If you’re installing new windows that will feature window grids, you have a choice to make: Will you have those grids installed internally—between your window’s glass panes, or externally—on the exterior of the panes? To make a good decision, you need to know the pros and cons of each option. Here’s a closer look at this important question.
A Quick Window Grid Primer
In case you’re wondering, window grids (also called grilles and divided lites) are a decorative feature that is found on certain architectural styles — most commonly Craftsman and Colonial homes. They “divide” one large pane into a pattern of smaller ones, creating visual charm.
Back in the days when single-paned windows were the only option for homeowners, grids were installed on the surface of the glass. But now that double-paned and triple-paned windows are much more common, grilles can be inserted between the panes.
What to Know About Internal Window Grids
Homeowners enjoy the convenient, easy-to-care-for style that internal window grilles provide. Here’s why:
Pros to Consider
- Creative designs — Internal window grids come in a wide variety of patterns to choose from. These grids can be combined with specialty glass (stained, textured, frosted) to give you a truly unique and attractive look.
- Easy care — Since the grilles are safely between your glass panes, they won’t need meticulous scrubbing. Simply wipe the panes clean, and you’re done.
- Affordability — The manufacturing of windows with internal grilles requires fewer materials and quicker work, which is reflected in their price.
Cons to Keep in Mind
- They require consistency — If you’re planning only to replace one or two windows, and the rest of your home uses external grids, this style won’t blend as naturally.
- They can’t be changed — Once you choose the color and style of your internal window grilles, you’ll be sticking with that look until you replace your windows again.
- They look less like authentic wood — If you truly want the look of old-fashioned, genuine wood divided lites, internal grids may not be for you.
What to Know about External Window Grids
External window grids may be traditional, but that doesn’t mean they’re outdated. Homeowners like them because:
Pros to Consider
- Flexibility — You can choose this option for any type of window, including those with a single pane, like a large picture window.
- Great for painting — If you need to match the color of the grids to existing window frames (as in, you’re not doing a full-frame window replacement), it’ll be easier to match colors by painting the frames and the grids together.
- Attractive styles — External window grilles come in different looks, including flat, V-groove, pencil, and contoured textures.
Cons to Keep in Mind
- They require precision — Since external grids are placed on the exterior and interior of each pane, they need to be lined up neatly. Choose a reliable manufacturer to get high quality.
- They’re more of an investment — Since they require more effort to produce, windows with external grids cost a little more.
- They’re tougher to keep clean — You’ll be scrubbing the grilles individually and wiping each section of glass separately.
Invest in Windows You Can Trust to Look Beautiful
Whether you land on internal window grids or external window grilles, there are so many beautiful, energy-efficient options for your Chicago area home to consider. And they’re highly customizable, so you can get exactly the look you want!
At Siding & Windows Group, we’re a certified contractor for Marvin, Pella, and Alside — so you’ll have your choice of top-performing windows to grace your home. Learn more about our window installation services, and let us know how we can serve you!