March 25, 2019

Spotlight on: Steel Look Internal Glazing

_internal steel_framed_doors
The trend for steel look glazing is continuing with architects and specifiers all over the UK looking to include these tactile industrial elements in their designs.

Steel framed glazing is often seen in interior design schemes as internal glass door or partitions between areas or rooms. Internal welded steel frames offer a slender profile with an artisanal design; perfect for architects and clients that are highly detail orientated.

We offer the Mondrian CWA range of steel internal systems for these critical internal glazing installations.

There are some projects however that want to achieve the steel look but do not what to use a steel material. The good news for these projects is that that is very possible to achieve as well.

Our range of aluminium framed internal doors is available with a bespoke glazing bar design, giving you slim outer frames, a glazing bar design and a lightweight aluminium frame.

Although steel can create a fantastic interior design, there are some advantages to using a ‘steel look’ system. Continue reading below to investigate the differences between a steel and steel look internal system.

Usability and Weight

Steel is a highly durable material designed for high levels of strength. This makes it quite heavy for a framing material. When you are looking at large internal glass doors an aluminium steel look system might be more suitable as the lighter weight frame will make the door a little easier to use.

This weight effect is exasperated when you look at internal bifold installations. When you need to fold and slide more than one pane of frame and glass you want this to be easy to handle.

Our internal aluminium door system can be designed into an internal bi-folding door with a bespoke glazing bar design. The slim metal frames paired with the glazing bars create the look of a steel internal door but with the usability of a well-engineered aluminium solution.

Here is a video of this steel look bifold door in action at our showroom:

Slim Frames

Although steel is known for offering slimmer frames than aluminium hinged solution (approx. 50mm for thermally broken steel versus 58mm for thermally broken aluminium) this is not the case with internal systems.

A steel internal frame will have a vent and frame sightline of at least 50mm whereas an aluminium internal door will have a frame of approx. 30mm. This is a lot slimmer. It becomes an even slimmer sightline at junctions where you have fixed partitions and opening doors meeting.

steel framed internal doors

Opening Types

Aluminium systems will give you a wider variety of opening types than steel for internal applications. Steel look internal doors can be pivoting, hinged, sliding, pocket sliding or bi-folding. Due to the difficulty of attaching mechanisms to harder steel systems they don’t have as much flexibility.

Again, the weight of the glass and frame is a factor here as we mentioned above. A lighter weight aluminium frame is still highly durable, but the lighter construction makes it easier to make larger openings like sliding or bi-folding doors.


Steel systems are more expensive than aluminium steel look alternatives. This is because the material of steel is more expensive, and it is then more expensive to work with (the processes involved in making steel systems are more hands-on and take longer).

This means that steel look systems are more cost-effective options for internal glazing.

The conclusion?

Both steel and steel look systems will offer you a great finish to your interior design. You need to decide what is most important to your project. The above information will you give you a starting point to help you consider the differences between the two options. For further advice and guidance, the team at IQ are happy to help. Just contact us by emailing your project information to or look at our contact page for other ways to get in touch.

Image Credit: Martina O'Shea