11 Dec PVCu vs Aluminium Sliding Patio Doors – What material is best?
Sliding Patio Doors are fantastic to open your house up to the outside and let natural light fill your home. But with so many options available how do you choose the right sliding patio doors for your property? A good place to start is with the material. Here we take a look at how PVCu and aluminium compare for sliding patio doors.
Longevity – how long will my PVCu or aluminium sliding patio doors last?
Aluminium is a very stable, robust material, which changes very little with the changes in temperature. Staying consistent from year to year and built to last. Which is why you will find many aluminium sliding patio doors are sold with excellent guarantees. For example the VueLite Lift and Slide sliding door comes with an minimum 10 year manufactures guarantee.
PVCu can have a long life, however the frames can potentially degrade over time, as they are more acceptable to the changes in temperature, expanding and contracting with the weather. Causing the doors to warp and twist, making them harder to open and close over time.
Sightlines – Slim frame sliding doors
Due to aluminium’s natural strength sliding patio doors made from aluminium can be manufactured with a very slim frame. Allowing a larger glazed area and as such more light into your home, as well as maximising your view.
PVCu is very tough but not as strong as aluminium, as a result PVCu frames are thicker in order to provide the same level of performance aluminium does. Which means the ratio of frame to glass is lowers due to the ticker sightlines.
Colour – Is PVCu or aluminium better for coloured sliding patio doors?
Both PVCu and aluminium allow you to have coloured sliding patio doors. With many aluminium sliding patio door manufactures, such as VueLite you are given the choose of over 150 RAL colours for your doors. Aluminium windows and doors go through a process called Powder Coating, to colour the aluminium profiles. Coloured powder is sprayed onto statically charged profiles. Which are then baked, allowing the powder to melt together to offer a stable and high quality finish.
To produce coloured PVCu frames, a coloured foil is heat bonded to the surface of the PVCu frame, creating a practically unbreakable finish. The colour options for PVCu products do vary by product for PVCu sliding patio doors.
Flexibility – Curved Frames, Triple Tracks, Open Corners
Both PVCu and aluminium give you the possibility of having a triple track system, allowing for 2/3’s of an aperture to be opened.
An aluminium system gives you the option of an open/floating corner. An open/floating corner is when a sliding patio doors is installed into the corner of a property, spanning two walls. With no supporting post, when the doors are opened it creates a completely open corner and a stunning architectural piece.
The strength of an aluminium systems also give you the option of curved frames for a contemporary design. This isn’t however possible with all aluminium sliding patio door systems.
Visually – Can you tell the difference by looking at PVCu or aluminium sliding patio doors?
If you are looking at a anthracite grey aluminium sliding patio door and an anthracite grey PVCu sliding patio door, you will be able to see a difference. Firstly the thickness of the frames, the PVCu frame will be chunkier with the aluminium frame being slimmer and sleeker looking.
You will also be able to feel a difference. We would recommend popping into a showroom to feel the difference yourself. To find your nearest VueLite showroom, simply complete our contact form and a member of the team will be in contact.
Cost – Are aluminium sliding patio doors more expensive than PVCu?
Everybody has a budget, it can vary greatly depending on the project, but cost is a very important factor when looking at your sliding patio doors.
PVCu is an inexpensive plastic, as such is found installed in houses up and down the country. Aluminium however does demand a higher price tag due to being a more expensive product to manufacture. Gaining in popularity, homeowners and architects are seeing the benefits aluminium can provide.
Even though aluminium windows and doors are more expensive to buy, they are likely to boost the value of the property whereas PVCu wouldn’t.
In conclusion aluminium sliding patio doors can generally offer a long lifespan, slimmer sightlines, and more options in terms of colour and design, however as a result are more expensive than a PVCu version. Whichever material you choose we would always recommend visiting a showroom to experience your chosen door for yourself.