For the sizable portion of our audience which has been desperate for an article about the key differences between aluminum-framed glazing and steel-framed glazing – your time has come!

Usually noticeable on doors or windows, glazing normally defines the material that makes up the edge of glass panels. Not only is there an aesthetic difference between the two, but they are also different when it comes to energy efficiency, strength, and durability.

Let us take a quick look at the key things to remember when deciding between aluminum-framed glazing and steel-framed glazing for your latest home renovation project.

The basic differences

Steel-framed glazing is a steel-framed feature panel, usually at the expense of one large pane of glass. These feature panels are normally framed with black or dark gray steel framing. The use of Steel-framed glazing is to make a move towards more creative designs like bespoke panel patterns. This does not limit you to uniform squares and rectangles!

Steel-framed glazing is more modern than its aluminum counterpart, sometimes used for double-paneled, transparent doors inside the home. This gives a really modern feel to the home, allowing natural sunlight to make its way through with ease.

Steel-framed doors

Steel-framed doors leading to the backyard. Credit: Thesethreerooms

Steel-framed indoor panels

Steel-framed indoor panels. Credit: Thesethreerooms

On the other hand, aluminum-framed glazing is a more cost-effective solution for indoor doors and paneling. Aesthetically, you can achieve very similar results to using steel-framed glazing, but the result will likely not be as durable. We will talk about these differences in more detail in the following section.

The advantage of using aluminum, besides the more affordable cost, is the lightweight feel.  This makes your interior feel more airy and flowing. Doors and windows between rooms are not fortified with steel, meaning they are lighter and perhaps more welcoming.

Also, aluminum-framed glazing is more resistant to rust and decays slower than steel-framed glazing. They are low-maintenance and it is possible to create them to mirror steel glazing in its aesthetics.

Specific differences between steel-glazed framing and aluminum-glazed framing

Having touched on the basic differences between these two-panel framing solutions, we can go a little deeper into the specifics.

Ease of mounting

  • Aluminium-framed glazing might be easier and quicker to obtain than steel-framed glazing. It is possible that the order of bespoke steel-framed panels might take several months to get ready. Its extra weight combined with the fact it might be triple-glazed both contribute to this long waiting time. If you need a quicker solution, you might be better off looking at aluminum.
  • Are you aiming for a more industrial or modern-retro look? Heavy steel framing will certainly contribute to this. Aluminium-framed glazing is better to create a more airy, Scandinavian environment.


  • In terms of price, this will always be dependent on your desired design and any other bespoke requests. However, as a rough guide, you might expect to pay around $1,300 per square meter for indoor steel glazing. Also, $3,200 per square meter for exterior steel glazing. With aluminum as your material of choice, you would be looking at a much cheaper $800 per square meter.

Mechanical properties

  • Despite their propensity to rust, steel-glazed framing will likely last you 60 years or more. Aluminum framing might last you even longer, but both options are really going to last a long time.
  • Steel is capable of insulating up to five times better than aluminum. This superiority makes it a better choice in terms of energy efficiency. If your home is prone to allowing cold air inside, steel is a great choice for glazing your exterior panels
  • Steel is 3x stronger than aluminum. This means that it is possible to make larger designs with greater assurances of structural integrity. Larger windows and door frames can become a reality with a material as strong as steel.
  • Beware of steel-framed glazing if you are near saltwater. Coastal homes should think twice about investing in steel windows or doors. This reason is that they can be vulnerable to airborne salt corrosion.


Either steel-framed or aluminum-framed glazing is a great, modern choice when it comes to redecorating your home. Both will allow natural light to pass through and create striking new features.

If you are working on exterior doors or windows, remember to think about the area outdoors. In the image below, the gray-colored door glazing complements the gravel patio outside for a truly industrial feel.

Exterior door

Credit: Remodelista