When it comes to choosing the best interior doors for your property project, aluminium vs steel are frequently compared. With terminology used such as steel-look and steel-replica, it is obvious to want to know how different choosing an aluminium interior door is compared to steel and the pros and cons of each. Both aluminium and steel doors will provide an excellent solution for your new interior doors and work brilliantly in any setting. This article explains everything you need to know to help you choose between aluminium and steel.
Aluminium vs Steel interior doors – considerations
Your decision on which material is best for your new internal doors depends on many factors. Crittall® and Fabco Sanctuary are two of the best steel products on the market. Alongside brand, other typical considerations are price, styling, lead times and which material you like the look of the most. Of course, which material works best for your particular design is also a consideration. Both materials doors look spectacular, dividing a hallway or as an entrance door into your lounge, dining room, bedroom or utility room.
For the purposes of this article, we are focusing on design and product considerations for new interior doors and screens or when you wish to replace your dated interior doors with the latest trend in glazing, giving you the best of slimline aluminium and glass. If you also need to replace your old steel windows or are considering aluminium vs steel for new windows, we have a helpful guide explaining the differences between steel and aluminium for exterior windows and general steel replacements.
Lead times are usually longer with steel interior doors
Steel interior doors usually take longer to make, deliver and install compared with aluminium. This is because preparing the material, the manufacturing processes, and the need for specialist installers all offend delivery times.
If lead times matter for keeping your project on track, aluminium often comes at faster manufacturing and installation times and is better.
Aluminium interior doors are usually cheaper than steel
If your decision is based purely on price, then aluminium is usually the cheaper product. The manufacturing process of steel doors involves a welded product with significantly more operations required to create the finished door. Aluminium does not require a welded construction. Our Aluco interior doors collection, crafted with expertise and hand-finished, provides a similar overall fit and finish but at a lower price.
The price you pay for steel also depends on the brand you buy. There are established brands of steel windows but also many independent manufacturers. The larger and better-known brands such as Crittall® have done the work in testing, quality-checking and ensuring their products are of excellent quality. If you are considering buying steel doors from a smaller workshop and steel fabricator, you don’t usually get the same product peace of mind.
Aluminium vs steel interior doors – which is slimmer?
For interior doors, steel is usually slimmer because the welded construction allows slimmer frames than is possible with aluminium. However, this again depends on which brand you choose and who makes it. Which product is slimmer also involves which aluminium steel-look doors you are comparing against. The best example are the glazing bars – essential to creating the desirable grid-like pattern that makes this style of doors classic and timeless.
Crittall® is of course a fantastic steel brand and is a great product many customers compare our own doors with. Our doors are aluminium and Crittall® is steel. The doors can’t be the same, but it is worth comparing typical sightlines. Here’s how an Aluco ultra-slim interior door compares. Our example is based on standard doors with no side or top panels.
Aluco interior door
Door Astragal Bars 20mm or 25mm
Outer Frame Head 58mm
Door Side Frame 58mm
Door Bottom Rail 45mm
Lock Body 162mm
steel interior door
Door Astragal Bars 28mm
Outer Frame Head 55mm
Door Side Frame 55mm
Door Bottom Rail 53mm
Lock Body 135mm
We’ve expertly designed our interior doors to be as close as possible to the original steel product. Aluco doors are also unique in the market in offering the slimmest possible glazing bars in aluminium slimmer or at a near match to the original steel product, depending on the door design and overall configuration. So if you’ve seen other aluminium internal doors and considered the steel doors better because the bars seemed slimmer, Aluco doors give you the perfect solution, with our 20mm bars available on our exclusive floating lock interior doors design, exterior doors, sliding doors and screens.
Colour options – aluminium vs steel
Both aluminium and steel materials allow any RAL colour, including special colours made to order. This assumes you are choosing your steel doors from one of the major brands, as smaller specialist steel fabricators are usually restricted on colour options.
It is also essential that any colour applied to your new doors is carried out only by a professional, certified and approved colour applicator.
Aluminium vs steel – glass options
Just like colours, there is little to choose between aluminium vs steel for glass options. Both products provide the full range of single safety glass, textured, patterned, obscure, acoustic or enhanced security.
Special shapes and designs in aluminium or steel
The nature of steel allows it to create very small curved or shaped doors. Aluminium can create shapes, curves, gables, an apex and even arches but usually to the frames only, not the door leaves. This is because aluminium has more restrictions than steel when creating shapes, but it is not impossible.
Steel is a more flexible material for ultra-small doorways, when you require your door leaves to have curved or gothic heads,
Steel typically lends itself better to the quirks in doorways of older buildings. If your doors are for a standard opening or a larger curved opening, aluminium works just as well. Get in touch and discuss your requirements with us.
Door sizes when comparing aluminium and steel interior doors
If you are looking for very tall internal doors, the steel product typically goes up to 2743mm high with aluminium typically around 2300mm high. Do bear in mind that steel is the heavier material with weightier doors as a result. Therefore, when designing tall doors aluminium may be better for everyday use with a glazed panel above.
Aluminium vs Steel interior doors – which is best for you?
The steel product offers larger door and screen sizes with alternative styling because of its welded construction. Steel is the genuine article but at higher prices, has the additional weight of the material and substantially longer lead times. If you are using an independent steel workshop, ensure your product meets the same material, coating, hardware and quality standards as the top brand steel door systems.
Aluminium steel-look internal doors offer similar styling, reduced door weight, a greater choice of glazing bars and unique products, such as our own floating lock design, not available with steel doors. Prices and lead times are better and aluminium provides a range of exterior doors and windows. If exterior windows and doors are also part of your project, bifolding and sliding doors are not available with steel.
More information about Aluco internal steel-look doors
Aluco Aluminium is proud to design and manufacture some of the best, most authentic and hand-finished steel-look doors and associated glazing, enhancing properties with their unique style, and flawless product quality. We believe in crafting products, such as these steel look interior doors in Surrey, that promise to be the last you’ll ever buy.
Made by us and installed by our trained and approved installers, Aluco doors are available at our showroom in Huntingdon or around the country at our approved installer showrooms. Contact us to arrange a viewing.