The image above ladies and gents is a 44mm low aluminium threshold supplied by John Fredericks.
This is a type of threshold we have been fitting on our doors day in and day out, month after month, year on year. Yet when I posted this image on Twitter to contribute to a larger conversation about thresholds, it seems that a few of you haven’t been fitting them. In fact one account mentioned that they didn’t even know they were available!
The original conversation began when @bigwindowfitter asked: Installers question Ali or low PVC thresholds ? And why ? What ensued was a day long conversation that drew opinions of PVC versus aluminium thresholds and whether people actually knew about low ali thresholds or not.
From my own personal view point, I believe that aluminium thresholds are better than PVC ones. Here’s why:
- more durable than PVC. Out of habit people often stand on thresholds. Metal will last longer than PVC due to it’s better strength.
- Lower than PVC. Most installers see PVC thresholds as being quite high, and that remains the case quite often. Yes there are low PVC options out there, but there are lower aluminium options. This becomes useful for everyone, but more so for the elderly, disabled and young. The less there is to look out for at the bottom of the door, the better.
- Better for Part M regulations. Part M of building regs covers disability access. I don’t know of any PVC thresholds that are compliant with Part M (prove me wrong people!) but know of plenty aluminium ones that do.
- They do look better. This is just my opinion on this one, but a nice slim aluminium threshold at the bottom of the door I do think looks quite nice. I think PVC thresholds look a tad chunky.
Going back to the Part M part. We use John Fredericks for our engineered (PVC) doors and Solidor for our composite doors. We use the 44mm standard low aluminium threshold for normal doors, but go to the lower 15mm version when we are working for people with a disability…or those just wanting an even lower version! When it comes composite doors, we order the AM3-70 or AM3-70 short, depending on the requirement. This is the Solidor version of a low aluminium threshold and we think it’s pretty good!
I personally can’t see an advantage to PVC thresholds myself, again I would invite people to explain to me why I’m wrong. But providing an aluminium threshold is thermally broken, I believe they should always be used on doors.
Most, if not all, suppliers should be offering an aluminium low threshold. They are a great sales tool to use with end users. It might only seem a small thing, but you’d be surprised how much customers hate old chunky PVC thresholds. When we show them the range of low thresholds in the showroom it’s as if they’ve seen some sort of miracle solution! A small thing but it makes a difference
All comments welcome on this one!
44mm is still quite high – and I now have another reason as to why the national company that I worked was better than most small companies – they’d never dream of putting in a uPVC threshold and certainly not one that needs a conscious lift of the leg to clear it. I saw many a huge threshold on doors I quoted to replace and couldn’t believe that anyone would want the original due to safety and appearance issues. I guess it’s one of those things the unknowing customer doesn’t think about until the door is installed (when they get… Read more »