With a build quality you often only see on aluminium front doors costing two or three times as much, Gerda front doors is a collection of very well-built and designed front doors, using either a combination of steel and aluminium or all aluminium. Quality materials, great design, attractive hardware, with trusted security and protection features. We’ve seen and tested Gerda doors up close, and any of the four Gerda models offers a fantastic front door proposition, promising style, durability and a very attractive price. This review focuses on four models from Gerda’s lineup: the Optima, Thermo Prime, Thermo Premium, and Altus.
Gerda Front Doors
An excellent proposition for general front door replacements and new builds. Gerda front doors have a luxurious look and feel compared to front doors with an inset panel. With impressive security features, excellent thermal performance, and a great choice of designs, Gerda front doors are a sound investment for any homeowner.
- Optima model priced near composite doors.
- High-end front door look and feel.
- Impressive build quality, fit and finish.
- A range to suit all tastes and budgets.
- Feels solid, secure and dependable.
- No double door option.
- Side panel sizes are limited.
What are Gerda Front Doors?
Gerda Doors is a collection of front doors, new to the UK since 2022. These are made in Europe and distributed by Pioneer Trading Company in Essex via a nationwide network of quality door showrooms and professional home improvement firms.
The range of doors available offers four models, each differing in price, insulation levels and design. Three models use an aluminium frame with a steel front door slab, and the top-of-the-range model is made of all aluminium.
The entire door collection offers great door designs, standard or low thresholds, and excellent colour, handle and glass options. Gerda front doors start at a very attractive entry point, with no loss of specifications, leading up to the premium model with designed with a flush and seamless appearance.
We’ve seen and used Gerda doors up close over several visits to the UK distributor showroom, fenestration exhibitions, and in-depth discussions with representatives from the European manufacturing company.
Gerda doors – design and aesthetics
Like other quality front doors, Gerda front doors are designed to have a visually better look than front doors designed around the concept of an otherwise standard aluminium door, with a decorative panel where the glass would be. These doors have little wrong; good brands like Origin, Hallmark, Spitfire S200 and the Dutemänn Haus will serve you well.
The difference with the better-designed doors is they look more like a solid doors with a one-piece door leaf. You don’t get the picture frame look of the glaze-in design, which creates a border around the door panel. Gerda doors are engineered and designed so the whole opening leaf is one piece, and this always looks better. The first three models use an aluminium thermally broken frame by Deceuninck. The door leaf is made of steel. The Altus meets the need of homeowners or developers seeking a high-end design with seamless and flush design both inside and out.
The benefit of steel in a front door
Steel front doors have strength, service life and quality unparalleled compared to other front door materials. Steel is widely used for high-security, fire, and protection doors in buildings with special requirements. Virtually impervious to dents, cracks, warping, and attack, steel front doors are formidable.
The rigidity of steel surpasses that of aluminium, PVCu and composite doors. Composite doors, while designed to mimic the best features of wood and modern doors, often fall short of matching the inherent strength of steel doors. Even aluminium, whilst strong, has its limitations by the nature of the material. For years, the best front doors for strength and long service life have been steel, with equal quality in terms of withstanding ageing, impacts and general wear and tear. But steel doors are often at the top end of the price range and discounted due to cost.
You only need to look at a steel door to see how this material differs from others visibly. The endurance of steel translates into a longer lifespan for the door, proving to be an excellent long-term investment for homeowners. The consistency of steel’s manufacturing process ensures a uniform quality without the natural defects present in wood or the variability found in composite materials. This reliability also extends to performance, with excellent security, thermal performance and noise reduction. Gerda front doors are priced so that the benefits of a strong and stylish front door are within reach of those without large budgets.
The Gerda Front Doors Range
All four front door models by Gerda come with some visibly better features in their design and many specifications than the mainstream aluminium doors, especially other products such as the S200 Spitfire Door, Origin and Hallmark products. Gerda front doors also give you many identical features, whether with the entry-level door, such as the Optima 60 or top-of-the-range mode like Altus.
Gerda Optima 60
The entry-level model is the Optima 60, and the immediate appeal of this product is it gets you a significantly better steel and aluminium front door at the price of a premium composite door. There is no advantage to choosing a composite door when you have an all-metal front door with two of the strongest door materials and an altogether better look, feel and level of quality.
Gerda front doors in the Optima 60 model give a great choice of both modern and traditional styles.
Gerda Thermo Premium 75
Using the Thermo Premium 75 model is an upgrade from the Optima 60. With this model, you get all the same high specifications and the aluminium and steel construction in a thicker, even more robust feeling door with a deeper frame and door leaf. The U-Values are lower; the maximum sizes exceed most standard door widths and heights.
Gerda Thermo Prime 75
When you want even better U-Values and an upgrade in the insulation, Gerda Thermo Prime 75 uses more advanced polyurethane insulation between the two steel skins, resulting in an increase in thermal performance. This model comes in exactly the same styles as the Thermo Premium model and can go a little taller.
The top-of-the-range model within the Gerda front doors range is Altus. Altus uses an all-aluminium construction with an even thicker frame, door leaf, and the lowest U-Values down to Passivhaus if required. Altus also uses the polyurethane insulation method, with the respected and even more secure Führ German locking system. Altus also provides the completely flush styling.
Comparing Gerda Front Doors
Your choice for which front door is best depends on price, the design you want and your sizes, the level of insulation and whether you prefer the aluminium and steel combination or an all-aluminium door. We’ve summarized the four Gerda entrance door models for a quick overview.
|Optima 60||Thermo Premium 75||Thermo Prime 75||Altus|
|Door Construction||Aluminium Frame|
Steel Door Leaf
Steel Door Leaf
Steel Door Leaf
Aluminium Door Leaf
|Designs Available||Modern & Classic||Modern||Modern||Modern|
|Security Rating||PAS 24||PAS 24||PAS 24||PAS 24|
|Minimum Sizes||840 x 1950mm||840 x 1950mm||840 x 1950mm||920 x 2010mm|
|Maximum Sizes||1130 x 2200mm||1130 x 2200mm||1130 x 2400mm||1250 x 2400mm|
The full technical information is available on the Gerda UK website. Here are the significant technical details.
- Tested to RC2 or RC3 security standards
- Thermally insulated aluminium frames using the quality Deceuninck system
- Tedee smart locking option, the smallest on the market
- 11 separate certifications for quality, security and components
- Professionally applied colour finishes to the latest quality standards
Handle and Hardware Options
Gerda manufactures its hardware, and the company is already well-known in the door security space with a separate business providing security solutions.
The handle and hardware options available with Gerda front doors are premium quality, with a modern overall look and a positive and solid feel. Handles operate smoothly with no dropping or wobble. The range includes one-piece locks, handles with separate escutcheons, and optional smart home-operated locking options. The handle options are metallic anodised, with Platinum Anode, Silver Anode and Blade Anode available as colour options. Anti-burglary Class 6 cylinders come as standard.
Gerda doors offer three hinge options, with a concealed roller and butt hinge design. As you can see from the images, the locking systems look secure and dependable, with numerous bolts engaging on the lock side and in the head. Whilst all doors now come with secure locks, steel doors benefit from using the larger and thicker bar bolts compared to hook locks.
Gerda Front Doors – what you don’t get
As good as these doors are, there are a few areas where they are presently limited. First, there is no double door option – and Gerda tells us a door-and-a-half option is currently under development. The second is the sidelight and toplight fixed glazing, if chosen, does come with size limitations below what is available with other doors.
While the minimum and maximum door sizes will meet most customer requirements, the doors don’t go as small or as large as some other door products in a similar design. For example, the Schüco AD UP Series of front doors can go up to 3 metres with many models, as does Pirnar, Reynaers Masterline and Urban Front. These larger doors are significantly more expensive at these larger sizes.
Other products to compare with Gerda Front Doors
There are numerous front doors on the market, so you certainly have a lot of choices. And many of these doors come from equally established brands. There isn’t really any bad aluminium front door on the market. The products we think are the most similar to Gerda doors in terms of design and materials are:
Spitfire Front Doors
Unlike other door manufacturers, Spitfire is quite secretive about where their doors are made. You can compare the Spitfire S200 with the Thermo Premium or Optima. The Spitfire S500 model is worth comparing with the Gerda Altus model. Spitfire doors are more expensive and are all aluminium.
Hörmann is a highly respected front door with some funky styles available in addition to the popular ones. Their solid door with no glass has a higher security rating. Like Gerda, Hörmann also offers a steel door option with the polyurethane foam insulation of the Thermo Prime 75 and the Altus models. We think these are the most similar to Gerda doors because they have the same aluminium frame and steel door leaf concept.
We have deliberately left out Origin front doors, Dutemann and Hallmark simply because these doors have inset panels and don’t offer the same all-in-one styling.
Gerda Front Doors Review – Conclusion
You realise there is no bad door when you do a like-for-like comparison or see most of the door brands on the market. Modern design, good hardware, and build quality ensure you’ll always get a fit-for-purpose product. Every door manufacturer will praise their doors, and today’s aluminium front doors all have good insulation, security and a great choice of designs. So how do you choose? Price is, of course, one factor. Where you are not totally limited by price, how a door looks and how it feels in use is an excellent indicator of good design and quality.
If you are in the market for a composite front door, choose the Gerda Optima. An aluminium and steel construction needs no comparison to a PVCu frame, glass-reinforced plastic slab and wood insert. You only need to look at the various door fitter forums to read people’s frustrations with warping or twisting on many composite doors – something Gerda doors won’t suffer from. And considering the price of premium composite door brands versus the Optima model, it is a no-brainer.
The same applies to choosing front doors like Origin or Hallmark, which are essentially doors with a panel in place of glass. Nothing is bad about these doors. The Optima model again proves how you can get a substantially better, more authentic-looking door than any aluminium door using the glaze-in panel concept. And some of these simpler doors are more expensive. Overall, the Optima model is available to people who think they can only afford a composite door.
The Thermo Prime, Thermo Premium and Altus sit at the sweet spot of doors where budget isn’t the crucial factor, yet you still want value with quality. Again there is no bad door on the market. When using the Gerda product, having also seen Spitfire doors many times, we noticed Gerda doors feel better, more premium, more solid and, especially with that final closing and latching action. The closing action reminds you of the solid thud of luxury car doors. The locks, hinges, handles, panel designs and overall feel give a positive and reassuring experience.
Choosing a front door can sometimes feel like you are going down rabbit holes, navigating the marketing messages, features and claims of everyone’s door being the ‘best’. There is no best front door, but when you study the value proposition, build quality, look and feel of Gerda front doors, we think you will be impressed.
Contact us for more information about Gerda front doors and details of a local showroom and supplier.