Four Pillars of a Great Replacement Window Experience: Window Design, Part 3

Window GrillesIn the first two posts in this, the third of four parts in our Four Pillars of a Great Replacement Window experience, we covered window styles, frame thickness and color. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of and design considerations Window Grilles.

Window Grilles Frame Your View

Window grilles have their foundation in the days when window glass could not be created in the large sheets they are today. Back then, window grilles were not an aesthetic consideration, but a practical one: they joined small pieces of glass that could be manufactured and joined them into a larger, more practical window size you could see out of without pressing your nose up against the glass. Today, Window Grilles are a purely aesthetic consideration, maintaining the historic appearance, if not complete accuracy, of traditional window styles. True divided lite windows are rare today because all those dividers make the windows inefficient and we can make efficient insulated glass in much larger sizes than was previously possible.

On many historical architectural styles, big expanses of window glass without grilles look “funny” or “just not right”. Because Colonial and Cape Cod architectural styles were originally designed with true divided lite windows, they sometimes look “naked” without the grilles we’ve become accustomed to seeing in them.

If you want or need window grilles to match your home’s architectural style and you want to be somewhat historically accurate, you should be sure any replacement window you are considering offers window grilles and if they do, ensure that they offer a selection of different patterns. Different home styles in different areas of the country commonly used different patterns of grilles. Some styles are traditionally seen with six over six Colonial grille pattern while others commonly use a three over one Farmhouse look or even the elegant Prairie look. Do a little research or look around your neighborhood to see what window grille patterns are right for your home before you choose your replacement window grille style. In fact, in some Historic Districts, a certain style of window grille may be required by law or code. Of course, if you’re not in one of these historic districts, you may want to purposely change your window grille style to make your home stand out. In any case, you should have options to get the look you want or need.

Aside from the grille pattern, there are other choices to consider in your window grilles. While true divided lite windows are somewhat rare today, manufacturers have come up with a number of ways to simulate the look of true divided lite windows. Each method has features that may or may not be important to you, but it’s important to know your options before you make your final selection.

Interior Replacement Window GrilleInterior Window Grilles. As their name implies, these window grilles are applied on the inside of the window glass. Practical in those instanced when you are more concerned with how the window looks on the inside of your home than on the outside. These window grilles are attached on the inside of your window and in some cases can be removed and reinstalled to make cleaning the inside of your windows easier.

Between the Glass Window GrilleBetween-the-Glass Window Grilles. If your primary consideration is ease of cleaning, these are the window grilles for you. Visibly the same from inside and out, these window grilles are permanently installed when the insulated glass units are manufactured. They sit between the two pieces of glass that make up your insulated glass unit, leaving a smooth surface inside and out.

Full Divided Lite Window GrilleFull Divided Lite Window Grilles. If you took Interior-type window grilles and the Between-the-glass type and combined them, you would have these Full Divided Lite Window Grilles. Not to be confused with True Divided Lite Window Grilles, this type of Window Grill has a permanently applied low maintenance grille on the outside, a grille between the two sheets of glass that make up your insulated glass unit and a third grille on the inside, which can be either permanently applied or removable for cleaning. This option provides the truest visual replication of true divided glass.

Window Grille Thickness. Be sure to pay attention to the thickness of the bars of your window grille, particularly if you have different window sizes on your home. A small window with very thick bars that make up the window grille will obstruct your view and look more out of place than no grille at all. By the same token, a very large window with very thin window grilles will look very odd indeed. Be sure you can get your window grilles in a size appropriate for your window size.

Window Grille Color. Are your window grilles available in a choice of colors to match your window frame or is your only choice white? While white might be the most common window grille color, that’s likely because white is the most traditional window frame color. Traditionally, true divided lite window frames were regularly painted the same color as the frame and you should match that look. If you’re not going to have white frames, why would you want white grilles? Beware of a window salesperson who tells you to paint your grilles to match the frames yourself. How likely are you to find a paint color that will exactly match your window frames? And what will you do when the paint starts to fade and the frame doesn’t (or vice versa). If you have a wood-framed window, can you get grilles to match?

Contact Us for More Information

For more information on Renewal by Andersen of Long Island’s design features and options, contact us at 1-877-313-9052 or fill out the short form on this page. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions or set up an appointment to meet with you in person to show you.

Up Next: Window Insect Screens & Maintenance Features

In our next post in this series, we’ll discuss additional Design considerations including Insect Screens, Maintenance features and Specialty Windows.