How To Decide On A Front Door That Speaks To You

By Bryn Huntpalmer


Your front door has the potential to increase your home’s curb appeal and property value, all while keeping your loved ones protected from potential intruders. Depending on where you live, your front door must also be able to withstand any punishment that mother nature has in store – from torrential rain, freezing blizzards, gusting tornadoes, violent hurricanes, and the blistering sun, it has to stand up to the elements. Those are some serious demands on a door! The decision can seem daunting, but by comparing the virtues of the three main options for door materials, you are certain to find one that meets all of your criteria.




Wood is the most common, and classic, choice for a front door due to its versatility and inherent beauty – and it certainly makes any home feel high-end. With a luxurious look and impressive weight, solid hardwood doors have no comparison. However, they do have the potential to stretch your budget (particularly with custom made doors). If you are looking to save a few dollars, while still having the beauty of natural wood, look for a stock wooden door with an insulated core. You’ll get the aesthetic you love with the added bonus of lowered utility expenses.



If safety is your top priority, look no further than steel. Steel doors are tougher than wood or fiberglass, will not warp, and can be repaired with an auto-body repair bit. On top of that, steel is an excellent choice for your wallet, typically being the least expensive of all door materials. However, contrary to common thought, steel doors do not have the longevity of other doors – especially in wet, tropical climates. If you live near the ocean, a steel door may only last five to seven years under normal wear and tear.



Fiberglass strikes a perfect balance between wood and steel. Most fiberglass doors are designed to mimic real wood grain and can be dyed to look like any type of wood. They do not expand or contract in humid climates, have fantastic warranties (assuming you use the complete entry system including the frame), require virtually no maintenance, and can be expected to last upwards of twenty years. Fiberglass doors are very light, but also very strong, holding up nearly as well to intruders as steel. Manufacturers fill spaces in the framing with foam insulation, giving you excellent energy efficiency as well. Fiberglass doors have virtually no downside!

The Final Touch

Once you have settled on a door material, you can move on to the creative part—imagining all the ways to personalize your new front door. From color choice, to glass inserts, to hardware, there are so many ways to design your front door and make it match the style of your home . Your front door makes your home’s first impression, it should make a statement.  Emtek offers a beautiful array of door hardware that is guaranteed to make your front door a true piece of art that makes a great first impression for years to come.

Once you find the perfect combination of hardware, use the Retailer Locator on the Emtek website to find a local store near you.

About the writer


Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Remodeling and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker and About.com.


Home Free on FOX


On HOME FREE, FOX’s new competition series featuring couples vying to win their dream home and airing Wednesdays at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT, nine deserving couples are challenged to revive one run-down home every week. During each episode, famed professional contractor Mike Holmes (“Holmes on Homes®”) will present the couples with tasks designed to test and challenge the skills of these do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Holmes will be with the competitors every step of the way – picking apart their work and demanding they meet his high standards, while also sharing his expertise and guidance to help them reach new heights. But in a surprise twist, when the work is done for the day, the couples don’t have far to travel to get home…because not only must they work together to restore the home, they must all live together in the same dilapidated work site 24/7. The more they accomplish, the better they sleep at night.

“A home is way more than brick and mortar. So being part of this new series and partnering with FOX is truly exciting for me,” said Mike Holmes. “I’m ready to break ground with these couples. It’s going to be a lot of sweat and tears but I promise you, all worth it in the end…trust me on this.”

Emtek provided cabinet hardware for this groundbreaking show. Take a look at a few images from the first episodes to see our designer cabinet knobs and pulls in action.

Tune in Wednesdays at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT to watch (see if you can spot Emtek!).

HOME FREE is produced by Relativity Television and executive-produced by Tom Forman, George Verschoor, Trice Bartow, Brad Bishop, Andrew Marcus and Mike Holmes. The series will be distributed internationally by ELECTUS.



Finding the Next Big Thing

The design world is forever looking for the next new trend. What will be “it” next year and how can we keep up with the times? Some trends end up a flash-in-the-pan while others come to define an era of design. Shag carpet anyone? You can’t think of a 1970’s style home without it. As a hardware brand for designers, Emtek walks the tightrope of providing classic designs that will endure and appeal to the majority, while still remaining relevant with current product designs. The year 2015 brought whispers of a comeback for warm brass finishes. Emtek listened and met the next trend for design head-on.

The whispers came from design oriented magazines and blogs. Editor after editor came to Emtek asking for product in warm brass for a project or editorial placement. The finish was used in the Academy Awards Greenroom by Architectural Digest and will be featured in the upcoming fall 2015 issue of House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year (all with Emtek products).  But the question remained of what the design community at large thought about the finish. To garner feedback, Emtek created a new Satin Brass finish on its Lausanne entry set and displayed the stunning combination at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.


Satin Brass on Display at KBIS 2015

Satin Brass on Display at KBIS 2015

The response was overwhelming. Satin Brass finish was met with uniform praise by the design community and inquiries as to when it would be available. Emtek sprung to action and released Satin Brass finish for select modern styles a mere four months later – a quick turnaround for a new product.

Satin Brass’s lifespan and mass appeal remain yet to be seen, but if the design community is any indication, we have the next “it.”


Article by Susan



Best of Year Awards – Interior Design Magazine



From where does great design come? Hours, days, and weeks of time can be spent in the search of a truly original idea which can become a great design. In the end, the spark of innovation may be found in the most unexpected places.  Or at least this was true for William Zhang, Creative Director for leading residential door hardware manufacturer Emtek ASSA ABLOY. One of Zhang’s most recent designs, the Modern Disc Crystal Knob, was awarded the Best of Year honor by Interior Design Magazine. The award is prestigious and the road to receiving it was paved with creativity, hard work, and inspiration from the past.


In late 2013, Zhang was, quite literally, at the drawing board trying to find his next original design for Emtek door hardware. He wanted something sleek and contemporary, something that would capture the zeitgeist of design today. Zhang had created new square and disc shaped knob designs and while the shapes were there, the design still wasn’t quite right. There was a certain “je ne sais pas” that was missing.


That missing piece came from a classic Emtek crystal cabinet knob. Glass and crystal door knobs date back to 1826, when the process for molding the material was created. They became commonplace in homes during the First World War In short, crystal is a classic material. The designs were usually multifaceted with anywhere from six to 12 facets and a flat face which showed a star or other pattern in the center of the knob. Zhang wondered how would it look to take a material that is typically used in such intricate designs and apply it to the clean, contemporary design of the square and disc knobs.


Emtek created prototypes of the contemporary knob designs in the classic material of crystal and the result was simply stunning. Once introduced into the market, the knobs were a quick success for the company. The decision to submit the modern disc and square crystal knobs for consideration in Interior Design Magazine’s Best of Year Awards seemed a natural progression. Crystal was in demand for the 2014 year; these knob designs had their finger on the pulse of the design market.


The Best of Year Awards by Interior Design Magazine is the preeminent competition for new and compelling design. Every year, Interior Design must meet the challenge of finding the products that are on the leading edge of today’s trends. Their audience is made up of professionals in the design field and they are discerning of what the next big “thing” will be.


The competition was fierce, with over 2,000 entries in over 100 categories. A handful of finalists were selected by the Interior Design Magazine’s top editorial staff, but the final winners were decided upon by popular vote. Design professionals logged into the magazine’s website and cast their vote for the best innovative products and designs for the 2014 year.


After 60,000 votes and 600,000 page views, Emtek was declared the winner in the hardware category.  The award ceremony was held in New York City in the Frank Gehry designed IAC building. More than 950 designers and manufacturers were in attendance. It was a standing room only crowd, as demand to be present when the awards were announced was high. Interior Design magazine editor in chief, Cindy Allen and President and Publisher, Mark Strauss used IAC’s 80 video wall to present the winners.


It marked Emtek and Zhang’s first submission and first win at the awards. Winning this prestigious award is only the beginning. If anything, it will act as a boon to try new designs and reach for even greater heights. With innovators like Emtek and William Zhang, the possibilities are endless.


William Zhang, Creative Director at Emtek

William Zhang, Creative Director at Emtek


Article by Susan Jeffery



New Crystal Cabinet Knobs by Emtek

Introducing all new crystal cabinet knobs by Emtek.


One of the amazing qualities of crystal is its ability to transcend any design style. The right knob design paired with the right finish can fit perfectly into any kitchen or bath. These new knobs come in a variety of styles to fit the look of any home.