A genuine ali alternative

Posted On 22-06-29

Once viewed as a casualty of the impressive success of the bi-fold door, the slider is now winning the popular vote. And with very good reason, according to aluplast’s Director of Sales and Marketing Ian Cocken.

If you were to launch the PVC-U sliding patio today, as an alternative to the potentially bulky expensive aluminium bi-fold door, then it would be an instant winner: compact, attractive, affordable, and practical.

Interestingly, it has taken a fresh new look by forward-thinking systems companies like aluplast to focus on the real strengths offered by PVC-U sliding doors to realise these advantages and to improve upon the gains made by aluminium, as systems companies moved beyond bi-folds and into sliders, windows, and entrance doors.

market demand

And that is the approach we took when designing our Smart Slide PVC-U patio slider. We weren’t improving on a legacy product, to compete with other PVC-U systems. We looked at what the market was demanding and built up from there, designing-in security, aesthetics, energy performance, weather tightness, and ease of use.

Smart-Slide patio door from aluplast

Smart-Slide from aluplast offers a genuine alternative to mainstream aluminium products – especially when combined with aludec foil

When we brought the Smart Slide PVC-U patio slider to market, it was not simply an alternative to PVC-U sliding doors, but a genuine alternative to more expensive aluminium systems.

And while this won us plenty of new business when it was launched in 2020, its real reach is hitting home today as the demand for high value products continues to increase while the squeeze on home budgets tightens.

Primarily, the Smart Slide sliding patio door system can span up to 4.5m at a height of 2.5m with just a sliding sash and a fixed panel. And in a four-panel configuration, with two centre sliders operating on the inside or outside of two fixed panels, up to 5.8m wide is possible.

Achieving anywhere this kind of size, with these design parameters, was unthinkable with PVC-U, unless you factored in a triple track design, which would incur extra costs and undesirable sightlines. So, Smart Slide is an aluminium alternative when it comes to size, and it competes on this playing field when it comes to the other design features, while taking the best that PVC-U offers. For example, it meets BS6375 for weather tightness and, depending on the glass specification, it can achieve a DER of A+.

premium product

Thanks to its advanced hardware, the Smart Slide can accommodate individual sash weights of up to 200kg and it takes very little effort to open and close the doors. (We have eliminated the need for brush seals, even at that size.) The quality of fit and finish is what you would expect for a very high-end, premium product.

When it comes to security, Smart-Slide locks on all four sides of the sliding sash. That means homeowners can open the door part way if they want to let in fresh air, but they can do so with the peace of mind that it can also be left open and be completely secure. It is tested to PAS24, which also makes it attractive to newbuild projects.

While Smart Slide is a PVC-U alternative to aluminium on features such as size, security, and performance, it can also compete successfully on looks.

Thanks to aluplast’s comprehensive foil offering, Smart Slide can be finished in Smooth Anthracite Grey, an aludec foil that is designed to accurately replicate the look and feel aluminium.

This finish is one of 40-plus colour options, which help to meet the current significant demand for colour from homeowners looking create a contemporary look to their home.

Finally, there was a time that for some projects it was aluminium or nothing when it can to statement doors that linked the home with the garden. But today, that distinction is more obscured. On the one hand, the cost of aluminium is prohibitive for all but a few, but there is a question mark over the ability of some aluminium systems to meet the latest revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations.

That aside, Smart Slide opens up more opportunities for fabricators and homeowners – creating more opportunities for increased margin – than a standard PVC-U slider ever could.