No-compromise composite doors

Adrian Pavey of Nationwide Windows & Doors discusses the advantages of composite doors for new build developments.

Specifiers and housebuilders have lots of choice when it comes to the different types of door materials on the market. Naturally however, product specifications and performance vary depending on where the doors are and what they are required to do.

Traditionally, one of the most popular materials to make doors out of is PVCu, which is highly weather resistant, has great maintenance free properties and offers value for money. In contrast, while as a nation we may have an emotional affinity with the integrity of timber doors, they can require varnishing, painting and weather sealing many times over their life span.

While both PVCu and timber doors come with their own pros and cons, in recent years, there has been a trend towards build- ing with what has been described as the ‘no compromise’ composite door. As the name suggests, composite doors are manufactured from a combination of materials.

For example, composite door skins can be made from impact-resistant fibreglass (thermoset GRP – glass reinforced polyester) and compression-moulded to offer detailed panel definition and an authentic woodgrain effect which will not expand, contract, bow, warp or twist. In such products, the stiles and rails may be composed of water-resistant polymers which are bonded to the skin and filled with an insulating core of 100 per cent CFC-free polyurethane, providing thermal efficiency nine times that of a timber door.

Key advantages of composite doors include:

  • a safe, sturdy and robust entrance to a
  • an energy efficient choice with insulating properties helping reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer
  • low maintenance, requiring very little upkeep – just a quick wipe down with a damp cloth
  • available with realistic woodgrain finishes, a wide variety of colours, and the option for glasswork inserts
  • strong and resistant to wear and tear, easily standing the rigours of day to day use
  • will not warp, chip, scratch, rot of discolour
  • their long lifespan means they offer great overall lifecycle value.

End products must be tough, tried and tested, and offer high levels of both security and durability, Look for products that are UKAS accredited to BS:PAS 23 and BS:PAS24, and Secured By Design licensed (Association of Chief Police Officers).

It is also advisable that housebuilders and developers look to members of The Association of Composite Door Manufacturers (ACDM). This is the representative body focused on ensuring that composite doors, and all those involved in manufacturing and supplying them must maintain a high level of quality and credibility, and as such there is a minimum requirement to join the ACDM, based upon product performance.

When you choose a partner for your development’s doors, choose a company who is committed to ensuring this innovative door continues its foothold within the UK’s housing market.

Adrian Pavey is commercial director of Nationwide Windows & Doors