Putting colour in the frame

RegaLead’s joint managing director Guy Hubble discusses the trend for colour.

Once reserved solely for aluminium, the last two years have seen a dramatic rise in the use of colour across the industry. One PVCU systems company reported that coloured profile now represents more than 50% of their output, while installers across the UK say that an increasing number of homeowners are no longer satisfied with standard white frames.

While composite door manufacturers and window fabricators tap into the demand for colour, the area where the two disciplines cross often causes a problem. A 2016 RegaLead survey of 150 installers showed that 70% wanted to be able to offer colour frame options with their composite doors, and yet colour-matching doorframes to doors is a challenge that many fabricators are only too aware of.

Often the solution was to simply ignore the problem – fitting coloured doors into standard white frames. Beyond that, fabricators could try to match slabs with close – but often not quite close enough – stock profile colours. The best solution meant sending fully assembled frames and add-ons to a specialist colour sprayer; but it’s expensive and time-consuming, and with different paint suppliers and various coloured substrates in the mix, it’s difficult to achieve a perfect match.

RegaLead identified the problem and spent over a year working on it. The challenge was to design a service that guarantees a true colour match with low costs and a fast turnaround. The solution is ColorLine.

Operating from a dedicated factory at RegaLead’s Manchester facility, ColorLine provides an end-to-end coloured door frame service using standard profiles, and RegaLead’s own ColorSpray paint system. RegaLead stock’s standard PVCU door profiles and have them foiled in a special paintable tan foil that’s exclusive to RegaLead in the UK and Europe. The foil mimics the base colour of unpainted door slabs and helps ensure an exact colour match.

Currently Deceuninck, Eurocell and Kommerling profiles are available (with more are on the way) and the service covers door frames, sidelight kits, sills and even trims.

The foiled profiles are cut to size by RegaLead, leaving extra length on the heights to allow fabricators to make adjustments if necessary. Mechanically jointed frames are end-milled and have cleats inserted, ready for assembly by the customer. For welded frames ends are left square cut and RegaLead provides a small pot of touch-up paint. The cut profiles are cleaned, electrostatically charged to attract paint, and then sprayed using RegaLead’s ColorSpray system. Finally, they’re placed in a state-of-the-art Schubox catalytic infrared drying booth, before being boxed up and sent out by courier.

From order to delivery the whole process typically takes less than five days, and provides a simple, fast, cost-effective solution for fabricators.

At the heart of RegaLead’s ColorLine service is the claim that we can match any colour, no matter how rare or unusual.

The paintable foil resolves one key problem: where spraying a colour onto different substrates produces different shades. Beyond that the claim is backed up by the size and popularity of RegaLead’s ColorSpray colour system, and our ability to accurately match any colour in our ColorLab facility. RegaLead has been manufacturing our own widely used range of paints and pigments since 2009, and ColorLab has already matched over 10,000 colours for customers, with new ones added at a rate of approximately 50 per month.

ColorSpray already includes the exact shades used on all Doorco and Distinction prepped slabs in stock. Many manufacturers who spray slabs themselves do so using RegaLead’s Colorspray GRP paint, allowing exactly the same colours to be used by ColorLine. RAL colours and those from other leading colour systems can be matched automatically, but RegaLead prefers to analyse a colour directly from the skin of the door itself, to ensure a perfect match.

With a colour-matched frame the door looks bigger, grander and much more impressive than if the frame was left white. That’s exactly what homeowners want, but until now it’s been slow, expensive and difficult for fabricators to offer.

ColorLine changes all that by marrying our industry-leading colour expertise with a fast, simple, cost-effective service that removes the hassle for fabricators and suits their way of working.