In 2016, Liniar revealed their new aluminium bifolding door. In this Alumina bifolding door review we take a look at the features of this quite different aluminium bifold. Alumina is now widely adopted by the door industry. Liniar, one of the best known PVCu systems companies in the UK is behind the Alumina bifolding door.
When we saw the product, we liked the new visual concept Liniar created with Alumina that we will explain in this review. Here’s what we can tell you about Alumina bi folding doors and whether you should consider it.
Alumina bifolding door review. What is Alumina?
The Alumina bifold is an all aluminium bifolding door with a polyamide thermal break. It has all the strength, quality and craftsmanship associated with a well-designed bifolding door. Alumina folding doors have the pedigree that is behind Liniar’s range of PVCu windows, doors and home improvement products.
With Alumina, Liniar sought to shift from the similarities found in many aluminium bifolds. The first shift from traditional aluminium bifolds is the sculptured line of the product. The second is the warm to the touch exterior, thanks to another new feature by Alumina – a foiled aluminium bifolding door. Door aesthetics are subjective, however, the Alumina is a very good looking bifold.
Is a coloured foil beneficial on an aluminium bifold?
Powder coating remains the most common method of colouring aluminium, but foils have other advantages. For years, foiling has been used to create some stunning finishes on quality PVCu. Some of the most expensive and luxurious PVCu windows and timber-look PVCu windows are foiled. The advantages are a better appearance and longer life of the window surface.
When foiling a product such as Alumina, the foil improves aluminium as well.
- Foiling aluminium creates a warm-feel bifold’.
- A foiled aluminium bifold feels different to the touch.
- Foiled aluminium enables a woodgrain finish.
- Foiled aluminium bifolds like Alumina are not subject to very long lead times.
- You can even have plain colour foils with aluminium, just like PVCu .
- Foiled versions of Alumina are supplied with a matching PVCu bead – making them easier to install and further enhancing thermal efficiency.
Therefore, with a product like Alumina that is the only foiled aluminium bifolding door on the market colour choice as well as texture is available, not to mention a very appealing wood effect bifolding door.
If a homeowner desires wood effect outside and a plain colour inside, the lead times with other aluminium systems are very excessive. The few systems companies supplying bar length profile to their manufacturers can quote up to six weeks or more just to deliver the material. This can push a delivery date for other aluminium bifolds up to 10 weeks or more. So a foiled Alumina does offer an advantage to those customers wanting a dual colour bifold without the wait.
Finally, you should get a bigger choice of woodgrain with a foiled product than a sublimated versions. If you have not seen a foiled aluminium bifolding door before, it is worth checking out. Contact us and we can put you in touch with some showrooms where you can view Alumina bifold doors.
Alumina bifolds match with PVCu windows.
Despite the popularity of aluminium compared to five or even ten years ago, PVCu remains the dominant replacement window in the UK. For value, energy efficiency, ease of installation and simplicity, PVCu is best for many. Homeowners who replaced their old windows with new PVCu in recent years are perfectly happy with their purchase, expecting their new windows to last a long time – as indeed they should.
Following the installation of new pvcu windows, it is also likely that a homeowner may consider the building a new extension to incorporate bifolding doors, or to replace their old sliding doors with a new bifold. There are some homeowners who love their new aluminium bifold so much they want to replace their PVCu windows with aluminium. The reality is the cost can often be prohibitive. Alumina does the reverse in matching a new door to their existing PVCu windows.
Alumina is different again in that while it is entirely fit for purpose as a stand-alone bifold, it is also a great product for matching the sculptured appearance of Liniar and colour of other PVCu windows. It is also a great addition to the many thousands of homeowners that have Liniar PVCu windows in their homes.
- PVCu products with an aluminium bifold.,
- The exact same colour process throughout the home.
- The same sculptured appearance to match PVCu windows.
- There are even matching colour silicones and window trims.
The complete home solution will be appealing to many homeowners as well as being a selling proposition to installers. Liniar with Alumina, has become the first door and window systems company to offer a full suite of fully matching products for any home. And by full suite we mean:
- Conservatory and Lantern Roof
- Casement Windows
- Sliding Doors
- Front Doors
- Flush sash timber-look windows
- Single doors and French doors.
- Residential and composite doors
- Soffits, fascia boards and trims
- PVCu Decking and fencing
Comparing Alumina with Origin and Smart Systems.
It makes sense in this Alumina bifolding door review to compare the door with two other bifold door brands. We chose Origin and Smart Systems’ Visofold 1000. There are other doors to compare Alumina with such as AluK, Schuco or Reynaers but chose Origin and Visofold because these also come in a wood effect finish, although not foiled. Sunflex bifolding doors also come in woodgrain but are more expensive than these brands. For foiled bifolding doors, Liniar foil all their own extrusions, where many use external suppliers.
|Product Guarantee||20 years||10 years||10 years|
|Who makes the door.||Origin||Liniar & Approved manufacturers||Approved manufacturers|
|Product Availability||Origin Dealers||Widely Available||Widely Available|
|System Company Quality Perception||Excellent||Excellent||Good|
|Bifolding door sight line at the door mullions||154mm||156mm||132mm|
|Matches the same brand window||No||Yes||No|
|Woodgrain Finish||Four Colours||7 stocked foil colours (both sides)6 (external face only).|
Virtually any foil colour, subject to lead times.
|Deep bottom rail option||No||No||Yes|
|Anti-finger trap feature||Standard||Standard||Standard|
|Traffic Door Option||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Maximum panel size||1200×2500||1200×2500||1200×2500|
|Secured by Design||PAS24 only||Yes||PAS24 only|
|Threshold Options||Two||Three including Part M||Two|
|Weather rated low threshold||No||Yes||No|
|Glass Options||Double or Triple Glazed||Double or Triple|
|Double or Triple Glazed|
|Typical Double Glazed U-Value||1.6Wm2K||1.5Wm2K||1.5Wm2K|
|Matching single or French Doors||Yes||Yes||No|
Alumina offers better thermal efficiency than many of the other bifolds on the market when glazed with standard specification thermally efficient units. Typically these achieve 1.6-1.8Wm2K.
How good is the Alumina bifolding door?
The great thing about the current and mature bifolding door market, the calibre of aluminium designers and the broad range of product standards and certification is that there is no ‘bad’ bifolding door on the market. As long as a fabricator makes any bifolding door as the systems company intends and it is correctly installed by a competent installer, they’re good products. This makes the job of reviewing a product harder when all products today are secure, safe, weather resistant and reliable. So what we do is look at the features that made a door stand out.
But where bifolding doors will differ is in their engineering, their components, the range of colours and specifications. Homeowners doing their research around bifolding doors will see many repetitive messages around security, U-Values, weather performance and quality. This is true of many quality bifolds and Alumina is no different. It is secure, weather resistant, well designed and comes from a company with immense knowledge in the design of windows and doors.
The specifications of Alumina against other leading brands of aluminium folding doors there is no reason not to consider this door with them. In fact, Alumina offers some features the others do not. With seven stocked foil colours for both sides of the door, six colours for the outside face only on dual colour, colour options are certainly a great feature of Alumina bifolds. Liniar also foil their own profies as well.
Hardware and Security features of Alumina bifolding doors.
Alumina offers discreet hinges, great security features and even folding keys to prevent damage to the frame when doors are opened with the key still in the lock. Study the hinges of the Alumina bifold carefully and you will notice the intermediate door handles are integrated with the hinges. This gives an uncluttered look to the door and a neater appearance.
Alumina comes with the choice of white, black gold and chrome rollers, the latter looking very eye-catching with matching hinges and handles. Handle colours are the same as the roller colours but also include a dark chrome option.
With Alumina the locking hardware is what you would expect from a highly-engineered product. You get bi-directional locking points, shoot bolts that engage into the head and track and anti-lift feature. There are anti-bump cylinders available as well as optional anti-snap as well.
The locking system from Alumina has won a Queens Award for Enterprise in 2017. Called ModLok™, this patented locking system provides both a lock and a thermal insert. ModLok™ has a high strength polymer lock body, meaning the lock is also a thermal break. No other aluminium bifold features this locking system.
We must also mention that Alumina is tested to the stringent PAS24 and carries Secured by Design (SBD) accreditation as well. You have to be very careful with claims over SBD and whether the license for the product exists as a number of doors don’t have the accreditation or hold the license. Alumina bifolds are also Part Q of the Building Regulations Compliant.
Some reasons to consider Alumina bifolding doors.
- The Alumina bifold does have some significant features over other aluminium bifolds.
- A foiled bifold door with a warm touch finish.
- A matching suite of single or French Doors.
- Weather rated low threshold
- Great looking door hardware in a choice of colours and finishes.
Some systems such as Schuco bifolds, Reynaers or Sunflex are designed to be flat in appearance. The best selling bifolds such as Smart Systems Visofold, AluK and Origin are softer in aesthetic. Ultimately it is the customer that chooses the door they like. There is no reason not to consider Alumina alongside these other brands.
Alumina does go further with more handle options, more door configurations, more hinges and roller options than other systems. What you also get with an Alumina bifold are more threshold options and a weather rated low threshold too.
Finally, with the option of foils, you get a greater choice of colour and texture than other doors on the market offering just RAL colours. If you’ve not seen the foiled finish, it is worth looking at. Alumina will appeal to those homeowners happy to choose a quality Liniar PVCu window but understand the benefits of an aluminium bifold. Visually Alumina is very different, as well as being everything you expect from a quality, engineered aluminium bifold with a bit more thrown in.