Your guide to buying steel look aluminium doors.

There’s no doubt the heritage, industrial, and Art-Deco styling is incredibly popular, and steel look aluminium doors are one of the key products in this style.

Designed to look like classic steel doors, industrial glazing and even known as Scandi or Hygge, taking inspiration from Scandinavian designs. Here’s everything you need to know about buying steel-look aluminium doors.

Steel look aluminium doors explained

It’s worth knowing that steel look aluminium doors are not intended as a like-for-like replacement for the genuine steel door such as Crittall®. Instead, these are designed with many of the styling cues of the genuine steel product.

Genuine steel doors are beautifully crafted, welded and with galvanised steel, slimmer and altogether different. They’re also significantly more expensive and also come as fire-rated products when used internally and to meet Building Regulations.

Steel look aluminium doors are a more affordable alternative to steel but if you choose the right product, from an expert supplier and style it right, the look is just as effective.

Understanding steel look aluminium doors products

As you do your research around these sought-after and on-trend products, you’ll come across many different types. Some products designed as steel look aluminium doors are basic doors with nothing but horizontal and/or vertical bars added, giving the multi-panel or grid-like appearance of classic metal doors. The profiles, handle choices, in fact, the whole product is exactly the same as the standard door from other suppliers.

Then you have the better-designed and engineered aluminium doors, created from the outset in the steel look. These come with profiles, handles, glazing bars and accessories more accurately reflecting the Art-Deco, industrial and look of steel glazing. These are exactly the products forming our range of doors.

Designs available with steel-look doors

Focusing on hinged doors, here are just some of the designs available for your new extension or property renovation project.

  • Single or French Doors
  • Single or French doors with side panels
  • Designs featuring corners, apex or gable heads
  • Steel-look doors inside as room dividers or dedicated interior doors

Five ways to spot the right steel look aluminium doors.

Here’s how the better-designed product differs from otherwise standard doors with bars.

Slimmer profiles than regular aluminium doors

Compare a good aluminium residential door product side by side with a steel look version and the first clue is slimmer door profiles all around. Steel-look doors are noticeably thinner than a standard door.

stepped profiles not flat

Another excellent clue to purpose-designed steel-look aluminium doors are profiles with a stepped edge or prominent detail on the door itself. Standard aluminium doors usually have a flat or flush profile. Genuine aluminium steel look does not.

The image below demonstrates the profile styling you get on a quality steel look door.

The thicker plate behind the door handle

steel look aluminium doors separating two rooms in a modern house
Double internal doors both with a feature lock backplate

Perhaps the most distinctive feature and one found in the genuine steel door is the thicker lock backplate. This is a long rectangular design detail sitting behind the handles, that you can’t replicate on a standard door.

The thicker lock backplate is perhaps your best indicator with stepped profiles that you’re looking at a well-designed steel look aluminium doors product.

Consistent sightlines all round with steel look aluminium doors

steel-look patio door screen with gable design at the back of a large house
A larger combination screen with consistent sightlines throughout

With so many steel look doors intended for the patio area and many having side panels, neat and consistent lines is another great clue to a well-designed and thought out steel look door using aluminium.

Glazing bars should run through neatly, where the door may have transoms instead of bars, both should be the same dimension. Where the door joins the side panel should also be slim. All of these are designed into good steel-look products and usually don’t form part of regular aluminium doors.

The right steel-inspired door handles and furniture

Many standard aluminium doors trying to look like a steel-inspired product have to use the same handles. A properly designed steel-look door has handle designs and metal finishes similar to the original product.

Look out for a choice of handle designs reflecting the original designs. Look for handle finishes in pewter, brass, black matt, brushed metal and other similar shades. A good choice of hardware combined with slim and discreet hinges is another clue that you’re looking at the right product to give you the steel look.

Design and engineering with steel look aluminium doors

Whilst the entire look of steel-inspired doors goes back to older designs, all products come with 21st Century design, security and energy efficiency.

First of all, are excellent architectural-grade aluminium profiles and all of these have a built-in thermal break or insulation helping with good door energy ratings. These profiles are then coated in a durable powder-coated finish in a choice of colours, although black is probably the most popular in this style.

Then for security, you’ll find the latest locking systems with multiple points of engagement, robust handles and high security key cylinders.

Weather protection is also taken care of thanks to great product design and a combination of seals, brushes and gaskets.

Finally is the choice of energy-efficient safety glass. All our products come with high quality glass. As standard you’ll get toughened safety glass, having a soft-coat low-emissivity coating, warm edge spacer bars and argon gas fill. 

The finest steel look aluminium doors from Aspire Bifolds

Check out the Portfolio area of our website where you can see numerous installations using our range of steel look aluminium doors.

Expertly crafted products with true attention to detail, made by the best manufacturers and professionally installed by us. You can view our range in our Epsom showroom. Get a free quote today.