When choosing new aluminium doors such as patio doors, French doors, or side or back doors, finding the slimmest aluminium doors for your project can be a challenge. There simply aren’t that many slim doors available. This is largely due to the necessity for a certain thickness of aluminium profile on the locking side, essential to house the lock body and provide good door security. For consistency, the opposite door profiles must match in size, further compounded by the outer frame and door hinges.
All of these factors make single and double patio doors not always the slimmest you’d like. So what are the slimmest aluminium doors? We have looked into the door profile sizes of most aluminium door brands to help you choose. We can also reveal some altogether different door solutions giving you as much glass and as little aluminium as possible.
How to get the slimmest aluminium doors
If the sizes of standard aluminium doors appear too thick for your liking, there are several options available to you, that we explain in this article. However, each of these comes with compromises, and you should expect to lose some features or accept the product’s limitations. There is no perfect door.
With trickle ventilators being essential in new and replacement windows and doors, expect thicker sightlines at the head of your doors. There is little you can do about this unless you allow suitable ventilation elsewhere in the room. How thick your door frame heads are, depends on the door system and how it is designed to accept trickle ventilators. The sightlines you get also depend on the combination of frame and door leaf frames. The slimmest outer frames suit only new openings, and many don’t work for replacement doors, meaning you need the standard and thicker frame.
Hide the door frame in the structure and get thinner-looking doors
Hiding the frames in the structure is widely done with slimline sliding doors, and several sliding door brands are designed only for new openings and for concealing the frames. Therefore, hiding the door frames, such as in the wall cavity, is one solution for new extensions and door openings. How feasible this is can depend on many factors. For instance, some products have their hinges placed in such as way that this may not be possible. Another compromise may be that your doors may not open fully back. When you hide the frames, future service on the doors can be more difficult. However, this is one option for getting the slimmest aluminium doors whilst still using standard door products. The best advice is to speak to a professional installer, and we can help put you in touch with these.
Use bifold doors to make aluminium doors.
The second option for getting the slimmest aluminium doors is having your single or double doors, with or without side or top glazed panels from bifold door profiles. It’s entirely possible to create doors using these profiles, which are typically slimmer at the edges of a single or double door and in the middle of a pair of doors than standard aluminium doors. These doors offer a less obtrusive look without compromising the robustness and durability of aluminium. You can create these doors using most of the thinnest bifold doors on the market. The other benefit is wider, taller door leaves and matching doors if your project also has bifolds. But again, there is a compromise.
The important compromise is security testing. Make no mistake, making the slimmest aluminium doors from bifold door profiles does not mean you get doors that are not safe and secure. However, in this configuration, no doors have been security tested, whereas the same profiles and components designed as folding sliding doors have been tested. The only exception we know of is the Exlabesa bifold door system which has been security tested as single or double doors.
Look at Balcony Doors.
An option not often considered when choosing aluminium doors is to look at the more expensive brands that have windows with greater size capability, often designed to work as doors. Cortizo, Reynaers and Schüco offer several solutions here and, with a strong European influence, refer to these windows at large sizes as balcony doors.
It may not be possible to use these windows made as doors or balcony doors in every scenario, and it is worth speaking with a professional. Many alternative systems focus on creating windows for standard-size openings, but these more advanced systems offer more technically capable windows.
Consider steel-look doors
The simplest option to getting some of the slimmest single or French doors, again with or without glazed panels, is to choose a steel-look system. Most aluminium steel-look doors are designed with a feature backplate inspired by classic metal doors like Crittall®. And because the lock body goes into the feature backplate, the actual aluminium profiles are thinner than conventional aluminium doors. The compromise is that you must have glazing bars in the doors, with only one exception we explain later in this article.
The minimum amount of glazing bars you can have is two horizontally connected to the feature backplate’s top and bottom. This, therefore, is the compromise. Some of the slimmest aluminium doors, without hiding in the frame or having to use bifold door profiles, but with at least two visible glazing bars.
The slimmest aluminium doors compared
We’ve taken the best-known brands of aluminium doors, available as single, double and patio doors and based on door sets only with no side panels. Here are the dimensions you can expect at the frame sides for single or double doors and the meeting middle stiles for double doors. We’ve used the most standard frame and door sash profile combinations, but aluminium single and double doors are not that slim with most standard products. The slimmest doors available are first and second place.
|Product||Single Door Frame & Sash||Double Door Meeting Stiles|
|Aluco Doors, Floating Lock Design||58mm or 71mm||116.5|
|Frameless Glass Curtains Doors||70mm||25mm glass-to-glass|
|Reynaers SlimLine 38 Slim Frame||101.5mm||170mm|
|Smart Systems Alitherm Door||110mm||161mm|
|Smart Systems Alitherm 400||129mm||195mm|
|Smart Systems Visotherm Door||131mm||199mm|
|Sheerline Residential Doors||137mm||180mm|
|Reynaers SlimLine 38 Standard Frame||149.5mm||170mm|
|Reynaers MasterLine 8 Standard Frame||153mm||215mm|
|Schüco AD UP 75||180mm||213mm|
Three of the slimmest aluminium doors
Getting the slimmest aluminium doors is not easy, and the above options are available if you don’t like the styling and sightlines of standard doors that come as single or French doors. In addition to our suggestions, there are three possible alternative options that can give you doors with more glass, less visible aluminium, more light and better views.
The Aluco Floating Lock Door
The Aluco Floating Lock door or ultra-slim door in the steel look, we think, provides one of the slimmest aluminium doors, only a steel door at three or four times the price being slimmer.
Available as single or double doors, with optional glazed fixed panels on top or at the sides, Aluco doors are the only ones on the market in the steel look that don’t need the aluminium bars near the feature lock body. As you can see here, the door is fully glazed, utilising the slimmer door and frame profiles you get with steel-look doors.
The feature backplate that floats into the glass might not be ideal for some, but you do get the slimmest aluminium doors away from the backplate.
Frameless Glass Curtains
Using the same design as their innovative and very special glass and aluminium slide-and-turn doors, Frameless Glass Curtains Ltd, based in Kent and working nationwide, creates single or double doors.
The advantage of these doors is there is no aluminium in the middle of French doors, just glass-to-glass edges with an advanced gasket, whilst providing full sealing, security and weather protection.
Coming later in 2023 by FGC is a fully-framed version of this design which, having seen a prototype, will arguably be the thinnest doors on the market, and you can get in touch with us for more information about these.
If getting the slimmest possible doors is essential and a top priority, then the only solution available to you is the genuine steel product. You can choose iconic Crittall® exterior doors or any of the independent steel door manufacturers. The Schüco Jansen range is also excellent, also providing internal steel doors with the same thin profiles.
Steel gets this slim because of its welded construction, something not possible in aluminium. However, be prepared for higher prices and longer lead times. You can get in touch for details of suitable steel door providers.
Got a project needing aluminium doors? Get in touch today.
The search for the slimmest aluminium doors will probably bring up products that are not slim enough for your requirements, and the reality is most doors are quick thick, with very few exceptions. With careful consideration of your design preferences and practical needs, it should be possible to find the right door.
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