Aluminium vs steel – how to choose the perfect interior doors

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

Glazing bars for aluco steel look French doors showing doors in a brick opening for aluminium vs steel article
Photography/Image Credits: Paul Craig

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.

Aluco bathroom screens showing Aluco design options

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

Glazing bars for aluco steel look French doors showing doors in a brick opening for aluminium vs steel article
Photography/Image Credits: Paul Craig

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.

Examples of aluco products installed

Industrial style Barn Doors – Cirencester

An installation of our premium industrial style barn doors in Cirencester Gloucestershire fitted to commercial premises used as a popular wedding venue.  Made from the Aluco Exterior Collection of steel-look doors and installed by L & ...

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Steel look windows in Gloucestershire

Crafted by Aluco and professionally installed by L and L Installations, an expert Aluco and aluminium home improvement company, an installation of Aluco steel look windows in Gloucestershire to a beautiful character cottage. Our sophisticated ...

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Industrial style French doors in Wiltshire

The potential of an Aluco product to create captivating and focal-point designs is shown in this installation of industrial style French doors in Wiltshire. A bespoke screen spanning floor to ceiling creates a great entrance ...

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Buying Guides

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Architectural glazing solutions blended with precision engineering to transform your living space into something truly extraordinary...

National Coverage

Aluco Aluminium products are installed and supported by a national network of installers.

JosephineJosephine
15:14 22 Mar 23
Just completed house renovation, using all the internal bespoke doors with glass panels. Absolutely delighted with the quality of doors and service. I was assisted every step of the way in getting the right size and format of extremely tall door. Keiran has been exceptionally helpful to deal with over the months from ordering to completion. 10/10I never usually do reviews but but I would say the whole experience and end result that has been achieved has been amazing.
Sarah PattersonSarah Patterson
15:28 13 Mar 23
So pleased with our new Aluco bifold doors, the best we could find on the market! We wanted bifolds with maximum glass area and no bulky frame and the Aluco doors were the perfect choice. Stunning, deep matte black colour, high quality, great choice of hardware and a first-class service. Highly recommend!
Michael HanksMichael Hanks
12:56 10 Mar 23
I've been looking for sometime to find a professional company to fit my new windows and doors and I'm so pleased I found you guys! - Aluco's products are 1st class and so easy to arrange, I just called Aluco, spoke to a very helpful lady who put me in touch with my local installer. I would definitely recommend this product & company :o)
Pauls Mc CrarrenPauls Mc Crarren
10:15 10 Jan 23
I recently had 3 sets of ALUCO exterior crital styled steel framed doors fitted to my property as part of an ongoing renovation. After looking around at various options Aluco was the only manufacturer that I felt could deliver the style I was looking for. With most other companies I thought the design was bulky and not finished to the finesse Aluco has achieved . Based on my experience I can honestly thoroughly recommend this manufacturer and will look to use them again on any future projects
Richard HansonRichard Hanson
09:42 20 May 22
Aluco is leading the way in steel look windows and doors, they are high quality, competitively priced and offering excellent external and internal ranges. We are extremely happy to supply their products to our valued customers.
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