Since the advent of secondary double glazing decades ago, and its’ evolution into a purpose built “all-in-one” window unit with the introduction of uPVC / PVCu products (they are both the same thing!), the look of the “white plastic window” has been one aspect that held back some homeowners from fitting them.
For aluminium, it was even worse – starting off as a silvery shade, over time they would lose their lustre and had a reputation for being cold to the touch and cheap looking. For those who wanted to have their windows look like they were made from timber, the only choice for a long time was to actually fit timber windows.
The industry made quite a few attempts over the years to emulate the look of a hardwood window, but in a lot of cases the “wood-effect” looked cheap & nasty.
Thankfully, things have changed for the better in a big way, and modern manufacturing techniques can now produce really attractive, long lasting products. Not only can you find superior wood-grain effect uPVC Sash Window units, the aluminium market is now producing high quality wood effect aluminium windows & doors.
For uPVC / PVCu the grain is created by a process where a patterned “foil” is wrapped around the profile and baked onto it creating a strong bond. Whilst this is a very effective and long lasting surface, the way it’s applied often times means it does not cover the “unseen” surfaces – and a typical window profile has many unseen surfaces such as slots, grooves & recesses.
For aluminium, the profiles are first powder coat painted and then the complete profile is surrounded with a specialised “bag” containing the pattern which is then baked onto the powder coat at very high temperatures. During the baking, the pattern permeates the powder coat. In this way all the surfaces of the profile have wood-grain effect.
In their early days, both aluminium and uPVC / PVCu had poor reviews in terms of looks, but modern products make it virtually impossible to visually distinguish them from their timber counterparts.
Freedom of choice is the cornerstone of individuality and now the level of choice in terms of colour is excellent. If you are not a fan of white, then you can get more than 100 different shades in aluminium powder coats and uPVC can be found in up to 20 including various woodgrain options.
You can also opt for duo coloured where the outside is one colour & the inside another.