Finding the Best Bifold Door for Your Customer
If the aluminium bifold door market continues to grow, it will become increasingly congested and crowded. Aluminium accounts for 59% of all bifold sales, much better compared to the 24% for uPVC, 14% wood and 3% composites.
However, with the number of fabricators supplying it, it’s a growing industry.
A staggering 68% of aluminium bifold doors go into the competitive home improvement market, making retail the critical market place for the product.
John Leary, sales and marketing director at Emplas, said: “That figure is pretty stand-out. For most products, you’re looking at a split of around 60/40 home improvement and new build/commercial. With more than 2/3s, of all aluminium bifold doors supplied into retail, it’s a key market.
“That’s a massive positive (consumers want aluminium bifolds). The problem is an age-old one, maintaining margin, with the industry edging perilously close to over-supply.”
The F82 aluminium bifolding door, or Luminia, was launched by AluK in 2017, designed to tap into end-user demand within the aluminium bifold door sector but at the same time, offering USPs within it.
John continued: “We could have manufactured any system. We chose the F82 because it offered us, and more importantly our customers, a series of USPs in retail, as well as commercial sectors.
“As a new system, the F82 has been designed to tap into the key drivers within the aluminium bifolding door market. This includes slimmer sightlines, improved hardware, ultra-smooth operation, and most importantly, thermal efficiency.
“This is something which has been the Achilles heel for the bifold sector up until now. In addressing it head-on, you have a distinct message at point of retail. “
This is the key USP of the Luminia, although by no means it’s only one. it offers a market-leading thermal performance with U-values as low a 1.4 W/m2K with a double glazed unit and 0.9 with triple.
“Consumers are incredibly switched on to the environment and thermal efficiency as part of a much larger movement. If you compare the Luminia to standard aluminium bifolding doors with U-values of 1.6 W/m2k or even 1.7, it offers a steep change in thermal efficiency.”
Accommodating larger spans and individual leaf width of up to 1200mm, Luminia also maximises the glazed area of the door. Heavy-duty rollers deliver effortlessly smooth operation and individual sash weights of up to 150kg.
It does this without compromising on aesthetics with slim, symmetrical sightlines on the frame, cill and jamb of only 97mm and only 122mm on the door meeting, creating a clean and contemporary picture frame effect.
John continued: “The equal-sightline, which define Luminia are also distinct, giving the system a very clean architectural aesthetic and are very much a stand-out feature in retail. The picture-frame effect is immediately clear once pointed out to the end-user.
“In a sector of the market where the aesthetics are key, it’s another significant selling point.”
This architectural attention to detail is evidenced in AluK’s patented ‘T-handle’, which sits flush within the frame, requiring a simple push-out to operate, leaving sightlines uninterrupted. Alu has applied this treatment to the flush traffic door handle, in addition to the minimalist design of hinges.
In addition to its enhanced levels of thermal efficiency, this door is tested to PAS24 standards, meeting the demands placed on it by Part Q of the Building Regulations, giving it further reach in the new build sector.
The finish, according to John, represents another critical strength. The product of multi-million-pound investment, Luminia employs a sophisticated flash anodising pre-treatment to create an unsealed anodised layer of aluminium oxide, which not only forms an enhanced substrate for the powder coating process but prevents filiform corrosion.
The net effect is that powder coated surfaces are more stable and delivered to a marine-grade finish as standard. This is supplied by Emplas in white, grey, brown and black as standard, plus any RAL colour on special order, with all finishes guaranteed for 10-years.
John concluded: “It takes a little bit of explaining, but it’s again a poignant message for the consumer. We can offer not only a high degree of flexibility of finish but that finish is manufactured using an almost unique process in the UK.
“It was these innovations which drove our decision to manufacture the F82. We weren’t in bed with an aluminium systems company already. We didn’t have to manufacture it. We were starting with a blank sheet.
“This allowed us to judge the bifolding systems on the market basis of their appeal in a retail environment, and for us, the Luminia won hands down.
“It delivers in aesthetics but underpins that with exceptional performance offering multiple and distinct USPs in a retail environment.”
If you’d like to find out more about our range of aluminium bifold doors, fill out our online contact form.