Simple question relatively straight forward answer but so much depends on the individual. If you love the look of timber doors and enjoy the annual/ bi annual routine of redecorating them and you are happy to regularly check and lubricate locks and hinges and you do not mind the occasional winter problems of a bit of swelling, warping and/or sticking of your door and the converse summer problems of draughts when your door shrinks back in drier weather – if you are such an individual there is probably very little we can say to convince you of the practicalities of Composite Doors.
However, if none of the problems and maintenance routines surrounding timber doors appeal to you then maybe your new front door should be a composite front door so here are a few comparisons to consider –
Longevity – timber doors last forever just look at the ones you see on stately homes – of course they do and their level of maintenance far exceeds that of the normal household – for every Stately home timber door there are thousands of domestic homes across the UK where cheap imported timber doors have been installed and long since removed. A composite door will not last forever but with the minimum of care and attention it should be good for circa thirty years
Security – two points to consider – the strength of the door and the locking systems. A correctly craftsman manufactured timber door will be secure and with good quality locks it will provide everything you need but unfortunately, we are talking expensive – the majority of doors from your local DIY store fall short of this standard. The majority of reputable companies selling modern composite doors have to ensure that their doors meet and or exceed industry regulatory /legislation that is continuously changing to ensure that the product is manufactured to the highest of standards. A typical composite door is factory manufactured which means the production has to comply with industry Quality Procedure/standards so consistency of product components and manufacture is guaranteed at source. Both the door and the locking systems are then subject to further testing before the door can achieve the accreditation that the prospective customer should be looking for.
The door itself should conform to both BS 6375 and PAS 24 – the former is a set of standards which focuses on strength, weather-resistance and reliable operation. without failure of the door, frame, hinges or locking system, whereas PAS 24 is all about the strength of the door – to achieve this accreditation the door will have been required to be tested to attack conditions by an independent testing authority to guarantee strength and durability.
Since July 2013 all composite doors sold in the UK have been required to carry a CE Mark meaning that it meets standards set by European law and ensure that the door is “fit for purpose” and safe to install – the requirement covers a variety of different factors including water tightness, resistance to wind load, thermal transmittance, impact resistance and air permeability.
The locking system – Virtually without exception composite doors have a “multi-point locking system” as their core defence against unwanted intruders – once engaged the multipoint hooks not only provide a strong locking feature, they also ensure the door is held square in the frame thereby eliminating the possibility of the door warping or twisting. All Global doors use the “Ultion” cylinder as the locking mechanism for their multi point locks – if you want to know more about the Ultion take a look at our sister site “Eurosecure” where you will find all the technical stuff and lots of blogs extolling its virtues.
The whole issue of door security is one we have raised many times – as far back as April 2016 we were making similar comments in our “to secure or not to secure” blog.
Warping, twisting, swelling etc ?
If any door is correctly installed the chances of future movement should be minimised however in the case of a composite doors there are other reasons why it should not warp or expand, and the clue is in the name and we are back to the factory Quality control procedures – Global Doors composite doors comprise multiple, reinforced layers of different materials at the heart of which is a rigid polyurethane core which are clamped and laid together in such a way that the door remains absolutely rigid and stable during construction and which when clad each side with a GRP through coloured facing panel forms a single, solid entity that is very resistant to warping.
Colours and their control
As stated above the thick GRP surface layer is coloured throughout and it is part of a factory process that securely bonds it to the door core, being through coloured means that even if the scratch-resistant surface is compromised in any way, the exposed area is the exact same colour as the rest of the surface. The advancement in dye and pigment technology has also all but removed the old problem of UV light causing your door colour to fade and degrade and through the anticipated thirty-year life cycle of the door this simply will not happen.
Therefore, whichever one of the fourteen colours you choose will still be looking just as bright and new years from now.
What if you tire of the colour of your door of your door, can it be painted, yes but it is not something we would recommend for the average DIY enthusiast – if you must change the colour of your door give us a call and we can arrange for professional colour bonding to any RAL colour – but remember we will have to temporarily remove your door to perform this task.
Are Composite Doors Fire Rated?
There are many types of composite doors on the market today and many of them are rated as ‘fire doors’ to be sure that you are getting the correct door there are certain accreditations you should always look for –
you check the
To be rated as a ‘fire door’, the doorset (the door and outer frame, as supplied from the factory) must meet the standards set out in BS 476: Part 22: 1987. A typical residential fire door is rated to withstand fire and keep out smoke and toxic fumes for at least 30 minutes before failing. We have comprehensively covered Composite Fire doors on both the Fire door page of our web site and the following articles which are definitely worth reading if a fire door is the door for you –
Maintenance of composite doors –
Back to the first paragraph – if you do NOT enjoy the annual/ bi annual routine of redecorating of timber doors and you are NOT happy to regularly check and lubricate locks and hinges and you DO mind the occasional winter problems of a bit of swelling, warping and/or sticking of your door and the converse summer problems of draughts when your door shrinks back in drier weather – you have only one choice – a new Composite Door.
When we advise customers, that maintenance consists mainly of an occasional wipe with a damp cloth when the door becomes marked or dusty few believe us until they have lived with their new door for a few months and only then do they accept the minimal maintenance requirement is all that is required to keep the door looking great.
Here at Global Door we are certain that Composite Doors are a practical alternative to Timber doors but as we sell them we may be just a little biased – check out our web site make the comparisons for yourself and when you do we will be here awaiting your order.