An aluminum door combines strength and durability together with a lightweight frame. With aluminum doors, it is possible to combine design and necessity. Because of the versatility of aluminum, door companies have begun broadening their aluminum door offerings.
Aluminum is the most available metal that exists. According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, it makes up 8.1% of the Earth’s crust. This is a natural metal that resists corrosion which makes it an ideal material for exterior doors. Also, it is less expensive to produce than comparable steel doors.
How is an Aluminum Door Made?
An aluminum door is made from aluminum that has been molded into a specific shape and then coated with a finish. These doors have become more popular since the 1950s as an alternative to steel doors.
Manufacturers create aluminum doors by first extruding the aluminum. This means they force raw aluminum through a die. This forms the aluminum into a particular shape. Next, they insulate the door with a thermal break between the interior and exterior panels of the door. Last, manufacturers coat the aluminum with a protective layer. These include powder coating, anodization, or polyvinylidene fluoride resin baking (PVDF).
Each of the three aluminum door finishes, powder coating, anodization, and PVDF offer some benefits and drawbacks.
- Powder Coating – This is the least expensive and most standard aluminum coating option. It involves dry powder that has an electrostatic charge. It is sprayed onto the aluminum that is heated to a high temperature to affect the curing. Powder coating has a uniform appearance and lower cost. But, it is subject to chipping and fading when exposed to sunlight.
- Anodization – This process involves dipping aluminum into an electrolytic bath with liquid coatings that act like paint. This creates an integrated surface that is not subject to chipping away. This creates a durable finish and even coverage. This coating is more expensive and there are fewer color choices available. It also does not cover previous imperfections as well as powder coating.
- PVDF – Polyvinylidene fluoride resin baking is a type of powder-coated surface that is more durable. It has better fade resistance, UV resistance, and corrosion resistance. This makes it better for longevity. It is also a more expensive coating option than powder coating.
Aluminum Door Pros and Cons
Aluminum doors have become more available in the last several decades. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of aluminum doors before you make the decision to invest in them.
- Weather Resistance – Aluminum has a natural resistance to the natural elements as it forms a thin layer of oxide when exposed. This oxide is self-repairing and does not rust like steel or iron.
- Installation – Aluminum door frames are light and so they are easier to install than other doors of the same type made from different materials.
- Maintenance – Aluminum doors do not need regular maintenance other than cleaning to stay looking good.
- Durability – Aluminum doors should last around 40 years with just regular cleaning and maintenance.
- Versatile Style – Aluminum is a malleable metal and manufacturers form it into varied door styles that complement a wide range of modern home designs.
- Strength of Material – Aluminum door frames are strong and yet lightweight.
- Strength of Construction – In a comparison with steel, aluminum doors are not as strong. Also, the corners of some aluminum doors are fastened with nails, screws, or crimping. This may cause sagging or leaking joints over time.
- Cost – Aluminum doors are more expensive than comparable PVC doors.
- Appearance – The sleek look and material of aluminum will not work for every home style. Homes with a historic style will not find many complementary aluminum door styles.
Aluminum Door Styles
Aluminum is a versatile material that fabricators craft into various door styles including interior and exterior aluminum doors.
Aluminum Front Doors
Front doors are one of the most important style focal points for the front of the home. Aluminum front doors are offered in a broad range of versatile styles and colors.
Manufacturers make these with aluminum cladding on the inside and the outside, but they also offer them with wood cladding on the inside.
This gives homeowners the best of both worlds: the strength and durability of aluminum on the outside with the beauty of wood on the inside.
This aluminum door is from Glo European Windows and Doors. It has a full glass panel with surrounding sidelights and a transom for maximum light in the entry.
Aluminum Garage Doors
Aluminum garage doors are one of the most popular options for exterior aluminum doors. Homeowners love aluminum roll-up garage doors because they are lightweight and require less work for the torsion spring and opener. They also resist corrosion from the outdoor elements. There are multiple aluminum garage door design options including full aluminum doors or aluminum and glass options.
This glass and aluminum garage door from Northwest Door features a four-section, four-panel layout. It has a bronze anodized finish. The panels are white laminated glass. This allows light to shine through but preserves privacy.
Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors
Aluminum sliding glass doors are popular inside and outside. Indoors, people use them to create modern room partitions or for pantries or closets. Exterior aluminum sliding glass doors are popular to connect patios with indoor spaces.
TransFORM Home provided this sleek closet design. They used aluminum sliding glass doors with a black finish and smoky colored glass.
Aluminum French Doors
There are certain manufacturers invested in creating classic-style aluminum door options. French doors have been and will remain one of the most classic-looking interior and exterior door styles.
London Timber Windows customize these aluminum French doors to replicate deco-style doors. These use weatherproofing techniques like using thermal materials and double-glazed windows.
Folding Aluminum Doors
Folding doors, also called bifold doors, are one of the best ways to create a large opening between the indoors and the outdoors. Aluminum folding doors are popular because of their resistance to outdoor elements. Wood-clad folding doors are also popular because of the attractive wood material facing the indoors. The biggest drawback to folding doors is the amount of space the panels take up when they are open.
The aluminum and glass folding doors allow the homeowners to create a large opening to make the most of their gorgeous view.
Aluminum Screen Doors
Aluminum screens doors cover exterior doors to allow you to keep the door open for light and breeze while keeping out troublesome bugs. Aluminum screen door options include multiple designs that combine glass panels that can also function as storm doors.
PVC created this aluminum door screen design. It features a variety of swing-style powder-coated aluminum screen doors.
Aluminum Storm Doors
Homeowners value aluminum storm doors because they are sturdy, energy-efficient, and lightweight so they are easy to hang. Aluminum storm door options include full or partial view storm doors.
Full view storm doors feature a full glass panel. Partial view storm doors have glass panels with decorative embellishments that may obstruct the view outdoors. Most storm doors have adjustable aluminum door panels. You can change them out between glass and screens depending on the season.
This Larson storm door features a full glass panel that you can switch with a screen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Are aluminum doors an eco-conscious choice?
Aluminum doors are durable and recyclable which makes them a more eco-conscious choice than other door options. Also, aluminum doors take less energy to produce and are more energy efficient than options like vinyl doors. All of these factors make aluminum doors an eco-conscious choice.
Can I paint an aluminum door frame?
Yes, you can paint aluminum door frames. Before you paint your door, make sure to clean and prime the door if it hasn’t been painted before in order for your paint to last. Use acrylic or latex paint or high-end spray paint.
How do I hang curtains on aluminum doors?
You can either mount curtain rods on the door or above the door. If you want to mount rods on the door and do not want to drill into your aluminum doors, you can mount small curtain rods with command strips (Note: Magnetic curtain rods have a flat surface back that will work with command strips. But, magnets alone will not work on aluminum). Another good option is to mount the curtains above the door with enough clearance on the rod to open the curtains to leave the entire door exposed when you desire.
Are aluminum doors and windows a good choice for my home?
Aluminum doors and windows are a popular option for homeowners. They are durable, attractive, and weather resistant. Also, the strength of aluminum makes it the preferred material for windows with large glass panes. They are also more cost-effective than other attractive window and door materials like wood and steel.
Aluminum doors are a great choice if you are looking for a metal door that is weather resistant, durable, and has a versatile style. Aluminum doors do not have the durability or strength of steel doors, but they have a lower price point. If you are looking to balance durability and cost, aluminum doors are a good option for you to consider.