Differences between PVC and Aluminium for Windows and Doors

19 January 2017

Architecturally attractive windows and doors use several aesthetically alluring profiles, framing materials that emphasize the modern shapes of today’s plate glass panels. There’s aluminium, a durable metal that adds clean lines and enhanced thermal performance. Then there’s PVC, a synthetic that mirrors the metallic option in almost every respect. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between PVC and aluminium for windows and doors.

An Overview of Aluminium Frames

We open with the biggest difference. Yes, aluminium windows and doors do cost more than their PVC counterparts. But imagine the benefits of a truly robust alloy frame. The durable metal is exposed to many state-of-the-art manufacturing methods, so the frames can be shaped into slender thermal barriers that won’t expand or contract when the weather changes. Better yet, this metal can be finished with scores of coatings so that its surface enhances a building’s facade.

Stressing the PVC Difference

Products made from PVC are relatively sturdy and thermally efficient. In terms of PVC windows and doors, these material characteristics endow contemporary glass panels with long lasting good looks. Incidentally, the visual appeal factor is accompanied by a formidable energy efficiency rating, which means cost-effective polyvinyl chloride saves more energy than its alloy counterpart.

A Meeting of Equals

Alloy frames are beyond resilient, so high-traffic doors do benefit from this metal and glass build. Meanwhile, the synthetic solution is almost as tough as aluminium, and it’s more energy efficient due to a thermally capable plastic backbone. Essentially, both materials provide superior products, but metal does have the structural edge, so its profile can be formed from thinner, more elegant sections. Conversely, a comparable plastic door or window would require slightly more material to deliver the same strength.

Maintenance Differences

Design flexibility favours aluminium, with its extruded profile complementing any building. Multiple finishes push the alloy slightly further ahead of PVC, at least in terms of visual allure. But what about maintenance prowess? Happily, PVC products tend to be easier to maintain. A damp washcloth washes away accumulated dirt. Aluminium doors and windows require a little more care, especially if the metal has been powder coated or finished in some exotic manner. Consult the installer before using a cleaning product on the coated alloy.

Thermally isolating features mesh with cost-effective material bases to place high-end PVC concepts up high, but the differences between PVC and aluminium for windows and doors still favours the alloy-reinforced option due to its numerous finishes, slender profiles, and expansion-resistant build.

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