue holding the glass to the frame and the frame to the door.