Eliot Spritzer has been working with doors and windows for his entire career, starting in the vendor community before coming over to The Home Depot in 2019.
He is now the senior merchant in charge of the Exterior Door Department. Eliot graciously agreed to sit down with us to discuss how his category has grown in sustainability, what door styles and materials are trending, and the future of his category.
EA: Hi, Eliot! Thanks for sitting down to chat with us. How do doors contribute to environmental sustainability?
ES: Doors play a large role in sustainability based on the material and longevity of the product. Although there is a market for wood doors, we see that diminishing, while fiberglass doors are on the up and up. Fiberglass doors will last much longer than other materials and need less maintenance. Don’t get me wrong, wood isn’t going anywhere, but we are seeing sales trends towards these newer products. Recycled components are another facet of sustainability in doors. Recycled materials in doors play a strong role in interior doors, where you see manufacturers recycling substances like discarded wood or woodchips to use in the manufacturing process to produce molded-door skins. Also, some solid-core doors utilize wheat straw, which is a leftover byproduct. ENERGY STAR doors can also help customers reduce their power bills and their impact on the planet.
EA: Tell us about the sustainability journey of the exterior door category.
ES: For years, suppliers have worked to integrate sustainability into their products. For instance, partners like Masonite and Jeld-Wen have been focused on sustainability for quite some time by recycling materials, using steam to produce energy and driving certified wood products. And now, products like Masonite’s Performance Door System are bringing better-performing doors to market without sacrificing sustainable practices.
EA: Have there been any challenges in making the exterior door category more sustainable?
ES: We do work to manage certified or plantation-grown wood products. We take this very seriously and are committed to selling products that are sourced properly and ethically.
EA:What trends are you seeing in your category? Is there a rising demand for sustainable products?
ES: Yes, many people are moving from wood doors to either steel or fiberglass doors. Steel and fiberglass doors are both durable and sturdy. When customers buy them, they often find that the warranty on steel doors are much longer than wood, and fiberglass warranties are often double that of steel doors.
EA: Are there any products or programs in your category that you’re excited about? What are they?
ES: The trend to fiberglass doors is very exciting to me. People are learning that fiberglass will hold up much longer than other products, and it’s also well-insulated, so it will help keep customers’ homes warm in colder weather. The longevity of this product gets me excited because people will have a beautiful product for a longer period of time.
EA: How do sustainable materials in exterior doors compare to traditional ones in terms of cost and performance?
ES: In many cases, we see that wood doors, which often need more maintenance, can cost more than fiberglass products.
EA: What should customers know when buying in your category? What labels or specifications should they look for before they buy?
ES: Customers should consider low-maintenance fiberglass doors that are long-lasting, strong and energy-efficient. These doors also come in a smooth finish that can be easily painted to your color choice, or there are even woodgrain options that come with stains that help give the appearance of wood doors without the maintenance.
If you’re looking for a door that will help you save on energy, we recommend that customers look for an ENERGY STAR-rated door. To determine the ENERGY STAR rating of any door product, please see the label on the door or visit the website first to pick a door that meets your needs. If you need installation, your new door can be installed by The Home Depot, too. We will make sure the door is installed correctly to keep your home well-insulated.