While the aesthetic appeal of glass doors is rarely lost on homeowners and architects alike, many aren’t aware of the other benefits of utilizing glass in your home entryway: natural light, easy maintenance, a clean look, and major customization potential (like the selection of low-emissivity or privacy glass).

If you don’t want a full-glass exterior door, there are a multitude of glass options to choose from, including a variety of front door glass inserts. Glass inserts are typically placed in the center or top portion of the door to offer you a glimpse of the outside and to add a dash of style to your entryway.

So how do you know which front door glass insert is right for you? It’s important to consider your door’s size and appearance, among other factors, when making your choice. Front door glass inserts come in different types, designs, and layouts to fit different needs. You’ll likely need to do some research to find the right insert for you. Many manufacturers, like Plastpro, will carry a variety of options when it comes to glass inserts to ensure you can find the proper doorlite for your door. Plastpro offers doorlites, specially-engineered glass inserts for doors, to fit your fiberglass front door. 

We’ll cover the most common types of front door glass inserts, alternative options, and the benefits and downsides of each.

Clear and low-emissivity (LowE) glass inserts maximize natural light

Clear glass inserts are a conventional choice for front doors. These options maximize sunlight and views outside of the house—however, they aren’t the ideal choice if privacy is a top priority. Because of this, these inserts are often a great choice for a back door or patio door, where privacy is less important.

Some clear glass inserts, like Plastpro’s low-emissivity (LowE), clear panels, add benefits like additional thermal protection and energy-efficiency over traditional glass. The LowE panels utilize a unique, tinted coating to prevent UV radiation and minimize the transfer of energy between indoors and outdoors, therefore increasing energy efficiency and minimizing temperature fluctuations in hot and cold weather. 


Textured glass offers additional privacy

Textured glass options are ideal for adding privacy while still allowing natural light into the room. From simple, translucent glass to opaque patterns, textured glass can be combined with different door models for a custom look. Textured glass is most often referring to a single sheet of glass—offering the best of both worlds, with extra privacy and detailing in one congruent design. 

Plastpro’s doorlite selection features many textured options for increased privacy. An innovative new alternative to the traditional doorlite offerings is Plastpro’s Solution Doorlite Series, a modern line of textured, patterned glass inserts that attaches with a compression seal, eliminating the need for screws, and saving installation time. There are several contemporary glass options in this series as well that will bring increased privacy and textured beauty to the home.   

The main con to consider is that textured glass can come with a higher price tag than a clear glass panel, and will require extra care during the selection process, to ensure the pattern compliments the design of the door.


Decorative glass panels add exterior style

Decorative glass panels are another traditional option and are subjective to your tastes. Instead of a single panel of one glass, pieces of textured glass are combined into patterns to suit different architectural styles, often with the addition of caming, or metal bars that hold the decorative pieces together. There are a myriad of choices you can select based on your personal design preferences, your home’s architectural style, or the style of your door. 

Plastpro’s decorative doorlite designs cover a variety of different styles and patterns—from the classic Brentwood Zinc to the ornate Priscilla. Plastpro’s decorative doorlite selection also features many options for increased privacy—each glass design selection features an associated privacy rating for reference. Plastpro’s most private, decorative front door glass inserts include the frosted, simple Solstice and traditional, tribal Spring.

Beyond choosing the overall design of your front door glass insert, consider the caming, or the metal framework that separates the decorative glass panels. Caming adds a great deal of visual appeal to your door, and you may want to match this feature to your door hardware or other outdoor fixtures to create aesthetic symmetry. For example, Plastpro’s Rustic Door Series is created to accommodate wrought iron glass and pairs well with Renaissance-style Priscilla and the polished, extremely private Camelia

The only downside of decorative glass? It cost more than a basic clear glass and textured glass option- the complexity of the design and its composition can run the bill up as well.


Direct glazed glass provides an alternative to traditional glass inserts

If you’re looking for options that allow the maximum amount of natural light into your home, consider Plastpro’s Nova Door Series. These doors are available in a range of sizes and grains to fit your preferences. Unlike other glass options, which are mostly installed by an insert glass frame, the Nova Series glass is directly glazed into the door during the manufacturing process. With glass glazed directly onto the door, there is a sleek, seamless blend between the door and the glass, creating a beautiful and solid entryway. In addition, the numerous Low-E and privacy glass options in this series allow you to create an entryway that is both stunning and functional.

Most people select direct glazed glass doors like the Nova Series for the unparalleled natural light and on-trend panel designs—a selection of traditional Craftsman-style sticking or more modern Shaker-style sticking. And if privacy is a concern, there are models with translucent glass, patterned Rain glass, or sleek, cordless miniblinds to choose from

It should be noted that direct glazed glass is a larger commitment than traditional door inserts, as any breakage or damage will require you to replace the entire door rather than just the insert.

Check out Plastpro’s Where to Buy page to find the closest distributor for doorlites, direct glazed glass doors, and fiberglass doors. For more information on our fiberglass door offerings, visit our website.

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