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Three counties installation of composite front doors with side panels by apeer Three Counties Primary Logo

Front Doors. Composite Doors VS Solid Wood Doors: Which is Best for Your Home?

(4 min read)

A well-finished solid wood front door is a classic look for homes, and the traditional feel can add value to a property. In recent times, many homeowners have been opting to fit composite doors instead of traditional wooden front doors. With both holding different benefits and drawbacks, take a look below at how they compare on issues that matter to homeowners.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Composite Front Doors VS Solid Wood Front Doors

Cost & Maintenance

The initial cost of a solid wood door is likely to be slightly less than that of a composite door, however, the cost of ongoing maintenance is likely to be more.

As well as being harder to clean, solid wood doors require ongoing maintenance to be kept in the best condition. Wooden front doors are more susceptible to ageing and the elements, and failing to address these problems can lead to the door peeling, warping, swelling or becoming disfigured.

So if you don’t like the idea of regular maintenance, a composite front door is the right choice for you.

Life Expectancy

A solid wood door’s life expectancy varies depending on the weather conditions and the type of wood it’s are made of, with many lasting a considerable amount of time. However, as a rule of thumb, it is expected to last upwards of 30 years if properly maintained, with a repaint needed every 2-5 years. On the other hand, composite front doors are expected to last more than 35 years, with yearly oiling of the hinges and other moving parts recommended for best performance and longevity.


In terms of thermal and noise insulation, both wooden and composite doors excel when compared to other doors available on the market. That said, a composite door will retain its insulative properties over time, whereas a traditional solid wood door can lose them without proper maintenance.


Both composite front doors and solid wood counterparts rank well when it comes to security, they are hard to kick in and if fitted with the right locks, they can be impenetrable without equipment. It is worth noting, however, that a wooden door will become much less secure if it begins to swell or warp as a result of poor maintenance and general weathering; this is something that will not occur with a composite door.

Choice of Styles

Both composite and solid wood doors are available in almost any colour imaginable, and whilst many people agree you can’t replicate the look or feel of an original handcrafted solid wood door, many composite door suppliers (including ourselves!) offer the added option of wood grain texture and finishing effects on composite doors.

When it comes to repainting the door, solid wood doors should be repainted every 2-5 years, allowing homeowners to easily change the colour of their door if they want to. Repainting a composite door can prove much more difficult, due to the material of the door we recommend it is done professionally and only with high-quality paint.

Comparing composite and wooden doors

How Do Solid Wood Front Doors React to Weather?

Wooden Doors can really suffer at the hands of the diverse weather we are used to here in the UK. When we are lucky enough to have sunshine, Wooden Doors are susceptible to warping this process can leave a gap in the door frame leading to decreased security and insulation. Additionally, paint that is exposed to sunshine and heat can begin to fade and peel, there are UV protective paints on the market to reduce the chances of this happening to your door. When the rain comes, Wooden Doors are prone to swelling, which can again leave a gap in the frame of your door. If this does happen, it can be an expensive process to rectify.

What are Composite Front Doors Made of?

Composite doors are a fairly new technology designed to address some of the issues that homeowners experience with wooden doors such as discolouration, warping and security issues. They are made up of several different elements: Starting with a solid timber sub-frame which is then filled with high-density foam allowing for its superior acoustic and energy performance. This is then overlaid with a glass-reinforced polymer to create a highly durable and easy to clean surface.

Design Your Own Composite Door with Three Counties

If you’re considering installing a composite door in your home, make it personal with our handy design a door tool; choose from a range of styles, colours, designs accessories and upgrades with an instant quote. Alternatively, give us a call on 01252 759 051 to discuss your options further. First published 17-10-2016

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Paul Wallis
Paul Wallis
We recently decided to replace our front door, and could not be happier with the result! Thanks so much to Kate, for her time and understanding. Cannot say enough good things about the installation, and Cameron was tidy and efficient. It's been a pleasure to work with Three Counties recently, doors and windows. Many thanks!
Danielle Horsley
Danielle Horsley
Lovely looking door
Agatha W
Agatha W
Three Counties have been superb, their customer service is great and their workman were polite, cleaned up after themselves and the workmanship is excellent!! I am very pleased with their work and would happily recommend them.
Tom Winter
Tom Winter
Excellent service!! We had 21 windows and 3 doors installed and very happy with it all. The process from start to finish was stress free and Ron and Lee who installed the windows and doors were great. Would definitely recommend!
Phil Redhead
Phil Redhead
Just had my tatty old windows replaced by Three Counties, and it’s been a highly professional job from start to finish. Communication from the administration team was prompt and courteous at all times, and installation ended up being much quicker than advertised projections. Installation was without issue and the lads who did the work were amenable to my requirements and did an excellent job. Very happy with the entire process. Three Counties were recommended to me by friends and I can certainly now recommend them to others.
Mark Boyce
Mark Boyce
Bought two new windows and a new front door from Three Counties, was very impressed with the attitude of all staff, who were friendly and informative. Price was good, and installation completed without a hitch - very happy with the final product, and would definitely use again.
Paul Picknett
Paul Picknett
We have just had all our windows (18) replaced, french doors (20 and side panels (2) by Three Counties. We could not be more pleased with their workmanship and the finished product. They left the property incredibly clean after each day, and this despite the messy nature of ripping out old windows and frames. We were kept informed at each stage and a minor snagging issue was resolved promptly and efficiently after installation. A first class service. We would not hesitate to recommend Three Counties.
Anna Trevelyan
Anna Trevelyan
Three Counties have now installed several windows and doors on our house and they're always my go-to company. I used another before I discovered them and they let me down, but I absolutely cannot fault Three Counties. From the moment you contact them they're courteous and professional, and they keep in touch with timescales and installation times. Friendly installers too, who go above and beyond. You'd think all this great service would cost more but they beat other companies on price. Highly recommended and trusted, I'd never go anywhere else now.