Steel-look bifolding doors are every bit as popular as their French door steel-styled counterparts. They provide the signature look of slimline doors with the bars, a multi-panel look and totally on-trend styling.
Here’s everything for homeowners, builders and the wider trade to know about steel-look bifolding doors and what you get. Importantly, it also explains what to expect.
An introduction to steel-look bifolding doors
There are several descriptions around standard folding sliding doors styled like classic metal doors. The name steel-look or steel-replacement is, by now, well known but there’s other terminology such as Heritage, Art-Deco, Industrial, even Scandi or Hygge appears to be a trend.
We don’t like to use the term Crittall® styled or look as they are nothing like Crittall products. This iconic brand is the genuine article when it comes to these signature and top-of-the-line products. It’s also the best and the most authentic in every way. It’s not just Crittall but other manufacturers of doors and windows in steel. Aluminium offers a styling alternative to these but steel remains the best for sightlines, longevity, strength and desirability.
Therefore, while a full-steel bifold is costly and authentic, aluminium is substantially cheaper. And for most homeowners or the trade supplying bifolding doors, aluminium does the job well.
Design considerations for bifolding doors in the steel style
To the best of our knowledge, there is no specific steel-look bifolding doors brand. What you get is a customised regular door. As a result, for the familiar brands of bifolding doors, virtually all of these come with the option of a steel look with applied bars. Some go further and offer alternative hardware. Others do it even better.
First of all, is the choice of glazing bars. The thickness of these depends on the supplier/manufacturer and what they choose for their product. However, 19mm, 25mm or 40mm are the most common sizes of bars or thereabouts. They’ll always come in the same powder-coated colour finish. It’s also incredibly rare to hear of these coming off. However, it’s recommended a window cleaner is made aware to be careful when cleaning these doors and exercise care around the bars.
The glass units have additional spacer bars covered by these aluminium bars. The purpose of these is to hide the inside faces and materials used to apply them to the glass. In most cases, it’s the installation company fitting these bars to the doors on site. Rarely do they come factory glazed.
Additionally with design, you get all the functionality of a regular bifold with no loss of features. Installation is the same, as are all the options with configuration. Also available is the flush/low threshold.
Consider the traffic door on a bifold. This allows easy entry and exit without having to fold all the panels back every time, working just like a regular door.
Interior steel-look bifolding doors
Given the popularity of these products, there’s every reason to consider them inside the home too. Room dividers and partitions or to separate a conservatory from the main room. Most systems are bottom hung so you will always get a threshold at the bottom of the doors. There’s no specific aluminium system here, although there are top hung bifold models, but these too rely on a track.
It’s the same exterior grade bifold fitted inside the home too. Here, a steel product may provide the better solution for when the slimmest lines and looks matter. Bear in mind as exterior doors they most often come double glazed and thermally insulated – something not essential inside the home.
Alternatively, check out the single glazed slide and turn systems. Frameless Glass Curtains and ID Systems with the Vistaline product are two suggestions.
Steel-look bifolding doors brands to consider
Here are some of the best example of bifolding doors customised or re-engineered in the steel look. You can visit the general bifolding door area of this website for more detailed information on the specific bars. Here we focus on this particular design feature.
Aluco steel-look bifolds
Using the Smart Alitherm and Heritage system, Aluco has done excellent work with steel look products. Their interior doors and screens are particularly special.
For bifolding doors, Aluco use Smarts that’s widely available but you also get access to the broader range of products. Aluco products come via a dealer network only and we can help put you in touch with these installers of Aluco products.
Duration Windows Heritage Bifold
For aesthetics and arguably a more genuine look in the classic metal style, check out the Duration Windows Heritage bifold.
This product is pretty special in using the heritage stepped sash similar to the one found on the hugely popular steel look French door design. The result is a more authentic look compared with the flatter profile on other bifolding doors using the standard sash profile.
The core product is the Visofold 6000 model, one of the slimmest folding sliding doors on the market.
We’ve seen this door, it looks very credible and recommended.
The Visofold 6000 Bifolding Door
Using the same system as the Duration Windows product is the Visofold 6000 bifolding door using the standard profiles and the applied bars. You can find out more about this ultra-slim bifold.
The Origin OB-49
Another standard bifold also providing a solution for steel-look bifolding doors is their slimline model. With 110mm sightlines, this is another product up there as one of the thinnest bifolds for mullion sightlines.
This too, works very well in this style, albeit a standard door. The great thing about the Origin product of course is the renowned Origin quality and long guarantee. The personalisation options with Origin doors are market-leading as are the lead times.
The hardware is particularly good as are the lead door handles. The OB-49 uses the Hafi handles. They’re not a heritage style but they look just fine on this style of folding sliding door.
Schuco ASS 70 Bifolding Doors
The ASS70 Schuco bifold is another product widely used in the steel-style. 120mm sightlines, contemporary hardware and great design. Another great feature of the Schuco is the ASS 70 FD HD model. The door panels on this product go up to 1.5m wide giving a very distinctive wide look to this steel style.
It’s the slide and fold action on a Schuco bifold that’s particularly impressive as is the quality. You’re also getting a fine brand in the home with great reputation.
Solarlux Ecoline Bifolding Doors
The Solarlux Ecoline bifold is special. Exemplary design, highly engineered, it’s simply one of the best bifolding doors on the market today. As a steel look, it’s another to consider.
Made in Germany, superb build and quality, Solarlux is top-end for all manner of reasons. It’s also one of the slimmest at the mullions with a sightline of 99mm.
Again with the application of slimline glazing bars, Solarlux sets off any new extension or as a replacement to dated doors. Best of all is the knowledge you’ve got probably got the finest bifold door on the market installed.
Sunflex bifolding doors
Another superior bifolding door equally good as a steel look is the Sunflex product. The manufacturing quality and reputation of Sunflex is first class. They have some of the best bifolds with slim lines, impressive size capability and also Made in Germany.
The Sunflex product also comes as an equally impressive steel-look sliding door with the SVG slider range and with better sightlines and less complexity than structural bonded systems.
More information on steel-styled folding doors
There are, of course, many other bifolding door brands, all possible as steel-look bifolding doors. Above all, it’s the general bifolding door sightlines giving the best look. Some of the quality bifolds don’t come with the thin mullion lines of the brands mentioned here.
Overall, it’s down to personal choice which brand of bifold door in the heritage, Art-Deco or contemporary style works best. Of course, budget is a consideration as well.
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