When it comes time to replace the front or back door on your home, you’ll be faced with choosing between composite and UPVC doors. Both offer benefits over traditional wooden doors, but which is the better option for your home? This comprehensive guide examines the key differences between composite and UPVC doors to help you determine which is the right choice.
There are several factors to weigh when deciding between composite vs UPVC doors. The material each is made from, appearance, security, insulation, longevity and price point will all play a role in determining whether composite or UPVC is the ideal door type for your home. We’ll break down how these two popular modern door styles compare across all of these considerations.
Composite and UPVC Doors: The Basics
First, let’s look at exactly what composite and UPVC doors are made of.
Composite doors consist of a thermally insulated core that is surrounded by a thick, durable plastic or glass reinforced plastic (GRP) skin. The core is usually made from polyurethane, polystyrene or timber.
Note: Astraframe Composite Doors have a solid timber core.
This sandwich style construction creates a highly insulating, strong and secure door.
UPVC doors are constructed from upvc (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride). This is a strong, rigid plastic that offers good thermal insulation properties. UPVC doors consist of a single UPVC extrusion that forms the door frame, panels, with steel interior reinforcement.
So in summary, composite doors combine different materials like wood, plastic and insulation, while UPVC utilizes just one main material.
Appearance: Which Door Looks Better?
When it comes to looks, composite doors have the advantage over UPVC. Composite manufacturers offer a vast array of styles that closely replicate the aesthetics of classic wooden doors. You can choose composite doors with elegant glass designs, attractive wood grain effects, stainless steel/chrome accents and in a wide range of color finishes.
UPVC doors come in more limited styles, mostly plain with some glass design options. Their color choices are typically white or woodgrains only. UPVC lacks the realistic depth and detailing that makes composite doors so gorgeous.
So if you want a new door that makes a bold visual statement with beautiful, authentic styling, then composite is the way to go. For a simpler, more subtle look, plain UPVC doors do the job.
Security: Which Door Keeps Your Home Safer?
Safety is a major factor when choosing external doors. You want doors that deter intruders and keep your family secure.
Composite doors tend to be more secure than UPVC doors. Their thick, multi-material construction makes them very sturdy. Composite doors are also usually fitted with high quality multi-point locking systems as standard. These make it much harder for burglars to gain entry.
UPVC doors are reasonably robust too. But they aren’t quite as inherently strong as composites. Single material UPVC extrusion frames can occasionally warp or bend under pressure. UPVC doors offer adequate security for most homes, but for maximum protection, composite is the winner.
Insulation and Energy Efficiency: Which Door Saves You More?
Good insulation is vital for external doors in your home. It prevents costly heat loss in winter and keeps your home cool in summer.
Composite doors really excel when it comes to thermal performance. Their insulated core sandwiched between tough plastic/glass skins provides outstanding insulation. Composite doors easily achieve U-values between 1.2 to 1.8 W/m2K, which vastly exceeds the 1.8 to 2.0 W/m2K of UPVC doors.
This superior insulation makes composite doors up to 4 times more energy efficient than UPVC alternatives. Your energy bills will be lower with composite doors fitted in your home.
Longevity: Which Door Lasts Longer?
You want new doors for your home to last for many years to come while still looking good and functioning perfectly.
Due to their highly durable materials and robust construction, composite doors generally last longer than UPVC doors. Composites won’t warp, crack or flex significantly when exposed to changing weather conditions year after year. Their colorful plastic skins retain their visual appeal and won’t need repainting.
UPVC is reasonably durable, but not quite as hardy and long-lasting as composite. After prolonged exposure to sun, rain and cold, UPVC can become brittle and discolored. UPVC doors may start to look worn after 5-8 years. Most composite doors will still look fresh after 10+ years.
So for maximum longevity, composite is again the winner. They require less maintenance and replacement than UPVC over time.
Cost: Which Door Offers Better Value Overall?
Let’s compare the price difference between composite vs UPVC doors:
- Composite doors cost between £1000 – £1500 on average
- UPVC doors cost between £800 – £1000 on average
There’s no denying that UPVC doors are generally cheaper than composite. But take into account the better security, energy efficiency and durability that composite doors provide. Composite doors usually work out as better long term value for money.
Paying that bit extra for a quality composite door means you’ll be saving more on energy bills. You also won’t have to pay for replacement/maintenance for a longer time. And crucially, your home is better protected against break-ins.
Composite vs UPVC Doors: Conclusion
Here’s a quick recap of the main advantages of composite doors vs UPVC doors:
- Composite offers more attractive, authentic styling and finishes
- Composite provides noticeably better security and strength
- Composite insulates much better for lower energy bills
- Composite is more durable for enhanced longevity
- Composite works out as better value for money long term
So in summary, while UPVC doors are cheaper, composite doors win out on looks, performance, quality and long term value. The upfront investment is worth it for a premium quality composite door.
If you want stunning visual appeal combined with the highest levels of security, energy efficiency and durability, then composite is the best choice for your home’s external doors. UPVC doors are fine for those prioritizing cost above all else.
We hope this detailed composite vs UPVC door comparison has helped you decide which type of door is right for your home. Think carefully about those long term savings and benefits that quality composite doors provide.