What you need to know about steel look doors in aluminium

There are several aluminium window brands, designed to replicate the look of old steel windows and to replace them. But what about steel look doors in aluminium? In this article, we take a look at how you can use steel look doors inside or outside the home.

steel look doors in aluminium

What are steel look doors in aluminium?

Before we explain the features of aluminium steel look doors, it is worth looking at the design features of original metal doors. It is these features that have made the Crittall™ style doors and internal screens so popular in the last few years.

Fashions in interior design, as well as architecture, are always changing. Steel-framed doors are highly desirable as part of a home renovation project.

The original steel door dates back to Art-Deco designs and well before that in some older buildings. Steel doors are ultra slim, very robust and feature the thicker panel where the door handle is usually located. The great thing about original steel doors is how symmetrical they look while letting in lots of natural light. The same now applies to the aluminium steel look doors that is a very credible replacement.

The Smarts Alitherm Heritage 47 System is, in our view, one of the most authentic looking aluminium systems for the replacement of old steel doors. We first worked with the Smart Systems door as far back as 2013 when it was quite new in the market. The system was used to replace the old metal doors in a substantial Surrey house where the homeowner was insistent on retaining the look of her old Crittall doors. They were very much part of the overall house style.

Naturally, if you want the real thing, you have to go back to steel. Nothing beats the authentic product. However, with modern steel residential doors such as those by Crittall™ being a phenomenally good product, the reality is that not everyone can afford the genuine article. Steel look doors are not intended to be ‘Crittall™ replacements’ but offer similar slim sight lines and aesthetics.

Features of steel look doors in aluminium.

If you are thinking of having the steel look in your homes such as french doors, New York style screens or an external set of aluminium steel look doors. There are lots of options available.

The Smart Systems Alitherm Heritage 47 steel look door has some great features:

  • Doors are suitable for installation as internal or external doors.
  • Can open in or out.
  • Can couple to sidelights and top glazed panels.
  • Are available with run-through mullions and transoms for a consistent appearance and matching glass pattern.
  • Is available in a huge choice of colours.

The steel look is a great way to add a metal screen or door to your home that makes a real statement, especially in the right colour such as black. The other advantage is how much natural light they bring into a room and creating privacy, with a real sense of space. Estate agents call this ‘broken living’, where you can define a zone in the home yet retain the open, airy feel.

Steel look doors with matching screens do not just have to be used for external use or to separate a conservatory. We have helped homeowners create beautiful fixed windows between the hallway and the sitting room. They make great looking room dividers, even shower enclosure screens and glazed partitions. Don’t forget the thermally insulated aluminium and quality glass units that will also make them energy saving.

Security of aluminium steel-look doors.

You may see information on company websites or be told by a salesperson that doors meet the required security standards. There are many badges and labels from Secured By Design and other testing organisations and institutes, relevant to door security but not necessarily to the type and style of door you are about to buy.

It is important we make you aware that not every one of these types of doors has been security tested.  While you may read that residential doors are accredited to say, Secured by Design, always ask your installer for details of the security test.  Not every version of a residential door is tested. By version, we mean:

  • The door configuration such as whether it is a single door or double door set.
  • Whether the door has a sidelight or just a full frame.
  • The type of safety glass fitted – laminated, toughened and the glass/unit thickness.
  • The size of door tested.
  • Whether the door opens in or out.

Smart Systems tells us that their Alitherm Heritage door is not security tested; this has also been verified by a number of their large and established manufacturers.  This does not mean that your door will be easy to break into or that you are getting a door that is not secure.  What this means is that this product has not been put through official security tests to obtain certification.  This may or may not affect your home insurance policy and we advise that you carry out the necessary checks.


What about steel look sliding or bifolding doors?

If you are looking for sliding or bifolding doors with the steel look, it is a little more challenging than French doors. The main reason is that there are slimline sliding door systems but to re-create the steel look aluminium plant-on bars have to be fitted. This is not a difficult job for a good manufacturer and a competent installer, but cutting, machining and getting the bars absolutely right is key.

Most installers attempt to offer an otherwise standard bifolding door and try to create the steel look with it. In our view it can look very authentic when done right.  It is worth remembering a bifolding and sliding door will have thicker door and frame profiles so getting the slimline look throughout needs careful thought and planning with your installer as to what size bars they intend to use. Many homeowners like it and choose it. Take a look at some products and decide for yourselves if you like the look.

Frameless steel-look doors.

One of the most recent innovations in steel look systems is a frameless system. Shown here in an internal setting, this is a beautiful screen using only the minimum of aluminium profiles, with ingenious glass design. Made by Frameless Glass Curtains of Kent, this in our view is one of the most attractive steel-replacement door and screen sets for use inside the home. Get in touch to find out more and where to buy.

picture of steel-look door and screen

Want to see steel look doors in aluminium? Contact us.

We can put you in touch with a local showroom showcasing the latest steel look doors in aluminium as well as authentic steel look aluminium windows. If you would like further information on these doors, contact us today.

Images are windows and doors manufactured and supplied by Everglade Windows of Middlesex.

This article last updated in June 2019.

Reader Interactions


  1. Tracy Charlton says

    I am looking for aluminium crittal style doors/windows at my new home in Stourbridge.
    Your above article is very helpful and the images are exactly what i’m looking for. Are you able to put me in contact with a local supplier to Stourbridge who could source and install these?
    Many thanks

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