Which Is Better for Your Application: Rolling or Sectional Steel Doors?

rolling or sectional steel door graphic

Rolling versus Sectional Steel Garage Doors

Just as every garage serves a specific purpose, so too should every garage door accommodate the space’s unique needs. When considering different commercial garage doors, many people compare steel rolling garage door benefits to steel sectional garage door benefits. In the debate between steel sectional vs. rolling steel garage doors, it’s sometimes difficult to identify which suits your needs.

Thankfully, our team at Garage Door Specialists have extensive knowledge about all types of commercial garage doors. We’re happy to help identify the benefits of each and highlight a few points to consider as you make your decision to purchase a new garage door.

Benefits of Rolling Steel Garage Doors

Rolling steel doors are fantastic resources for commercial settings. You might hear people call them overhead rolling doors, roll-up doors and coiling garage doors. Their mechanism retracts the steel rolls together into a compact coil. These overhead rolling doors are applicable in the interior and exterior of a space. Their versatility, combined with their small footprint, ease of maintenance and attractive design, offer distinct advantages, including increased security, durability and insulation.

Rolling steel doors create layers of protection and locking mechanisms to provide exceptional security. The strong materials used in their design provide substantial durability that enables them to withstand heavy usage, wear and tear for years, which includes standing up to severe weather, corrosion and rust. These steel doors can also have a layer of foam insulation that reduces the transfer of both heat and noise.

One of the more popular types of overhead rolling doors used in commercial settings are fire-rated roll-up doors. These steel roller doors enhance safety and security by rolling down automatically when triggered by smoke to prevent fires from spreading. With customization offering additional benefits, rolling steel doors are applicable for interior and exterior use in businesses of all sizes.

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Benefits of Sectional Steel Doors

Sectional garage doors are among the most popular types of garage doors available, particularly for residential applications. Steel sectional garage doors have wider panels than those of rolling steel doors, and rest parallel to the ceiling when retracted. Like steel roller doors, steel sectional garage door benefits are versatile enough to cater to your unique needs. For instance, you can opt to include windows, insulation or added hardware. Steel doors are generally affordable for all budgets and require little maintenance.

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As one of the leading types of commercial garage doors, steel sectional doors offer a range of benefits. Although they don’t roll into a coil like rolling steel doors do, steel sectional doors are still relatively compact. They also feature strong, durable materials that resist damage and provide enhanced security. If you need better climate control of your interior, choose insulation.

things to consider when making a decision on a sectional or rolling door

Considerations When Choosing Rolling vs Sectional Steel Garage Doors

Now that you have a general idea of the benefits sectional steel doors and steel roller doors provide, let’s venture deeper into the decision-making process and identify a few crucial considerations. Depending on your specific application, you’ll need to consider additional factors such as each door’s performance, ease of installation, cost and overall maintenance.


No matter which types of commercial garage doors you choose, performance will be one of your top priorities. Performance is the way to assess how well a door can handle heavy usage. Some garage doors can meet high-efficiency metrics, such as completing hundreds of thousands of cycles before wearing down. 

Typically, rolling steel doors will offer higher cycle ranges than steel sectional doors. However, more is not always necessary. Depending on how much traffic will come in and out of your garage, the “performance” you desire may be a reliable, cost-effective door, even though it doesn’t yield a six-figure cycle range.


Before considering space requirements, you must first think about the best way to mount the garage door. Different lift mounts will require space either directly above or beside the doorway, or overhead behind the doorway. For example, you can have rolling steel doors mounted to the walls instead of the ceiling, while sectional steel doors require ceiling or roof support. 

Since rolling steel doors can attach to the walls, they require limited overhead space, which is ideal for smaller garages. However, there are various ways to mount steel sectional garage doors. These include a standard lift, a high lift for high ceilings, a vertical lift to bring the entire door straight up or a low-headroom lift for limited overhead spaces.


The physical space necessary to install any garage door is a factor many commercial and residential property owners forget about at first. Steel sectional doors will take up more overhead space than rolling ones, which significantly limits property owners with low ceilings or smaller garages.

Consider how many resources are above you: fire sprinklers, lighting, HVAC vents, hanging storage shelves and hanging promotional materials like banners or signs. Steel sectional doors may block these, whereas an overhead rolling door will contain itself in a compact coil that takes up limited overhead space in your garage.


Cost factors into every decision you make for your business. However, it’s vital to understand that “cost-effective” and “cheap” are not the same. No matter which garage door you choose, you should always make sure it has reliable parts and comes from a trustworthy garage door company.

In many cases, steel sectional doors are more cost-effective than steel roller doors because they feature one-piece construction. You must also consider the long-term cost associated with each door. For instance, the steel sectional door may have a smaller upfront cost, but rolling steel doors typically have a smaller lifetime cost, as they’re more durable and require less maintenance.


While space is a critical concern, the size of the door is another aspect that requires some thought. Depending on your garage opening, you may need a door that meets non-standard specifications. A size variance ranging from half an inch to an inch may not seem large, but such details are vital.

It’s possible to custom-fit many rolling steel doors to the exact dimensions required. In most cases, you can also get steel sectional doors modified. However, their modification limits may be predetermined increments ranging from 2″ to 3″ to 18″ to 24″. Modifications on either door will still look attractive, but if your dimensions are uncommon, a rolling steel door may provide a better fit.

Security and Maintenance

Although sectional steel doors feature single-piece construction, they often have more components in their overall mounting and installation than rolling steel doors do. With fewer exposed parts, rolling steel garage doors take less wear and tear over time. They’re also more likely to have grease-coated springs that resist damage from rust and low temperatures.

Regarding security, both will secure your garage and everything inside it. Generally speaking, choosing an overhead rolling door over a steel sectional door may lend additional safety because their parts are less exposed. Remember that all commercial garage doors require routine inspection to ensure they’re secure and safe for use.

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Steel Sectional vs. Rolling Steel Garage Doors

Still unsure whether a steel sectional garage door or a rolling steel garage door is ideal for your application? We’re here to help. Contact Garage Door Specialists today and tell us the performance and functionality you desire from your garage door. Our knowledgeable team in Western North Carolina will help you choose the right steel roller doors or steel sectional garage doors that meet your unique needs.

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