When it comes to selecting doors and screens for any building project, designers and specifiers have a lot of options to choose from based on application, design and material preferences. Contemporary builds have moved on from conventional elements such as curtains, solid timber hinged doors or flyscreens to more creative options that can greatly add to the overall design.

Natural timber doors and screens with their heavy profiles are not ideal for modern buildings, especially multi-storeyed structures where factors such as load and maintenance come into play. Heavy screens, for instance, can put strain on tracks over time while natural timber elements require a lot of maintenance to preserve the desired look; in the absence of reliable fade and weather-resistance qualities, the material will suffer both visual and structural degradation.

Designers are, therefore, turning to high-quality, versatile alternatives that address all the challenges presented by natural timber. Covet’s Ever Art Wood timber look aluminium battens have not only delivered stunning design outcomes in cladding applications but are also fit for a range of screen and door applications from both technical and aesthetic perspectives.

Lightweight timber look aluminium Vs real timber

A batten profile is perfect for a screen or sliding door application as the spacing between the battens allows light in while preserving the privacy of the occupants.

While the wood look is highly desirable on a sliding screen door, using real timber for this application can be quite challenging due to weight issues. Solid timber can stress the door track immensely, leading to wear and premature degradation, which may need repair or replacement. Timber look aluminium is an excellent alternative because it combines the wood aesthetic with very high strength-to-weight ratio; this means it will not cause excessive wear on sliding door tracks while also ensuring added security.

Ever Art Wood Kabebari battens, for instance, were used to provide large external sliding screens for this coastal apartment building in Sydney. The two-part interlocking system allows the battens to be attached to substrates without any visible fixtures. A backing plate is screwed on first and then covered by the visible faceplate of the cladding to give a seamless, floating appearance.

The use of Kabebari battens in this apartment application allows the occupants to maintain their ocean views at all times: in a closed position, the sliding screens provide a diffused aspect that also decreases the intensity of the morning sun while the open doors let in the refreshing sea breeze.

Custom length battens also run the length of this building’s sides to provide privacy from adjacent buildings. Even in this screening application, solid timber battens would have suffered from warping and fading issues from extended exposure to humidity and heat, as well as the building’s proximity to the beach. On the other hand, timber look aluminium is extremely weather-resistant, and will retain both form and function for the long term, regardless of the climate.

Timber look plank and batten profiles: Added strength, lower maintenance

When the application calls for a more solid door or screen, the wider plank profile may be more suitable as it delivers a greater sense of solidity – similar to real timber cladding.

In this luxury northern beaches retreat, both plank and batten profiles were used to great effect. The sides of the house are lined with aluminium battens, creating a one-way screen that provides privacy without sacrificing light or views of the gum trees. Aluminium’s material properties made this possible as timber battens in such long, slender profiles (only 30mm high x 85mm wide) would warp quickly.

Kabebari battens in a plank profile were used for the sectional garage door, the thicker profile not only providing solidity and security to the door but also offering a strong connection with the surrounding bushland. The use of aluminium provides an added layer of door strength without increasing the weight. Moreover, in the event of any damage, replacement is as simple as unclipping the damaged plank and clipping a new plank in place.

Aluminium is a low maintenance material unlike wood, minimising the need for care and upkeep over the long term. A solid timber door would suffer from colour fading, requiring regular care to protect the wood. Ever Art Wood finishes are specifically designed to withstand fading in the Australian sun, making them last long with minimal effort.

Concealed garage door with invisible batten look

Ever Art Wood battens fit seamlessly into any design: In this Victorian residence, the clean, uninterrupted lines of battens create a concealed tilt-lift garage door. Since the whole facade of the home is clad with battens, the resulting geometric look expertly conceals the entrance to the garage. The lightweight aluminium construct of the battens at only 700gm per lineal metre allows the garage door’s motor to easily carry the load without strain, minimising any risk of wear and tear. Using timber in a similar application would have required the use of a heavy duty motor instead of a standard tilt-lift door motor, adding to the overall cost of the project while potentially reducing the motor’s lifespan.

Ever Art Wood battens are also easy to resize, allowing them to be customised onsite to the specific dimensions of the application with minimal hassle.

Safety meets seamless

Similar to the concealed tilt garage door application, Ever Art Wood battens can also be used to create hidden doors and entrances.

For this luxury residential garage in Sydney’s north shore, Kabebari battens were installed using careful spacing and clever lighting to create a continuous linear effect across undulating walls and doorways.

Slender 30mm x 50mm Kabebari profiles were consistently spaced and affixed to a black substrate, with the battens cladding the entire interior of the garage, across the curved walls and the doors. Since there are no visible fixings, the battens have a floating look that is amplified by the black background to create a void space. The rhythmic, patterned look of the regularly spaced battens combines with the realistic wood grain and textured finish to complete the striking contemporary design.

Additionally, the fire-rated aluminium construction of the Ever Art Wood range increases the safety aspect of this underground garage space.

In addition to aesthetics, factors such as ease of installation, safety and maintenance should also be considered when choosing materials for doors and screens. Covet Ever Art Wood cladding offers a well balanced mix of technical performance, lightweight profile, safety and simple maintenance with a stunning timber finish to suit a broad range of door and screen applications.