uPVC vs composite front doors: What is the difference?

When you’re looking to choose a new door for your home, there are a variety of different styles, designs and materials to choose from. Two of the most popular door material choices for homeowners are uPVC and composite doors. But, before you make a decision, it’s important to consider the differences between the two and the pros and cons of each of the different materials. As the main entrance door to your home, it’s important to choose something that is not only secure and will keep your home warm but will also contribute to the overall look of your home.

In this article, we will examine what uPVC vs composite doors are and will look at the benefits and disadvantaged of each to see how they compare with each other so you can make the best decision for your needs and home.

What are uPVC front doors?

uPVC front doors are made using a fully insulated steel frame as their core, which is then covered in Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride. The process of encasing the steel in the other materials creates a door that is strong and durable. uPVC doors tend to have a finish that is plastic in appearance.

Pros of uPVC front doors

There are many pros of uPVC front doors for homeowners who are looking for a cost-effective front door. These doors are often cheaper than other materials while remaining secure.

  • Low maintenance – unlike wooden doors, uPVC doors require very little maintenance to stay looking their best. An occasional wipe with a damp cloth should keep them looking clean and bright.
  • Insulation – uPVC doors provide good levels of insulation and are energy efficient so can help to save money on energy bills.
  • Range of door styles – uPVC doors are available in a range of styles which makes it easy to find something to suit your home.

Cons of uPVC front doors

Although uPVC doors offer a number of benefits, there are some disadvantages to take into account:

  • Property style – uPVC doors are usually more suited to a modern home, and may not blend in with a more traditional or period property. Composite doors can be configured in a number of styles to suit different property types.
  • Fewer options when compared to composite doors – although there are a range of styles available with uPVC doors, they are still limited in comparison to composite doors.
  • Less durable – uPVC doors can degrade over time which can affect their thermal efficiency, security and their overall look.

What are composite front doors?

Composite front doors are designed to address the common problems associated with doors made from a singular material. Composite doors combine a variety of materials, each of which is selected for its unique properties and helps to eliminate flaws. The materials combined together work better than the materials on their own.

The external part of a composite door is made from Glass Reinforced Plastic (fibreglass) which can be created in a number of colours and wood effects. These exterior panels are fused to an internal frame made with uPVC inside which is another frame made with timber or wood for a solid and durable double frame. The core of the door is then injected with a polyurethane insulating foam core.

This creates a lightweight door material that is sturdy and long-lasting. You can easily add glass panels, handles and door furniture to composite front doors without damaging their aesthetic appeal, thermal efficiency or security. The door is weather resistant, resistant to warping and will not swell in the same way as timber doors.

Pros of composite front doors

If you’re looking to install a new front door, you should consider the benefits of composite front doors. They’re available in a variety of colours and styles that can suit a wide variety of homes.

  • Long-lasting and durable – thanks to their construction and the range of materials used, a quality composite door can offer a longer term solution than other types of front door.
  • Low maintenance – composite doors offer a low maintenance option and will remain looking new for longer than other alternatives, such as uPVC, wooden or timber doors which may require repainting on a regular basis. This is due, in part, to their weather resistance.
  • Enhanced security – another reason to opt for a composite front door is the enhanced security they offer. As one of the most secure and sturdy doors on the market, your home will feel much more secure. Composite doors can also be fitted with a multi point locking system

Cons of composite front doors

While composite front doors are incredibly versatile and long lasting, the main disadvantage is their cost. They sit at a higher price point than uPVC doors, so they may not fit into your budget.

Cost of uPVC front doors vs composite front doors

While composite front doors are incredibly versatile and long lasting, the main disadvantage is their cost. They sit at a higher price point than uPVC doors, so they may not fit into your budget.

Cost of uPVC front doors vs composite front doors

When comparing the cost of a uPVC door with a composite front door, you will find that this can vary greatly.

uPVC front doors are one of the cheapest front door options on the market. You can expect to pay £250 for the lowest price front door and £500 at the higher end. You should also consider the additional labour costs if you need a tradesperson to install the door, however these tend to be roughly the same, whether you are fitting a uPVC door, composite door or even a wooden door.

A composite front door can cost between £900 and £1500, depending on the size of the door, the design, and whether or not you have glass side panels installed.

The difference between costs in these two doors might seem huge but composite doors offer a more modern, durable option, with a longer lifespan and less upkeep. This means that, while the initial outgoings may be higher, you will save on maintenance and replacement costs in the future.

Overall, if you want a front door that is high quality, either option is a good choice, but a composite front door has the edge when it comes to style, appearance, and lifespan with low maintenance.

What is the difference between uPVC and composite doors?

  uPVC door Composite door
Cost £250-£500 £900-£1500
Security Fairly secure High level of security
Thickness Around 28mm Around 44mm
Maintenance Some maintenance Very low maintenance
Lifespan 10+ years 30+ years
Thermal efficiency Fair level of thermal efficiency High level of thermal efficiency

For more advice or information on our range of composite doors, please contact our team today.

Related content:

What is a composite door?

A guide to choose between wooden or uPVC front doors

Choosing between wooden front doors or composite front doors