As the sun begins to ease its way out of hibernation and we begin to spend more time in the garden, you may have noticed that your doors are looking a little worse for wear. Whether you have had your existing doors for a long period of time or they simply no longer fit your style, there is a whole host of reasons as to why you may consider a replacement.
However, this is a decision that comes alongside a significant amount of research and planning, even more so nowadays as there are more options than ever to choose from. Nevertheless, one of the most important considerations is which material you believe is best suited to your home. So, to aid your decision, we have put together a full guide comparing aluminium doors vs composite doors, two of the most popular choices amongst our customers.
Aluminium Doors vs Composite Doors: What’s Best For Your Home?
Whether you are hoping to replace your front, patio or even garage doors, you most definitely will not be short on options to consider. No longer is it a case of choosing between style and reliability, as manufacturers now combine the two to provide customers with doors boasting high performance while perfectly complementing the aesthetics of their property.
When shortlisting door replacement options, your first, and we think the most important decision, will be which material you will opt for. It is entirely your choice as to whether you stick with the material that your existing fixtures are made of or choose something a little different to reap better benefits.
With this in mind, with many years of experience supplying both composite doors and aluminium doors, we’re going to compare the two side by side, addressing the following points:
- What Are Aluminium Doors?
- What Are Composite Doors?
- The Benefits Of Aluminium Doors
- The Benefits Of Composite Doors
Crown Windows Project – Aluminium Bifold Doors
Before delving into the benefits of each door material, it is vital to spend time running through what each material actually is, how it’s made and its properties. So, to start off, what are aluminium doors? Aluminium is an elemental metal that is widely used for a variety of different purposes. Thanks to its low density, malleability, and high corrosion resistance, aluminium is an ideal material for making lightweight and durable doors.
The manufacturing process for aluminium doors is a relatively straightforward one, as they are made using just aluminium, which is heated before being placed into a press to mould. The aluminium is often completed with an additional protective thermal barrier to ensure that it remains efficient at heat insulation. It can also be easily cut to size using specialist machinery to ensure that the door fits seamlessly onto your property.
With the nation continuously encouraged to begin building a more environmentally friendly home, it’s now more important than ever to choose materials which provide insulation efficiency. While in the past, aluminium doors were not rated for their ability to retain heat, this is most definitely no longer the case. As mentioned previously, most aluminium doors are now equipped with an additional thermal barrier, which is designed to be non-conductive, meaning that heat transfer between the indoors and outdoors will be minimised.
Aluminium doors have an average life expectancy of 45 years, making them the best option if you want your investment to last as long as possible. So, why are aluminium doors a better option than composite ones when it comes to longevity? It’s as simple as the durability and reliability of metal as opposed to materials such as wood and plastic.
Aluminium is corrosion-resistant, which means that it will not rust or corrode when faced with damper weather conditions. Unlike its alternatives, aluminium also will not warp when exposed to moisture. This is a common problem amongst homeowners, caused by the expanding and contracting of materials. For more details on why doors warp and how to avoid it, take a look at The Balance Small Business.
Aluminium doors are relatively straightforward to maintain, meaning that keeping them in good condition should only require washing them every few months. Unlike with other materials such as timber, there will be no need to apply regular treatments in order to prevent damage. To clean your aluminium door, all you will need is a bucket of water and a mild detergent, along with a sponge. Always avoid using anything abrasive such as a bristle brush, as this may scratch the surface of the door, causing damage. You can then gently start to wipe away any dirt and debris on the door.
Although it is vital to choose door materials based on their qualities and performance, style should also play a role in your final decision. Your door must complement the appearance of your property, helping to create a positive first impression. Generally, aluminium doors are available in more traditional colours such as black, brown and cream. These neutral shades will go with any home aesthetic, but if you are after a more exciting door colour, you may be hard-pressed to find an aluminium door in your chosen shade.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of aluminium doors, it’s time to move on to composite doors. So, what are composite doors? To start, they are made of a combination of materials (hence ‘composite’), usually including uPVC, foam, wood, and glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). This means that composite doors offer the beneficial properties of a range of different materials, making them especially suited to their function.
Composite doors have a more complex manufacturing process than aluminium ones because they are made from several materials. The outer frame, subframe and core are all made from different materials, which together maximise performance. Composite doors were initially designed to eliminate any flaws that were found in doors made using just one material, combining qualities for a more robust option. Most commonly, the core of a composite door will be made from solid wood, which is completed with a reinforced galvanised steel outer frame and uPVC subframe to take advantage of the beneficial properties of each of these materials.
Like aluminium doors, composite alternatives also promise high insulation efficiency, but down to different reasons. Firstly, composite doors are designed to be slightly thicker than your average door, generally by at least 6mm. They also feature a hardwood core, which is a natural insulator due to its hundreds of small pockets of air in the grains, which prevent heat from being conducted.
Although composite doors do combine the best qualities of various materials, they still do not last as long as their aluminium alternatives. Composite doors are thought to last for up to 30 years, 15 years less than the predicted lifespan of their aluminium counterparts.
To maintain the condition of your composite door, you will only need to wash it every few months with a simple solution of water and washing up liquid and a soft sponge. This way, you will remove any dirt and debris from the surface of the door, preventing it from building up and ruining your home’s aesthetics.
As the exterior of composite doors is usually made using uPVC, there are few limitations in terms of colours, making them ideal for those hoping to add a unique touch to their property in the form of a pop of colour. You can also opt to have a specific finish on composite doors, such as wood grain, to replicate the texture and appearance of a timber door.
Crown Windows Project – New Composite Door Installation
Now that we’ve covered what both aluminium and composite doors are, we thought we’d run through a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of each so that you can compare each type and decide which one suits your needs better. Here are the benefits of aluminium doors, as well as a couple of drawbacks:
- Aluminium doors are incredibly robust, meaning that they can withstand all weather conditions.
- As aluminium boasts guaranteed strength, it can be slim-lined for a sleek appearance, while still maintaining its durability.
- Once you have finished with your aluminium door, it can be recycled for a more environmentally friendly option.
- Aluminium doors, by far, have one of the longest lifespans compared to other materials, without much need for maintenance.
- Some homeowners experience condensation on the glazing of aluminium doors because the material is a heat conductor.
- In terms of aesthetics, there may not be as many options available if you were to opt for aluminium doors as opposed to its alternatives.
Crown Windows Project – Aluminium Doors
So, we’ll now move on to a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of composite doors so that you can compare them to those of aluminium doors and make an informed decision when choosing which kind to install in your home. The benefits and drawbacks of composite doors are as follows:
- The added thickness of composite doors means that they are almost impossible to force open.
- The appearance of composite doors can easily be customised to fit your style.
- Composite doors couldn’t be easier to maintain aside from regular cleaning when they begin to look grubby.
- Although it may not be as long as aluminium ones, composite doors last up to 30 years, which means that they will most likely last you the entire time spent in your home.
- Composite doors do come alongside a higher price tag, making them one of the most expensive door types.
- Some homeowners do notice that their composite doors creak during the warmer weather.
Crown Windows Project – New Composite Door Installation
Composite vs Aluminium Doors Explained
While determining the best-suited material for your doors may take a considerable amount of research and planning, it is most definitely worth the additional work. Doors are an investment, and particularly if you opt for a high-quality option that will stand the test of time, they will not be cheap. This means that taking several factors into consideration will guarantee that you make a worthwhile investment that provides you with value for money.
Whether you are in need of a new composite door or aluminium windows, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Crown uPVC Supplies if you are in need of guidance. We are always more than happy to answer any questions that you may have!