We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website.
Accept All Cookies
Find out more
Cookie Portal
Manage and find out more about the cookies used on this website.
View Cookie Settings
Read Cookie Policy

Accept All Cookies and Close
Close Without Saving
< Back
This website has 3 types of cookies:
Your preferences will not take affect until the next page loads or this page is reloaded.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Feature Cookies
Performance Cookies
Save and Close
< Back
< Back
Cookie Policy
< Back

What Is the Difference Between uPVC and PVCu?

PVCu or uPVC

If you’ve heard the terms uPVC and PVCu when referring to windows and doors, you might be wondering what they mean. Is there a difference between the two terms? What does uPVC or PVCu mean? Consumers today are often confused about which type of doors and windows to choose for their home, but with sufficient information it’s possible to make a well-informed purchasing decision. So, read on to find out more about the definition of these terms and what benefits these types of windows and doors can bring to your home.

PVCu – What Is It?

The abbreviation PVCu stands for Poly Vinyl Chloride. This is a robust yet lightweight form of plastic which is commonly used in the manufacture of consumer goods. The “u” in the name means “un-plasticised”. This sounds complicated, but essentially it means that the plastic isn’t softened in the manufacturing process, thus ensuring its strength is maintained. The “u” is added to denote the difference between this type of PVC and the modified type of poly vinyl chloride that we call everyday PVC which is softened for use when manufacturing products like fake leather and sports bags. We use many products made from standard PVC material, and this means that we are already familiar with the PVC abbreviation.

PVCu or uPVC

uPVC – What Is It?

If you’ve just read the description above of what PVCu is, you already know what uPVC is too. They are two interchangeable terms which mean exactly the same thing! UPVC simply stands for Un-plasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride.

PVCu or uPVC

Why Does the Same Product Have Two Different Names?

When window and door installers promote their home improvement products, they tend to use the term uPVC. However, it may also sometimes be called PVCu. This is because a change was brought in during the 1980s to meet with European standards. The idea was to ensure universal naming conventions across the continent, since in many languages, the PVC in the product name is pronounced before the “U”.

In the UK, the term uPVC was in common use before the changes took place to bring the term into alignment with European conventions. It has been slow to die out, having maintained its use in the UK’s public domain for the last four decades as the most popular name for this material. This means that manufacturers and installers alike often use the term uPVC and PVCu interchangeably when discussing and advertising their products.

The upshot of this is that, if you’re purchasing home improvement products such as doors and windows for your home, you should understand that PVCu and uPVC aren’t different materials. Instead, they are simply two terms which both mean exactly the same thing – un-plasticised poly vinyl chloride.

PVCu or uPVC

PVCu offers a host of benefits when it comes to manufacturing windows and doors. These advantages include:

  • It won’t discolour even when exposed to prolonged sunlight
  • It is capable of withstanding even the most extreme heat of the summer
  • It won’t biologically decompose
  • Its material is lightweight which makes it more mobile
  • It is capable of retaining its shape when exposed to normal temperatures
  • It is strong enough to withstand even a strong impact
  • It is capable of resisting weathering
  • It has low requirements when it comes to ongoing maintenance
  • It is capable of being reshaped at extremely high temperatures. This means it can be recycled

Why Do We Use PVCu or uPVC For Doors and Windows?

PVCu (or uPVC depending on how you prefer to term it) is the most popular material used today to manufacture the casement and frames of home improvement products such as doors and windows in the UK. It is a popular and common alternative to standard PVC and wood thanks to its strong composition and lightweight design which can withstand even the most extreme weather conditions. It is also a very affordable choice for consumers, which adds to its universal appeal.

Choosing PVCu/uPVC Windows and Doors

If you’re ready to choose new home improvement products such as windows and doors for your property, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of the different types of manufacturing material before selecting the one that’s best for your individual requirements. uPVC/PVCu is a popular choice and, thanks to the many benefits that it offers, it’s a fantastic option to keep your home safe and secure.

PVCu or uPVC

Your next steps

Request a brochure

If you can’t visit your local Evolution showroom but still want to find out more about our beautiful handcrafted windows and doors then simply order a brochure today and be inspired.


Request a quotation

Speak to one of our friendly, experienced designers to discuss your requirements and individual project needs. We will provide you with advice and a detailed, no-obligation quotation.

Get a quote

Visit a showroom

To truly explore Evolution, why not visit your local showroom where you can see the Evolution difference for yourself. We are also always happy to welcome visitors to our Bedfordshire head office.

Visit today

Installer Locator Find your nearest showroom

The UK's finest timber alternative windows and doors.