When it comes to buying steel-look doors and windows in aluminium, it’s important to understand the differences between these and the genuine steel article. In this guide, we explain some of the important features around these heritage, Art-Deco and industrially-inspired windows and doors.
Incredibly popular, sought-after and giving an altogether different look in the home, our entire range of steel-inspired glazing, gives you a complete solution when buying steel-look doors and windows.
Buying steel-look doors and windows. A background
The inspiration for windows doors or screens in the steel look comes from old metal windows and especially the iconic Crittall® brand. First of all, it’s important in explaining the aluminium versions of this glazing system is neither a like-for-like replacement or a replica of authentic steel windows.
The genuine steel material is different in several ways. One is the material. Steel is slimmer, stronger and assembled differently to aluminium. In aluminium windows, the corners are mitre cut and mechanically joined. For steel, most windows come welded.
The sightlines on genuine steel windows are usually thinner and the overall look differs when you focus on some fine details such as the hinges, door and window hardware. Overall, nothing beats the authentic look of a genuine steel product in this style. Where aluminium provides a solution is offering a similar look and at substantially less money.
Another difference between steel and aluminium is interior doors. The genuine steel article comes with a slightly different design and especially with sliding doors. These tend to hang from the top frame leaving the finished floor free of any track. Aluminium doesn’t offer this.
Therefore, our advice is to do your research and get to see both materials. The differences are obvious.
Aluminium steel-replacement and steel-styled glazing
Buying steel-look doors and windows and the product choices with this glazing style are extensive. Broadly speaking the same exterior glazing is also used inside the home in a modified form. There are some dedicated interior systems in the steel look, but these are hard to find and at the upper end of the price range. Aluminium systems such as Smart Systems Alitherm and the Aluco product do however, provide very credible alternatives.
you can now buy steel look residential doors, windows, bifolding doors and even interior doors and screens. More affordable, but with great looks, elegant lines and gorgeous black or other colours. It does provide an alternative, credible option. However, do be careful about what you’re buying. Today the general range of products includes.
- Fixed and opening casement windows
- Single and double exterior doors with or without side or top glazed lights
- Internal single and double doors with matching framing
- Steel-look bifolding doors
- Sliding doors customised in the steel-style
- Interior fixed screens
Common features when buying steel-look doors and windows
One one of the great features around these aluminium products in the look of old metal windows is some of the features they carry over from the original steel.
The consistent sightline is one feature of well-made steel-look doors and is especially important when buying doors with side panels.
The glazing bars and the frame lines should generally be the same, although this does vary depending on the product or the design
This image shows our double doors and sidelights with slightly different sightlines. Each side panel has an opening window in the upper pane.
The black matt powder coated finish.
Black remains the most popular colour for this steel-inspired glazing.
Matt finish you’ll find more popular than gloss. Importantly, aluminium provides probably the largest choice of colour of any door or window material.
Therefore, if you prefer a contemporary grey, classic white, or anything in between, this is all possible with our steel look patio doors or windows at Open Living.
The distinctive lock backplate
Taking design hues from the original steel doors is the thicker lock backplate. With standard residential doors the lock mounts on the aluminium sash profile.
When buying steel-look doors, expect to see the lock mounted on a bespoke plate creating a thicker profile for the handle to sit on.
This remains one of the most desirable features of this product.
How your doors come to you depends on the model and overall design. Some doors come with this backplate to both leaves.
Other designs you may find it only on the master door. Releasing the secondary door means unlocking hidden bolts visible only on the inside of the frame profile.
Period door and window furniture
Another great feature when buying steel-look windows as well as doors is the choice of furniture.
Available is a standard range of handles all working well aesthetically with the product.
Also available is period hardware such as monkey tail or bulb handles. Even better is the choice of colours in antique finishes, pewter, black, chrome and many other colours.
The distinctive glazing bars
The look of these steel-inspired doors and windows, wouldn’t be complete without the glazing bars. Creating the multiple panel effect there’s a good choice with a well-designed system.
As well as those with an appearance of old putty line glazing, you’ll also find the pressed versions, typical of old metal windows.
For the doors, you’ve a choice of standard 40mm bars or slimmer versions, again depending on the design of your doors.
Helping you to choose the best when buying steel-look doors and windows
At Open Living, we’ve access to the best brands of aluminium steel-look glazing. Our Aluco, aïrMOD and Royale range all come with some of the best manufacturing and quality. At the same time, they give you all the design options and customisation you want.
Contact us today to discuss your requirements and transform your home with the latest in heritage, contemporary and Art-Deco designs.