Steel Doors: What Gauge Do You Need?

Steel is the ideal material for security doors: it’s strong, hard-wearing, weatherproof (when suitably protected) and affordable. It also comes in a wide range of thicknesses. The thickness of a sheet of steel is commonly known as its “gauge”. When choosing a steel security door for your home, office or industrial site, the gauge is an important factor to consider.

Does thicker gauge steel make my door higher security?

Whilst having thicker steel will certainly contribute to the strength of your door, there are other factors to consider. The construction, design and locking systems are equally as important. 

If you’re currently in the market for a steel door, bear in mind a heavier weight can be a hindrance since heavier doors are harder to install and require load bearing walls. They can also wear faster and require more maintenance.

What is the application of your steel door?

The gauge you need can depend on the purpose of your steel door. Before making your selection, it’s worth giving some careful thought to where, why and how often the door will be used.

You may find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the key application for the door?
  • Does it need to have acoustic properties?
  • Does the door need to be fire rated?
  • Must the door thermally insulate to a certain U-value?
  • How secure should it be, must it be certified to a security standard?
  • Will the door be used internally or externally?

The answer to the majority of the questions above is within the door composition. For acoustic and thermal properties, the infill is more important than the steel gauge. The gauge does contribute towards the security of the door, but don’t let this lose your focus from the other main factors which contribute to the performance. For fire and security certified doors, the certificate is more important than the actual specification, or this should at least form your minimum requirement. 

Consider your application carefully and don’t ‘over-spec’ the door; you may pay an unnecessary premium and not achieve the specification that you require. 

Quality over quantity

Consider the type of steel being used by the manufacturer. If it’s thicker mild steel vs a slightly thinner galvanised steel for the same price, you’re compromising steel thickness for longevity. It has become standard practice to use galvanised steel, Magnelis® or other rust resilient steels to resist the elements a door can otherwise be vulnerable to, in the UK.

You may want to consider what other factors contribute to the cost of a steel door. You may find that your money can be spent more wisely, in other areas aside from the steel gauge.

Latham’s steel door gauge

Our steel doors are categorised into 4 ranges. Budget, Security, High Security and M2M. If you’re considering fabricating your own, first consider whether an off the shelf option could be faster and more cost effective:

Budget steel doors

Our budget steel doors are light duty and are manufactured using 1.4mm galvanised gauge steel for the frame and double-skinned 0.8mm galvanised gauge steel for the door leaf, with a honeycomb core. This makes them hugely versatile and able to still withstand impressive impact, whether used internally or externally. They typically weigh approximately 40kg.

Available as a budget personnel door or a budget fire exit door, they are ideal for low security areas in factories, offices and residential properties.

The value for money for this product cannot be questioned, with prices starting from just £189.99+VAT.

Security steel doors

When you require a stronger, higher performance door, consider our security door range. They are constructed using 1.8mm gauge galvanised steel for the doorframe and double-skinned 1.0mm gauge galvanised steel for the door leaf. Most importantly though, they have internal reinforcements and mineral wool insulation achieving impressive acoustic and thermal values. They typically weigh approximately 80kg.

Available in security personnel, fire exit and even 6 panel door form, they are ideal for locations where security and a level of insulation is paramount.

Prices start from £219.99+VAT with our most extensive range consisting of sizes to suit 700mm – 2200mm wide and opening heights of up to 2350mm.

High security steel doors (Ultra Duty)

Our range topping Ultra Doors are available as single and double high security doors. They are constructed from 2.0mm galvanised steel for the frame and 1.2mm galvanised steel for the door, with our most densely specified internals boasting numerous horizontal and vertical reinforcements, lock boxes protecting the locking system and a thicker door leaf of 70mm, filled with mineral wool, along with the frame. They typically weigh over 100kg. What’s more, they are even better insulators offered as our greatest barriers against noise and can easily withstand particularly heavy use, all of which are highly advantageous in very busy buildings with a need for security.

Made-to-Measure Steel Doors (M2M)

When you want a bespoke product, our made to measure steel doors are available as certified fire or security rated products or simply a blank canvas for you to specify your custom requirements. They are typically manufactured from 1.5mm gauge zintec steel, but can be made from any steel gauge up to 3mm. When maximum security is essential (for example, when the door will shield valuables or weapons), we recommend our certified security doors available tested and certified to STS202 and LPS1175 levels.

For further advice on the steel gauge of your steel door, speak to our expert team today by calling 01384 220 050 or contact us online. We’d be happy to simply advise you on your required specification, whether you intend to make it yourself or buy it from us.

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