Aluminium vs timber glazing – the pros and cons

1 July 2020

How to choose between timber and aluminium glazing

Aluminium and timber glazing are two excellent choices for glazing, however they both have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. To help you with your choice we have highlighted the different features, to help you choose the best material for your project.

There’s no denying that timber windows and doors offer a property a beautifully elegant finish, but aluminium is a cost-effective solution that adds a modern aesthetic to any property. Timber systems blend seamlessly into traditional properties and its natural colouring offers a softer texture to both the interior and exterior.

Minimal framed sliding glass doors leading onto small garden in modern new build home

Advantages of aluminium windows and doors

Aluminium boasts impressive integral strength that is highly resistant against extreme temperature changes and harsh weather conditions. It maintains its shape and finish even when it’s exposed to the bitter cold, boiling temperatures or strong winds – it doesn’t warp or twist.

Due to the strength of aluminium, aluminium windows and doors are be manufactured with incredibly slim frames. This means that there can be a greater glass to frame ratio to allow more light into properties. The slim frames create a contemporary aesthetic that is ideal for modern renovations or new build homes.

If it’s slim frames you’re looking for then Sieger Aluminium Systems have the Slimmest Bifolding door in the World! Their Sieger Lux Bifold has impressive profile widths of 30mm and achieves a UW value from 1.6 W/m²K.

Aluminium glazing is manufactured with a polyamide thermal break that helps the aluminium frames to achieve impressive thermal performance values. The configuration, glazing specification and frame can all slightly affect the performance rating, so it’s best to speak to a technical advisor if a specific rating is required.

Aluminium requires very little maintenance as the polyester powder coat (PPC), that’s available in a wide selection of RAL colours, impressively lasts for many years without requiring touch-ups.

Disadvantages of aluminium windows and doors

Once the coating and colour of the frames have been chosen and applied, it isn’t recommended to repaint them a different colour after a few years. It’s possible to have the coating reapplied in a different colour but it’s no easy task and isn’t recommended.

Aluminium windows and doors are often considered for modern properties; however, they can be suited to more traditional styles. There are many timber-look finishes available for aluminium glazing, but it can be difficult to achieve an authentic appearance that genuine wood grain provides.

Advantages of timber windows and doors

Timber is the most traditional material used to make the frames for both windows and doors due to its strength, appearance, and naturally insulating properties. Wood is an exceptional insulator and therefore it improves a property’s energy efficiency.

A distinct advantage of timber is its exceptional lifespan when it’s cared for correctly. Provided the timber is cleaned and retreated when required, they can easily last a lifetime.

Thanks to the natural beauty of timber, these glazing products can add a touch of class and sophistication to both modern and period properties. Timber frames can be retreated and repainted many times during its lifespan, so whenever the homeowner desires a colour change this can be easily realised.

Timber is a very versatile material that can be used for a range of applications within architectural design for a cohesive look throughout a property. Belgravia Hardwood create bespoke and tailored glazing solutions but also offer a bespoke joinery service which enables a unique and hand-crafted solution to any project. From Orangeries to hand-carved entrance doors and decorative joinery, they combine the latest technology with traditional techniques for outstanding timber solutions.

Timber is a natural building material that is a great choice for homeowners or architects who are looking to create sustainable architecture using carefully selected materials.

Disadvantages of timber windows and doors

Timber requires regular upkeep to maintain its condition, aesthetic and performance. This includes cleaning, repainting and various treatments to prevent the timber from becoming water damaged and rotting. As timber naturally absorbs water, it is prone to corroding and contracting if the timber isn’t looked after properly.

Timber windows often come at a higher price point compared to timber as each timber window and door is hand-crafted bespoke to each window and door opening.

Charred Timber Cladding by Exterior Solutions

So, is timber or aluminium best for glazing?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on personal preference, budget, aesthetics, and the property the glazing is for. It’s hard to go wrong with either aluminium or timber windows and doors as they both offer equal pros and cons.

To help you decide which is best for your project, at the Sky House Design Centre there are both timber and aluminium glazing systems on display. Our showroom team can discuss your project with you, and you will be able to see, handle and envisage the glazing systems for your project. To arrange a showroom visit simply contact us on info@skyhousedesigncentre.com or call 01494 722 880.



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