3 Common Window Replacement Materials Compared

Posted on: 26 February 2016

If your windows are rotting or warped, you may be looking for the best type of replacement windows. Here is a comparison of three common window frame materials to help you find the best option for your home.


Wood windows are the traditional option, and are still a popular choice because of their many benefits. Wood windows are the best choice if you live in an environment with extreme temperatures, as their thermal efficiency is unmatched by any other material. With the right stain or paint, wood windows can match the interior and exterior aesthetics of any home.

While many homeowners consider wood replacement windows to be the "best" option, they are not without their downsides. Wood windows require more upkeep than other materials, as they are vulnerable to rot and must be repainted or restained regularly. To overcome this, many manufacturers offer wood replacement windows that are clad with vinyl on the exterior. This makes wood windows much more resistant to rot as long as they are watertight, as the wood is only exposed on the interior of your home.


Vinyl replacement windows are an affordable alternative to wood windows that do not sacrifice much in the way of thermal efficiency. White vinyl windows never need repainting, although some owners choose vinyl windows with faux wood-grain surfaces that will require occasional maintenance. Vinyl windows have a chambered interior structure that makes them excellent at blocking noise and keeping heat out in the summer and inside in the winter.

The chambered structure of vinyl windows requires them to be thicker than other replacement window materials, which may be less appealing if you want windows with an understated look. Because vinyl windows are softer than both wood and aluminum, they are also less resistant to chips, cracks, and other impact damage.


Aluminum windows are the top-of-the-line option if you are looking for specific functionality. Lab testing performed at Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories has shown that aluminum is even better at blocking outside noise than vinyl. Additionally, aluminum windows are highly resistant to impact damage, making them an attractive option in areas where hurricanes and wind storms are common.

Aluminum replacement windows are typically thinner than wood or vinyl replacement windows. While some homeowners prefer the minimalist appearance of aluminum windows, others may find that they feel too "industrial" and contrast with the aesthetics of their home. Because metal-on-metal movement is present in aluminum windows, they must occasionally be lubricated to promote smooth opening and closing.

Consider the pros and cons of each material when buying replacement windows so you can find the right balance of affordability, efficiency, and maintenance requirements. For more information, contact companies like Beyers Window & Door Inc.