Who makes the best steel look doors and windows
Who makes the best steel look doors and windows depends on several factors when it comes to this distinctive range of windows and doors in the classic metal style. The design of the product, who makes it and who installs it are just some of the things to look out for. Here’s who makes some of the best steel look doors and windows, covering both exterior-grade windows as well as those products transforming the inside of the home too.
- Why location affects choosing the best steel look doors and windows
- The best steel-look aluminium windows
- The best exterior steel-look residential doors
- The best interior steel-look doors
- Choosing the best steel-look bifold doors
- Interior steel look bifolding doors
- Finding the best sliding doors in the steel-look
- Finding the best interior sliding doors
- The best steel look doors and windows for those on a budget
- Top tips for choosing the best steel look doors and windows
- More information on the best steel look doors and windows and where to buy
Why location affects choosing the best steel look doors and windows
Early generations of steel look products in aluminium were restricted to windows and exterior doors only. Today these products have matured across a variety of suppliers into a comprehensive range of products you can use as excellent replacement windows or for a new build project such as an extension.
At the same time, some of the best steel look doors and windows are designed specifically for inside the home. As well as single or double doors, fixed screens and partitions, there’s a new generation of aluminium shower screens and even wardrobe doors in the steel look.
Therefore, who makes the best and your choice of what to buy very much depends on where you intend to have these types of aluminium products.
Who makes the best steel look doors and windows also depends on the products you want. So whilst Smart Systems, Reynaers and several independent systems make the best steel-look windows, they don’t necessarily provide the best sliding doors, folding doors or interior systems.
Interior screens, doors and sliding doors made by Aluco as well as other smaller specialist businesses we think are the best for internal doors where insulation, higher security, double glazing or weather sealing isn’t required. That said, significant numbers of exterior grade doors and windows are widely used internally too and customers are happy with them. Therefore, in explaining who makes the best steel look doors and windows we’ll explain based on product type and whether its use is external or internal.
The best steel-look aluminium windows
The best aluminium steel-look windows are those designed by Smart Systems and available under several different versions and brands. The original steel-look aluminium window provides the best in terms of styling, sightlines and closeness to the styling of steel windows. Several specialist manufacturers such as Duration have taken the Smart Systems product and modified it to create an even slimmer version in the Royale model. Smart Systems, whether the original Alitherm brand or versions of it remain the best on price too.
At a more premium price but offering three spectacular styles over and above Alitherm are steel-look windows by Reynaers. The Slimline 38 series comes as the Slimline Classic version that’s modern and offers authentic steel styling such as the bottom drip bar found on original metal windows. The Slimline Cubic comes as a more square-styled design and also beautiful in its design. Finally the Slimline Ferro replicates the Bauhaus style. Once again the design and overall look of this particular window is one of the best designed in aluminium and comes very close to the frame profiles we’ve seen in genuine steel windows. As well as the frame styling and design, the handle options, colours and textures available with Reynaers Slimline 38 are also some of the best.
The airMOD system is designed by Everglade and is one of the best for offering five different steel look versions including a flush casement and tilt and turn. The advantage of this system is its commonality across the different window opening types and excellent product quality. Everglade Windows is a long-established aluminium and PVCu manufacturer. The company has been offering steel-look glazing using the Smart Systems profiles years before this style of glazing came back into fashion as it has recently for windows, doors and patio doors.
Crittall® Sunshine Bays are those window where the sides feature curved glass. Few companies undertake this type of work in aluminium today. One of the best is Jennyfields based in Surrey. They’ve done excellent work designing a slimline steel-look aluminium window that they’re also highly skilled at with curved glass. Another to consider is The Heritage Window Company with showrooms in London, Essex, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northumberland.
There are, of course, other steel look windows such as Aluk BD58 which we also recommend for windows. Newer on the market is Sheerline with a window they market as a steel look and it’s the same with the new Decalu windows by Deceuninck. These are fine if you like the styling and they’re good brands too. Time will take whether the market takes to these compared with existing brands.
It’s worth reinforcing many brands use Alitherm windows rebranded. A good supplier will have no issue revealing they use this system. Exercise caution on those claiming the system is ‘theirs’ unless they can verify it. Again you can get in touch and we’ll help you identify the system if you’re unsure.
We’ve put together a buying guide for aluminium windows covering steel-look designs, hardware, colours and other specifications.
The best exterior steel-look residential doors
For single doors, double doors or the popular French doors with sidelights, even porch doors and front doors. The best residential doors depend on whether the thicker lock backplate behind the handles is important in the styling. Where it is, Smart Systems Alitherm doors by various manufacturers, aïr MOD French doors offer this styling as do doors by Aluco, Aluk, Reynaers and others.
Whilst not offering the thick plate behind the handles, again Reynaers Slimline 38 doors come with the same styling options and a perfect match for their windows. Schuco aluminium doors also create the styling very well.
You can also consider slimline bifold doors made as single or French doors only. Origin, Visofold 6000, Schuco ASS70, Sunflex and Solarlux are some of the best to consider because these are some of the thinnest bifolds, and as a result, make very good single or double doors with applied bars. They’re not dedicated steel-look systems like Alitherm, airMOD or Reynaers, but still look pleasing.
When you’re looking for the best steel look windows and doors, there’s nothing wrong with mixing systems as long as you get the styling you want. However, as a complete range, Smart Systems, Reynaers, airMOD and Schuco are more likely to provide a better overall result.
The best interior steel-look doors
There’s no doubt that this timeless style is just as popular for doors inside the home too. And it’s here you need to make a decision based on styling, features and price.
The majority of products for internal doors or screens by the main systems companies are no different than the exterior systems. As a result, you’ll get the exterior features you don’t really need such as double glazing, multi-point locks and thermally insulated frames. That said, these external doors do work well inside as stylish room dividers and create great focal points. What a good installer will do is design these doors with you so hinged doors have no threshold so you get the floors running neatly through. Therefore, if you’re happy with exterior grade doors, the recommendations above apply.
If you want a proper interior system, the interior range by Aluco is one of the best on the market for internal doors. The care and thought going into this design shows. Single glass, the right door furniture for doors even the right bathroom locks and many other clever design features. Right now there’s little to compete with Aluco on style and design and in our view, these are arguably the best on the market.
Another type of interior door is the one using frameless glass doors. It’s easy to customise these with applied bars and contemporary hardware and these too create beautiful interior doors. One of the best is made by Frameless Glass Curtains in Kent.
Choosing the best steel-look bifold doors
We’ve covered extensively the folding sliding doors in this style and whilst limited by sizes, the Visofold 6000 bifold door is the only product to the best of our knowledge with a dediated heritage sash. It’s a mid-range product and not available at the wider or taller panels of other systems but certainly one of the better doors for styling.
All other bifolds as we explain are the standard folding sliding door product you’d buy with added slimline aluminium bars. Our article on helping you find the best folding sliding doors also provides advice and products. Our top choice would be Solarlux, Sunflex and Schuco ASS70 with the Origin OB-49 as a slimline mid-range solution.
Interior steel look bifolding doors
If you need interior folding sliding doors perhaps to separate a conservatory from the main room or as a room divider, your choice in aluminium again is the exterior-grade doors and our recommendations for these above also apply.
Talk to your installer about how best to set the threshold low to give a more flush appearance and reduce the typical step-over.
Finding the best sliding doors in the steel-look
Just like bifolding doors, there’s no dedicated exterior sliding door system in the steel look. The best way of achieving the steel look is going with one of the slimline systems or any of the sliding patio doors with a slim mullion. This is not a hard and fast rule and any patio door will give this look with slim aluminium bars on both sides of the glass.
The best doors for this look are, Sunvista Sliding doors made by Compass Glass in London. The Sunflex SVG20 or 30 also work exceptionally well as does the Cortizo slider with either a 20mm or 25mm mullion.
Finding the best interior sliding doors
Aluco Aluminium again provides the best sliding doors as these are designed as proper doors and not exterior grade doors. You get the thicker lock plate like the French doors, high-end hardware and an altogether slimmer better product and one that doesn’t have a visible track
The other options available by other installers use slim sliding patio doors and again here anything with a 20mm or 20mm mullion should work well with Cortizo, Sunvista, Sunflex, Origin OS-29 and Smart Systems Visoglide possibly working well for you.
The best steel look doors and windows for those on a budget
The reality is you don’t have to choose a dedicated steel-look system. Many buyers are happy with standard slimline aluminium windows as long as the styling of these with the applied aluminium bars works for them. Buying a dedicated system is also not essential if you don’t want the bars on the glass and the grid-like pattern. Therefore, you can benefit from the slimline frames without the extra cost of the full-featured windows.
Origin OW-70, Smart Systems Alitherm, aïrMOD windows, Schuco and Reynaers all work very well as standard aluminium casements. Alitherm and Aluk you’ll find the cheapest with most installers followed by Origin, Schuco and Reyaners.
Top tips for choosing the best steel look doors and windows
Avoid buying online unless you’re absolutely certain of the product design, system and features. Many homeowners look to save money buying direct and getting their builder or chosen installer to fit. This is fine, but you may be better off with dedicated websites offering supply only glazing with full assistance on installation.
Remember many products are no different to standard patio doors with nothing but applied bars to the glass. Always try to see the products in a showroom to understand their design.
Consistent or near-identical sightlines between doors, horizontal bars, side panels or top panels are a great clue that you’re buying a better product.
More information on the best steel look doors and windows and where to buy
We’ve seen many examples of steel-replacement products done badly leaving both installers and homeowners disappointed with the end result. Who makes and who supplies steel look glazing is essential to getting the best result.
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