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What is a composite door?

What is a composite door?


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WHAT IS A COMPOSITE DOOR?

Discover what a composite door is and the benefits of installing one on your home.

What is a composite door? What is a composite door?

A composite is a material or item made from combining a selection of materials – by combining those materials, the new material is stronger than the individual components.

A composite door is made from a combination of materials that can offer a stronger, thicker door that is durable and has a quality of finish.

The reason that composite doors have become so popular in the UK is their beautiful wood-grain effect finish that looks as good as wood but is easy to look after and lasts up to 35 years.

What is a composite door? It's a door that won't fade, warp, crack, weather and will never need painting.

What is a composite door made of?

What is a composite door made of?

  1. The external part of a composite door is made from a 2mm layer of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP), also known as fibreglass, the same stuff they use to make fishing boats in the North Sea. It's tough, weatherproof and moulds perfectly to replicate a wood grain for a door with kerb appeal.
  2. The tough exterior GRP panels are fused to an internal frame made from uPVC and layered inside that is another frame of hardwood which makes a double frame of superior stability and rigidity.
  3. The internal space of the door is injected with a warm thermal polyurethane foam core that's 100% CFC and offers excellent heat retaining A-rated insulation to make your door more energy efficient.
  4. The outer door frame, constructed from sturdy 70mm uPVC and steel reinforcement, makes composite doors one of the most secure you can buy.

How composite doors are made

Every composite door we make is handmade to precise measurements from the customer for the perfect fit. The composite door and frame are made together as a set to ensure the door fits as snugly as possible in the frame to eliminate draughts.

Every door is hand sprayed to the colour of choice using a special hard-wearing acrylic paint and then cured in an infrared bake that is so durable your door never needs to be painted again.

You can see the full process that explains what is a composite door and shows from start to finish how a composite door is made in our factory here.

Composite door benefits

Composite doors have been purposely developed to address the common problems of older front doors such as weathering, fading in colour and constant maintenance. So, choosing a composite front door has considerable benefits over timber and uPVC.

Lasts a long time

Installing a composite front door is a solid investment that won't have to be replaced for at least 35 years. Unlike timber, it won't crack or peel paint and unlike cheap uPVC, won't warp, fade or look shabby after time.

Hard-wearing

Composite doors are stronger than the sum of their parts and the materials used in combination mean that the door is more durable than timber or uPVC. They will stand serious wear and tear, bumps and knocks and the external GRP material is especially resistant to denting, kicks and knocks.

Sturdy and secure

One of the most important features of a door is just how strong and secure it is and composite doors have superior security due to the steel-reinforced frame and the internal solidity of the door. The quality of composite doors does vary, so look out for security standards that would mean a burglar is going to find it almost impossible to break through that one.

Thermally efficient

Old doors have problems from draughts and gaps caused by warping and shifting in the frame. Although wood has good thermal properties, it can't compare to the insulating core of a composite door and the precision fit manufacture means the door sits perfectly in the frame to eliminate gusty gaps. Composite doors are A-rated for thermal efficiency and will help to retain heat in the home.

Kerb appeal

There's no doubt that a beautifully painted timber door looks stunning and can add value to a property. With a specially moulded wood-grain effect surface, the composite door looks just as good as wood but has the benefit of always looking like a freshly painted wood door.

Low maintenance

As beautiful as timber looks, wood is a high-maintenance material. The freshly painted look doesn't last long – wood needs care and attention to stop the door from cracking, rotting or peeling. And wood weathers fast. Composite doors look just as good as wood but have the benefit of only needing a quick wash with a cloth to keep them looking their best – you should expect good looks and a long life out of your composite door.

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

Traditionally, doors were always made from timber. Then along came uPVC and became the most popular choice for front and back doors. uPVC is more economical when compared to wood and is a lower maintenance option without the need for care and painting.

And now, composite doors are the most popular choice in the UK.

The main difference between a uPVC door and a composite door is that a composite door is made from a combination of materials that offer all the benefits of each. A uPVC door is a singular material and limited by its properties.

A composite door is just as easy to maintain as uPVC but it also looks better than uPVC as it has the moulded wood-effect grain that looks as good as timber.

uPVC doors are still a popular choice but if you want a front door that will be long-lasting and retain its polished exterior composite doors are now a better investment.

Our premium GRP composite doors boast a robust 70mm thickness, SmartLock from Yale for added security and weatherproof seals. See more…

Problems with composite doors

Composite doors have very few problems but, as with other doors, they will swell in hot weather, especially if the door is south facing. This is unavoidable, so when your door is installed, make sure it's fitted to accommodate the natural swelling a door can expect. Also, make sure that your composite door is manufactured to the perfect size so that it doesn't stick in warm weather.

Another common problem with composite doors and all doors is that after time they drop. Again, this is unavoidable. If your composite door drops, you can adjust the strike plate or the hinges so that it closes easily.

Some people think that it's a problem that composite doors initially cost more to buy than uPVC doors. However, if you factor in the longevity of the door, when you calculate the cost over its lifespan in comparison to another door then a composite door is a better value investment.

Do composite doors fade?

Keeping a door looking bright and glossy can be a challenge, especially if your front door faces serious weathering from wind and rain. uPVC doors are available in bright colours but they can fade over time, especially if they are subject to strong UV light. Timber doors will crack and peel when beaten by rain and dried by hot weather.

Composite doors are finished in a resistant GRP (fibreglass) material that is used on boats – and if a North Sea fishing boat can withstand the elements, your composite door can take whatever is thrown at it.

Composite doors shouldn't fade – the colours are designed to be vibrant and long-lasting and guaranteed to last far longer than timber and uPVC.

Can you paint composite doors?

The GRP outer skin of the composite door is spray lacquered with a special acrylic paint when it's manufactured and then baked with infrared. This process infuses the colour into the GRP, rather than sitting on top of the outer layer like traditional paint. So, it can't chip, peel or flake and is resistant to fading.

Can you paint a composite door – no, because the paint will not adhere to the surface of the door and will ruin the look of the door.

Some websites suggest using a primer, oil-based paint and a varnish finish. However, this is bad advice.

Glass reinforced plastic is not a suitable base for paint. The skin of the door is designed to be infused with the colour for vibrancy and longevity and to alleviate the need for painting.

If you use gloss paint on the door, you might get it to adhere but it won't last long – the door will be susceptible to peeling, chipping and weathering. And, by painting a composite door you will never be able to achieve the same quality of finish – you will devalue your door.

Be aware, you may also lose any guarantees you have for the door if you paint it.

If you're desperate to change the colour of the door, you can speak to the manufacturer about colour bonding and they may be able to do this for you.

Can composite doors be painted? – yes, if the manufacturer is able to take the door away for colour bonding.

Composite doors are available in a choice of elegant styles, colours and glass. See more…

How long do composite doors last?

A front door is a long-term purchase and a composite door will last for at least 35 years or more.

The only reason you should need to change a composite door is:

  • If it becomes damaged
  • If you change your mind

One of the benefits of composite doors is that the glazing can be easily replaced. Unlike a uPVC door where the glazing is moulded to the door, the glazing in a composite door can easily be slotted into the pre-cut space. However, you can't cut a new shape glass window into an existing composite door as it will compromise the strength of the door. You can only specify glass portals before the door is made.

So, what is a composite door?

  • It's a door that has superior strength for peace of mind security
  • It's easy to maintain with a wipe down surface – no painting required
  • It looks as good as wood but doesn't weather or fade

Everest composite front and back doors are handcrafted in the UK for a precision fit

You can choose from a wide range of contemporary or traditional designs and be reassured that our composite doors meet British Security Standards.

We also offer a 10-year guarantee on the whole door and the installation.

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