Your front door can reveal a lot about you, your personality and taste, it creates the first impression for your home, it welcomes visitors and is a focal point.
In Ireland, composite and uPVC doors continue to be the two most popular materials for style-conscious homeowners. and we at D’Best have a door to suit every style and design
But when it comes to composite doors vs UPVC, it can be more than a little confusing! So, how exactly are they different? And which is the right one for your home?
Let’s see, shall we…
What is a composite door made of?
- Composite doors are made from a number of different materials. The composition of the door differs from all others in its MONOCOQUE structure (internal structure of the door, no foam used like in PVC doors). This is only one of the amazing features of this door, others include:
- 🚪Double rebated as standard (giving you a double seal as opposed to a 44mmsingle rebate door that would have a single seal for air tightness)
- ☑️U value .85 for a solid door
- ☑️U value of .98 for a glazed door (probably the only door in Ireland that would be A-rated throughout the full range
- ☑️All doors are Renolite foil finished (not painted) matching the outer frame perfectly(most doors would have a white frame only as the door colour cannot match theframe)
- ☑️Triple Glazed units as standard
- ☑️Made up of 65mm reinforced fibreglass Monocoque structure ( this is a high-security door as opposed to others that are foam filled)
- ☑️4 hinges fitted as standard (most doors only have 3)
- ☑️8 point locking system (most door manufacturers would have 3-4 point lockingsystem available)
- ☑️Palladio replicates the exact finish of a real oak door.
What is a UPVC door made of?
UPVC doors (pictured above) are made by encasing an insulated steel frame in un-plasticized polyvinyl chloride (UPVC) to create a sealed unit which is strong and thermally-efficient. UPVC doors do have a plastic feel finish, but they’re an affordable solution to those who are working on a budget, or who just prefer PVC.
What’s the price difference between UPVC and composite doors?
Let’s be honest Composite Doors are a lot more expensive than PVC. often over 50% more expensive. but, you have to consider the design, aesthetics and security which composite doors have which PVC just cannot rival. However, PVC is still a firm favourite and still secure none the less.
Just because they’re a little bit cheaper to make, don’t be fooled into thinking that UPVC doors (above) are not secure. They are – thanks to their super-strong outer frame and multi-point locks, which combine to create an extremely strong entrance door.
However, because of their glass-reinforced plastic core, a composite door does offer slightly higher levels of security. In reality, though, it would take a very determined burglar to gain entry by breaking through either one of these doors.
Due to the way a high-quality composite door is manufactured, they are usually much thicker than uPVC doors. At D’Best our Palladio our composite doors are 65mm in thickness compared to our uPVC doors 30 – 40mm. Whilst this gives the composite style a more robust feel, both door types are extremely strong and resilient with great insulating qualities.
If we’re honest, there’s nothing between composite and UPVC doors when it comes to looking after them. Simply wipe the door and frame down with a damp cloth once in a while to keeping it looking its best.
Lifespan wise, you should expect your palladio composite door to last around 30 years – if it’s looked after properly. For uPVC doors, the life expectancy is slightly less at 15-20 years, but this also depends on how well you take care of it.
Styling, Colours & Design
There’s no getting away from the fact that UPVC doors have a slightly plastic-sheen finish to them, whilst composite doors exude an authentic timber appearance.
Colour wise, UPVC doors are available in slightly fewer shades than composite doors – but the number of Palladio composite colours you can choose is still extensive. No matter which material you prefer, you can also have a different colour on the inside and outside.
In terms of door furniture, both have the same hardware options. – simply select the handle, letterbox and knocker which is best suited to your home and taste. You can also choose from a wide range of Palladio glass options.
How do they compare for thermal efficiency?
In terms of energy efficiency, a composite door will usually perform slightly better than a UPVC door because of the extra thickness and density it boasts. However, both doors will reduce the amount you spend on heating your home by preventing draughts from finding their way in.
At D’Best, our Palladio composite doors feature brush seals and weather-proof gaskets to shut out all weathers, keeping you warm and dry.
Composite doors vs UPVC – a summary
When deciding which door material is right for your home, it’s important to weigh up all the different factors.
The reality is that both UPVC and composite doors are low-maintenance options, which are well insulated and make it almost impossible for burglars to break-in through.
UPVC doors: Significantly lower priced than a composite alternative, and thinner in appearance, they can have a plastic look and feel, however, they offer a stylish, but affordable finish for any home.
Composite doors: Virtually indistinguishable from timber, they boast the same functionality as uPVC but to a much higher standard. As a result, they are more expensive, so consider whether their advantages outweigh the extra cost.
As with every significant home improvement, choosing a new door requires a lot of thought and consideration. Price will always play an important part in the final decision, but so should your personal preference.