Panda and Arcadia Custom are two of the leading window and door companies in the country. Both brands have achieved international success and sell their products in multiple different countries across North, South, and Central America. They both have an incredibly high-tech modern appearance. They both offer similar pricing, and they both have pretty cool names.
By now, you’re probably thinking, “if they’re so similar, then which one is better?”
Normally, we tend to be fairly cut-and-dry about our reviews. We’re not afraid to call out a company with poorly-designed doors, and we don’t hesitate to praise a company with amazingly-designed doors. With these two companies, though, the choice is hard to make.
So we decided that it was best to leave the decision to you– the consumer.
In this brand comparison, we’re going to give you all of the information about both competing brands so that you can decide for yourself which one is better. Of course, we’ll give our valuable input when we see a better or worse feature. For the most part, though, they’re both amazing brands and provide very high-quality options when it comes to their folding doors.
Panda Folding Doors: Overview
Panda was founded in 1991 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The panoramic desert views, lack of severe rain, and pristine city skyline made it a natural location for these broad glass wall style doors. After designing and installing their first few aluminum doors, they became a Vegas staple. It wasn’t long before high-end hotels, casinos, and upscale residential homes started adopting the concept as well.
Panda primarily focuses on aluminum folding doors, but they also provide a really nice all-wood bi-fold door as well. One of the more unique aspects of this company is just how many different types of aluminum door specifications they offer to their consumers. Let’s take a look!
All Aluminum S.51
This is their standard aluminum door. It features thinner glass and aluminum which means that it’s a very lightweight option compared to some of Panda’s other options. As far as thermal protection goes, it’s not the best, but if you live in an area with a moderate climate it’s a decent and affordable option.
All Aluminum Thermally Broken Impact ITS.61
If you want an aluminum door that can withstand a little bit more wind force as well as inclement temperatures, then this is an excellent option. It’s made with extra-tempered aluminum which is heavier, stronger, and can withstand stronger wind forces. There’s also a polymer thermal break in between the aluminum plates which prevents temperature transfer from one side to the other.
All Aluminum Thermally Broken Ultra UTS.60
This option is the same as the previous aluminum door, except it’s one of their “Ultra” models. These models come with sturdier tracks that can hold larger doors as tall as 13-feet.
All Aluminum Ultra US.51
This is the large “Ultra” model of Panda’s standard aluminum door. It doesn’t have the extra thermal breaking features, but it’s a good choice if you’re looking to put large doors in a moderate climate where you won’t have to worry about extreme heat or cold.
Aluminum / Wood S.74
If you want to combine both wood and aluminum, then this is the best of both worlds. This is an aluminum door with a metal exterior and wood paneling on the interior.
Solid Wood S.66
Panda also offers an all-wood option made with sustainably harvested hardwoods. This is a good option if you live in a dryer climate where humidity isn’t a major problem.
Now that you know a bit more about what your options are as far as folding doors go, let’s take a look at some of the definitive selling points and features that this brand has to offer.
One of the great selling points of Panda is that they’re one of the most environmentally friendly brands on the market. They’re even certified by the U.S. Green Council. Everything from the way that they harvest wood for their doors to the emissions produced by their manufacturing facilities is above average.
Hurricane Proof Options
Although Panda was created in Las Vegas, far away from any hurricane, they still offer a wide range of wind-proof folding doors that can withstand whatever nature throws at them. This is a nice feature that makes this brand especially attractive for those residing in coastal areas who face a bad hurricane season every year.
“Ultra” Large Models
Another nice selling point of Panda folding doors is their “Ultra” model. Most other folding door companies on the market cap their production doors at around 9 to 10-feet tall. Panda is one of the few companies that can accommodate a larger residential or commercial project.
Pros And Cons
If you’re like most consumers who just skim over reviews like these, then here’s the short-list of pros and cons for those with a busy schedule.
- Tons of options for doors
- Storm-proof options that will suit whatever geographical location that you’re in
- Eco-friendly company
- Great customer service (when we called, every representative we spoke with was incredibly helpful)
- No vinyl options available to consumers
- Not much choice if you want to customize the style of your glass
Arcadia Custom Folding Doors: Overview
Now, it’s time to look at the competition. Arcadia is actually one of the oldest door companies in America. It was originally founded in 1930 as Acme Steel. Once the company decided that they wanted to get into the building industry (which was huge in the post-depression era), they decided to change the direction of their company. Instead of selling their steel to other companies who made windows and doors, they would make them and beat the suppliers with their lower cost of materials!
Today, they’re one of the only companies that still make high-quality stainless steel doors. Since then, they’ve also expanded into the aluminum door market as well. Now, they’re known for being one of the most aesthetically pleasing glass folding door companies on the market.
As cool as the company history is, you’re probably more interested in the product itself. Let’s take a look at what your options are as far as folding doors go (or “Multi-Fold Doors” as Arcadia likes to call them).
As we mentioned above, Arcadia Custom focuses on steel. Even though it’s a heavier material and can be more prone to corrosion than aluminum, you’ve got to admit- there’s nothing quite like a solid steel door. This is especially true if you’re going for that “open, but still imposing” look.
All doors are made from a single piece of 10-gauge steel in order to avoid extra welding, grinding, and other things that can turn an otherwise pretty door into an ugly duckling. Once you see an Arcadia steel door, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything that combines this amount of sleekness and strength.
Arcadia Custom’s TSX8100 is their standard stainless steel door. Systems are available in 3 to 8-panel configurations. As far as size goes, this model caps out at 10-feet tall and panels as wide as 39-inches and has a 220-pound weight limit.
If you’re looking for an extra-large steel folding door, then this is the next model up. The TSX8150 is built with a heavier track and larger hardware. This means that door panels can be up to 12-feet tall and 42-inches wide, and as much as 330-pounds. The same configurations are available for the 8150 as for the 8100 (3 to 8-panel configuration, 16 panels total or 50-feet maximum width).
While solid steel doors are definitely impressive, they’re not quite as easy to install. They’re also a good bit more expensive. Compared to steel, aluminum is significantly cheaper to refine and produce making it a more economical solution as well. Arcadia Custom’s Oasis 10000 is their all-aluminum door model.
Compared to other brands, Arcadia Custom has a particularly pretty-looking aluminum door. The door frame itself is slim, yet sturdy. Depending on the color you choose (for which there are almost limitless options), it’ll be almost like the door isn’t even there.
Although the doors speak for themselves, sometimes pictures aren’t the only selling point you need to make a decision. Here are some of the great features of Arcadia Custom and their folding doors.
Arcadia Custom Specializes In Steel
There’s no arguing with the fact that aluminum has taken over the door and window market. Why shouldn’t it? Aluminum is cheaper, lighter, and has a better strength-to-weight ratio than steel.
That being said, having a steel door is kind of like driving a V8 American-made muscle car. Sure- it’s not necessary and there are more economical options on the market, but there’s nothing quite like driving it. Similarly, no other door material makes the strong, imposing statement that stainless steel can.
With a history in steel manufacture and production that goes back to the Great Depression, Arcadia Custom are true experts when it comes to this metal.
Low-Emission Glass In All Models
Today, consumers want eco-friendly options for their homes. Electricity and gas are expensive which mean that running your A/C or furnace longer than necessary can be a serious drag on your monthly bill payments.
Just because Arcadia is an older company doesn’t mean that they don’t provide the latest in high-tech glass innovation. All of their glass windows are dual glazed, 1-inch thick panels that feature an Argon gas interior between the two panels of glass (inner and outer). This thin layer of gas resists temperature change. This, in turn, helps to keep your home a steady temperature.
Tons Of Colors And Finishes Available
If you visit Arcadia Custom’s manufacturer website, you’ll see countless pictures of brushed stainless steel and bronze anodized aluminum and steel finishes. While this is certainly a high-tech industrial look and one that suits their portfolio, it’s not the right look for everybody.
If you look a little bit deeper through their catalog, though, you’ll find that they actually offer a really impressive line up of custom powder coat paints, anodized finishes for metals, and even high-quality weather-resistant Kynar paints. They’re also happy to do color-matching if you have a specific color that you’re looking for.
These Guys Invented The Sliding Glass Door
If you want one last reason why Arcadia Custom is a good choice as a company, here’s one- they invented the original sliding glass door. You know, the ones that every suburban house since the 60s has had? Back in the day, it was actually referred to simply as an “Arcadia Door.” Today, they’re still innovating door technology and show no sign of stopping.
Pros And Cons
Again, for those who want the shortlist- here it is:
- Arcadia Custom is the original creator of the glass door in America
- They’re one of the only companies that still make high-quality steel doors
- Folding doors have a sleek, low-profile design
- Virtually limitless options for customizing the color of your door
- Their aluminum doors don’t have an extra-large option and are capped at 10-feet
- The brand can be expensive (like most brands that have been around for over 75 years)
- No vinyl door options
Both of these doors have one key thing in common- they’re incredibly beautiful, futuristic-looking doors. Both companies are focused on completely innovating the door and window industry. 100 years from now, they’ll probably still be in business creating the latest high-tech doors for your grandkids’ homes.
In our opinion, it ultimately comes down to this-
If you’re looking for a super high-quality steel door, go with Arcadia Custom. There are few other manufacturers who can compete with their level of quality when it comes to steel engineering.
If you’re looking for a high-quality aluminum door, go with Panda. They offer tons of options, so no matter what climate or storm zone you live in, they’ll have something that will protect your home while also giving it the beautiful open appearance you’re looking for.