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Aluminium vs composite doors: How do they compare?

When you’re looking for a new front door, there are a number of different factors to consider. Two popular door materials are aluminium and composite, however, before choosing which is suitable for you, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each. Both have similar benefits so the decision may depend on the space you have available, your budget and the style you’re looking for.

As the main entrance door to your home, it’s important that your front door is not only aesthetically pleasing but secure and long lasting too. Aluminium and composite doors can both offer these benefits.

In this article we will take a look at both aluminium and composite front doors and examine their pros and cons, before making some direct comparisons between the two styles of front door to help you find the perfect door for your home.

What are aluminium front doors?

Aluminium front doors are made from solid and sturdy aluminium. They are usually constructed using aluminium sheets with a thermal insulation material often made from plastic. The doors also use an aluminium thermal frame to help keep your home energy efficient and use either stainless steel or aluminium handles.

Pros of aluminium front doors

An aluminium front door has a number of benefits that should be considered before choosing your front door.

  • Excellent thermal efficiency – aluminium doors offer better thermal efficiency than wooden or uPVC front doors which means your home will not suffer from as much heat loss during the winter months, helping to save on energy costs.
  • Lightweight – aluminium front doors are perfect if you’re looking for a lightweight door that’s easy to open and close.
  • Low maintenance – these doors are a low maintenance option, so the initial high cost is offset by the fact that you don’t need to pay much to keep your door looking great and ensure it lasts for many years.
  • Large doors available – aluminium doors can be made larger than other doors, which work best for larger entrances. An aluminium entrance door can add to the overall look of your home.
  • Match other windows and doors – aluminium windows and aluminium bifold doors are becoming extremely popular with homeowners so an aluminium door can match any existing windows and doors in your home.

xCons of aluminium front doors

As with any material you choose for your front door, aluminium has some downsides to consider.

  • Expensive – aluminium front doors are much more expensive than another other type of entrance door you choose for your home but have similar benefits to composite doors which come with a lower price tag.
  • Can become stained – these doors can become water stained. So, if your front door is more exposed, they can become marked over time. This will not cause the doors to rust or degrade but can affect the kerb appeal of your home.

What are composite front doors?

Composite front doors are designed to address the common problems associated with doors made from a singular material. A Composite door combines 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.

Composite doors are made up of Glass Reinforced Plastic (fibreglass) which is formed into panels and fused to an internal frame with uPVC inside and attached to another frame made from wood. The core is then injected with a polyurethane insulating foam core. Composite doors can be produced in a range of colours to mimic the style of wood or uPVC doors but with the added benefits of a composite door, they can also be produced in a wood effect.

All of these elements are used within single material doors but, when they’re combined together, they create an extremely strong and durable front door that can last over 30 years.

Pros of composite front doors

A composite front door can provide a huge range of benefits:

  • Long lasting and durable – in the same way as aluminium doors, composite doors are incredibly long-lasting and durable but will cost less than aluminium door. This lower cost does not affect the quality of the doors and you can expect enhanced security too.
  • Variety of colours and styles – composite front doors are available in a variety of colours and styles to suit any home, from traditional looking homes to more modern homes as well as mimicking the look of a wood door. They can also be fitted with glazing or glass side panels to help introduce additional light into your home.
  • Low maintenance – composite doors are much more low maintenance than many other materials which means you don’t have to worry about repairing or updating your front door regularly.

Cons of composite front doors

While composite doors are a great choice, they do have a few disadvantages to consider.

  • More expensive than other types of door – while the long term cost of composite doors is often less when compared to the upkeep of wooden front doors or uPVC front doors, the initial cost is more expensive. This higher price is still lower than the cost of aluminium front doors.

Costs of aluminium front doors vs composite front doors

The average cost of an aluminium front door is between £1400 to £4500, while the average cost of a composite front door is between £900 to £1500. If you opt to add glazing or glass options, this can alter the cost you will expect to pay for your composite doors. An aluminium front door will be more expensive due to the materials used and they can last for up to 60 years.

Whichever entrance door you choose, you will be provided with a high quality, long-lasting door with minimal maintenance needs, especially when compared to lower-cost materials or timber doors.

What is the difference between aluminium and composite doors?

 Composite doorAluminium door
Cost Between £900 - £1500 Between £1400 - £4500
Security Very secure Extremely secure
Thickness Around 44mm thick Between 44mm – 90mm. The thicker the panel, the higher the quality of door
Maintenance Low maintenance Low maintenance
Lifespan Last for 30 plus years Last for 45 plus years
Thermal efficiency Reasonable efficiency Very good efficiency
Strength Reasonably strong Very strong

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

What to look for when buying a composite front door

When buying a composite front door, it’s important to consider a number of key factors that will have an impact on your door purchase.

Style of the door

It’s important to consider the door style you’re looking for as this will have an impact on the look of your home. More contemporary homes may benefit from modern glazing and colour designs, whereas the natural wood effect that can be achieved with composite doors can complement more traditional homes and provide a good alternative to a timber door.

Size or configuration

Knowing what size door you need and the configuration will ensure that you choose the best door for your home and the opening you have. Does your home need a single door or a door with side panels to fill a larger gap? These features can significantly change the look and feel of your home.

Read our guide to find out more about the standard front door sizes available, or click here for more information on measuring up for a new front door.

Supplier

Be sure that the supplier of your composite door is trusted and will offer high quality composite doors. Different suppliers produce composite doors of varying quality so knowing your supplier, their range of doors and how they are made can help you to make this decision.

Hardware and accessories

Choosing the proper hardware and accessories for your door is also important. You may want to browse different handles and letterbox options, both of which can create an entirely different character for your door and your home exterior as a result.

Glazing

You will also need to be aware of the glazing options available for your composite front door. You can choose a simple design from the supplier’s standard range, or you can choose more decorative glass. The positioning and size of the glass will also contribute towards its overall look.

Guarantee

Finally, being aware of the guarantee for your composite door will help you to understand how long your door is likely to last and keep your home as secure as possible. Most composite doors come with a 35 year guarantee, so any faults that occur in that period can be fixed without incurring additional costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do composite doors vary in quality?

Yes, composite doors can vary in quality depending on your supplier or design choices. For example, some doors can have aluminium inserts for added stability and security. However, as a whole, composite doors are a more superior choice to other doors.

What is the difference between a uPVC door and a composite front door?

uPVC doors are made from melted and cooled Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC), whereas composite doors are made up of a number of materials bonded together, making them a more secure, thermally efficient and durable option.

Can composite doors be broken into?

Composite doors offer extreme security in both their design and locking system. Depending on the supplier you choose, the lock you choose and the strength of any glazing you choose, it would take a great deal of force to break into a composite front door.

How good are composite doors for insulation?

Composite doors are A-rated for thermal efficiency, the most efficient of many door types.

Is a composite door better than a wood one?

All-round, composite doors offer better thermal efficiency, security, longevity and are much lower maintenance than wooden doors, all whilst providing an identical wood-grain effect that makes wooden doors so popular. However, modern wooden doors still offer a range of benefits and are suitable if you have a lower budget.

If you’d like further advice or information about our range of composite front doors, please contact our team.

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uPVC vs composite front doors

aluminium vs composite front doors

Composite front door colours

Composite front door panel options and configurations