What's the Difference Between Composite & uPVC Front Doors?

uPVC front doors

Composite and uPVC front doors are very popular.

And there’s good reason for that.

uPVC doors are the most popular choice with UK homeowners but this is often because of the low price tag. While uPVC doesn't come without its benefits, composite doors are well worth considering if you can afford a little extra budget.

We've compared composite and uPVC doors to help you find the best doors for your home whether you need them installing externally or internally.

What is a composite door?

As the name suggests, composite doors are made up of several different materials, including uPVC, glass, insulating foam, steel and wood.

With composite doors being made up of several materials, the thinking is that they'll take on the benefits offered by them all to deliver your home with more than uPVC.

What is a uPVC door?

Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride, which is the full name of uPVC, is a type of plastic that's tough and hasn't had any additives inserted when manufactured. It's the most popular choice of material for UK homeowners looking to install new doors, mainly because of its low price tag.

Composite Doors: Advantages & Disadvantages

From high security to a lengthy lifetime, there are many advantages to having composite doors installed around your home.

Highly Secure

Composite doors are highly durable, making them just about the most secure option for your new doors.

For extra security, if the door will feature some glass, choose laminated glass – the glass will shatter if hit but stay in place.

The look of your new doors is bound to be a high priority and with composite doors you'll have a variety of styles and colours to choose between.

Should you be considering a timber door but are put off by the cost then you can install composite doors with the traditional charm of wooden doors.

Low Maintenance

It's unlikely you'll find a material that requires much less maintenance than composite doors. The occasional wipe down to keep them clean and drop of oil on the hinges is more than enough.

Lengthy Lifetime

Composite doors can have a lifetime of 35 years which means that you won't need to worry about replacing them for many years to come.

The only downside to composite doors is that the many benefits come at a price. Composite doors tend to be more expensive than other materials available on the market. However, if you have the budget, then you're making a very long-term investment.

uPVC doors: Advantages & disadvantages

uPVC is the most budget-friendly material when looking at new doors and, despite the low price tag, can still have lots to offer your home.


For anyone with a tight budget when it comes to installing new doors, uPVC is the best choice.

Highly secure

Modern uPVC doors are built with a galvanised steel core, something that's extremely difficult to break.

Low maintenance

uPVC doors are similar to composite doors in the sense that they don't require much maintenance. Again, the occasional wipe to keep them clean should be enough.


uPVC doors act as an added layer of insulation for your home, keeping the warm in during the winter and also preventing outdoor noise from entering the home.

Lower energy bills

Thanks to uPVC doors being an added layer of insulation for your home, you could see your energy bills drop.

Many homeowners favour uPVC because of its low price tag but it's often a case of you get what you pay for when it comes to uPVC doors. They won't add much in terms of design factor to homes, unlike other more expensive materials, which is why they're commonly seen on new build homes, rather than traditional properties. Plus, over time they're susceptible to discolouration and wear out to a point beyond getting fixed and need to be replaced.

While installed, uPVC doors will help the efficiency of your home which is great news for energy bills and the environment. However, as uPVC is a plastic-based materials, when it's made (and later destroyed), it has a bad impact on the environment, releasing harmful fumes out into the atmosphere.

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Best type of composite doors

The best composite doors on the market can be fitted externally or internally and you can also have sliding composite doors fitted which look great at the back of homes, leading out to a garden.

External composite doors

Installing a composite door that leads outside has many benefits:

Increased security

Added insulation which will help to keep your home warm during the winter (and cool in the summer) and also reduce your heating bills

Internal composite doors

The choice of material for internal doors for many homeowners comes down to timber or uPVC, with wood offering traditional charm and uPVC having the lower price tag.

This is where composite doors can make decision-making much easier as, while they're more expensive than uPVC doors, they're cheaper than timber but be made to look very much like wooden doors.

Sliding composite doors

Arguably, the best strongest material for external doors is aluminium, while the most pleasing for internal doors is timber. As composite doors are made up of a number of materials, you can get the best of both worlds with one sliding door.

Composite door prices

The total price of composite doors will vary depending on the size, the style, if you want side panels and whether its for external or internal installation.

A basic, 4 panel composite front door could cost around £500 but range all the way up to £2,000 for a large door with glass windows and side panels. There are many additional features you can add to external doors that will add to the price, some of these include:

  • Knocker
  • Letterbox
  • Pet flap
  • Peep-hole
  • Chain to lock the doors
  • Door numbers
  • Patterned glass

Finding a total cost of internal composite doors is also fairly wide ranging, ultimately determined by style.

Style of Internal Composite Door Potential Cost (Before Installation)
4 panels (with or without an arch) £400 – £700
6 panels £450 – £500
2 panels (with either a square glass or grill window) £450 – £700
2 panels (with 1-2 arches) £475 – £625

All of the possible costs we've highlighted above just for the door itself and don't include the cost of installation, which you will need to factor in.

uPVC door prices

uPVC is the cheapest material available for doors in the UK, part of the reason why it's the most popular choice for homeowners. The typical cost, before installation, tends to range from £400 up to around £1,500.

Style of Internal Composite Door Potential Cost (Before Installation)
uPVC Door Style Potential Cost (Excluding Installation)
Bifold £1,500 – £4,500+
French £900 – £2,500+
Sliding £750 – £1,800+

Composite or uPVC doors: Which is better?

Now that we've been through the pros, cons and costs of composite and uPVC doors, let's compare them side-by-side to determine which material is best suited to your new doors.

Composite uPVC Winner
Level of Security Highly secure. Your home will be secure but composite doors are much more durable. Composite doors
Aesthetics A very wide range of colours and styles are available. Composite doors can even pass off as expensive timber doors. Offer a variety of designs to choose from but more limited than composite doors. Composite doors
Lifetime Up to 35 years. Between 10-20 years. Composite doors.
Total Cost More expensive material. Cheapest and most popular material on the market. uPVC doors

When comparing some of the key considerations when it comes to composite and uPVC doors, composite doors come out on top in every category except price.

Having said that, if you choose to make the extra investment in composite doors, they could last for up to 35 years, compared to the maximum lifetime of 20 years for uPVC doors. This means that you won't need worry about replacing them for a much longer time and for that reason, we're crowing composite doors the winner in this head-to-head.

Get free quotes for composite and uPVC front doors

Both composite and uPVC have many benefits to offer your home when it comes to considering a material for your new doors.

Whichever material you decide to choose, get the installation off to the best possible start by using Windows Guide to get free quotes from up to 3 installers in your local area. Simply complete our online form with details of the work you need and we'll match you with installers qualified to carry out the work. Once you've got the quotes, you can compare and choose the one that's best for your budget and your home.

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