Are you looking to buy a new front door but are struggling to make a choice between aluminium doors and composite doors? Well worry no more, because in this post we will be looking at the main differences and the benefits of aluminium doors compared to composite doors.
Structurally, doors come in two main categories,
- Panel Doors : A panel door has a thick frame around the sides and features a thinner centre panel (or panels) in the centre of the main door.
- Infill/Flush Doors: This type of door has the frame built into the door leaf, providing a flush, smooth exterior surface that is an equal thickness over the entire door.
Aluminium doors come in both varieties, but composite doors are generally the flush/infill type.
For this post we will be comparing flush type for both aluminium and composite materials.
Aluminium doors are made of aluminium sheets , aluminium thermal frames , Insulation material , strong aluminium or stainless steel handles, multipoint locking system with different shapes of double/triple/quadruple glazing inside to make different designs for the door. In the picture below you can see a cross section of a flush/infilled aluminium door (specifically the Gold Reynaers series).
Composite doors use timber or MDF for the frame of the door leaf, and are covered with a GRP/fibreglass skin for waterproofing and insulation material ( quality varies from supplier to supplier ) between front and rear side skin which can be finished to provide a wood-like appearance. They generally fit inside a uPVC fixed frame in the wall. All composite doors will only have double glazed unit for glass designs and some may not provide toughened glass to save costs.
In the door industry, aluminium doors and composite doors have been competing to which is the most favourable to use for front doors.
Now, let’s take a look at the comparison of aluminium and composite doors.
DurabilityAluminium doors have high durability that can last for years, or even decades.
While composite doors also offer durability, they are not as weatherproof as their aluminium rivals. Due to the use of timber and UPVC in their construction, they can expand and contract during changes in temperature, resulting in warping of the door and interference of door operations.
Of course being more durable, means greater security also.
SustainableBecause aluminium can be recycled and reused over and over without losing its qualities, it can be considered zero waste. Composite doors on the other hand can be difficult to recycle due to the variety of materials used, many of them not recyclable at all.
Aluminium doors offer almost indefinite colour and finishing options that won't fade or discolour. They can be customised to almost anyRAL colour.
Composite doors are mostly made to mimic wood and don't offer as much variety in colour and finish that aluminium doors have., Due to the finishing processes used, the finish may also fade over time.
The UPVC fixed frame used in composite doors, in which the door fits are most commonly offered in the natural white colour of the polymer. Sometimes the UPVC frame can be colour-matched with the composite door leaf, but this often involved painting or laminating the colour onto the fixed frame. This type of finish can deteriorate quickly and are often not guaranteed for very long.
Aluminium doors are virtually zero maintenance due to their property of maintaining shape and colour. Cleaning can be as easy as wiping with a damp cloth. Composite doors are also considered low maintenance, but keep an eye on them when the weather changes. The tendency for composite components to expand at different rates can damage its components and mechanisms, thus the need to call for a fix.
AestheticsAluminium doors feature a modern, sleek look compared to UPVC framed doors, which can look bulky.
They have a smooth and pleasing appearance, and can be customized easily to integrate with the exterior design of homes and properties. Aluminium is favoured by many architects and designers to incorporate in their projects. Composite doors are mainly designed to appear like wood with its colours and grains.
While aluminium doors may be higher, summing up all the benefits, they are worth the extra cost, especially due to the low maintenance on aluminium doors and the wider range of custom finishes available.
Hopefully this post has helped clarify the benefits of aluminium doors compared to composites. While you may spend a little more money on an aluminium door, you will be reassured that your purchase will be a long-lasting, low maintenance option, and most importantly, will offer enhanced security. With overall design, quality and security, Aluminium doors are clearly worth investing over their composite counterparts.
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