PVCu vs uPVC – What’s the Difference?

Published: 30th May 2023

The terms PVCu and uPVC have been widely known and used for decades, however, we’re often asked what the difference is between the two.

We have created this blog post to help with any confusion around these two terms and explain how the material can be used.

What is PVCu?

PVCu is an abbreviation for Poly Vinyl Chloride un-plasticised, the materials from which it is made. Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) is a lightweight yet robust type of plastic which is used extensively in construction products such as conservatories, pipes, fittings and flooring and is most widely known for its use in doors and window frames.

The ‘u’ stands for un-plasticised, which means the material hasn’t been softened during the manufacturing process to help the material retain its rigidity and strength.

What is the difference between PVCu and uPVC?

Because both PVCu and uPVC are abbreviations for un-plasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride, there is no difference between the two interchangeable terms, other than the order in which the abbreviations appear. Both relate to the same material, with the same properties.

uPVC was commonly used throughout the UK to describe the material before the 1980s, however, many countries across the globe pronounced the PVC before the U, so this was officially changed in the 1980s to ‘PVCu’ by European standards to ensure uniformity across the globe.

While PVCu is now the official industry term, you may still see uPVC used extensively due to consumer’s familiarity with the word.


upvc front door

Why is uPVC widely used for doors?

uPVC is a very common material for both doors and windows, with many homeowners all across the UK opting for a uPVC door. Whether it’s a uPVC front door or back door, this robust material is a popular door choice due to its multiple benefits:

Durability  – uPVC is an extremely versatile product which is highly resistant to scratches, withstands wet weather conditions, is colour stable and does not rot over time.

Thermally Efficient – Utilising Heat Reflective Technology, Hurst uPVC doors, in particular, have heat-reflective skins which provide excellent insulation properties when combined with an extra high-density core. These elements mean your uPVC door blocks noise and heat from both entering and escaping your home.

Green Credentials – uPVC door panels feature a fire-retardant core material which is non-toxic and completely recyclable. Because we’re committed to reducing our environmental impact, any waste materials from our uPVC doors are either recycled or disposed of responsibly.

Highly customisable – uPVC doors are available in a wide variety of door styles, glass designs and colours, meaning that no matter what your personal taste or house style, whether it’s coloured uPVC doors or classic black or white, you’ll be able to find the perfect uPVC door for you.

Affordable – An affordable material without compromising on standards and style, uPVC is a popular choice throughout households due to its reasonable price tag and quality finish.

Low Maintenance – uPVC doors are an extremely low-maintenance choice of door. Simply wipe down with warm, soapy water and a lint-free cloth to keep your door looking good as new.

So whether you call it a PVCu door or a uPVC door, we have a huge range of door colours and styles to choose from. For more information, speak to one of our door specialists today.