If you’ve been thinking of replacing your windows, you might have wondered ‘what is the best material for windows?’. However, to work this out, you need to know the differences between the 3 window materials – uPVC, aluminium and timber – first. So, to help you do this, we’ve created this handy blog.

What are PVC windows?

White casement windowThe most popular window material in use today, PVC is easy to maintain and highly resistant to warping, weather and discolouration. As a natural insulator, PVC also helps to trap more heat internally. The use of multiple heat-trapping chambers in modern PVC window profiles improves this further, leading to cosier, more energy-efficient homes.

What are aluminium windows?

Aluminium windows have become increasingly popular in recent years and with good reason. For starters, aluminium possesses incredible natural strength, resulting in slimmer window frames and a larger glass area, so more natural light can flow inside.

Modern aluminium window frames are also fitted with insulating polyamide thermal barriers, which dramatically improves their ability to retain heat. Thanks to aluminium’s anti-corrosion properties and outstanding robustness, aluminium windows can last for years.

What are timber windows?

Timber windows have been used for centuries. Thanks to having a grained and textured appearance, they are renowned for their natural beauty, but modern timber windows are also extremely high performing. Wood is a natural insulator and one of the most durable materials around, meaning warmer homes and long-lasting windows are a given with wooden windows.

Which windows are the cheapest to buy?

PVC windows are usually cheaper than the other window types as the material is easier to produce. However, this is not always the case and there are premium uPVC window options available. Despite tending to be cheaper, PVC windows can be some of the highest performing.

What are the best windows for period properties?

Residence 9 windowsPeriod properties are often fitted with vertical sliding and flush sash windows, both of which were traditionally made from timber. So, when it comes to recreating that classic period window charm, timber is an excellent material.

Nowadays, however, these window styles are also built from PVC. If opting to have a woodgrain foil applied to PVC, you can give the material the rich and textured appearance of timber too.

Which windows are best for modern homes?

It’s very common for modern homes to be constructed with designs that put an emphasis on minimalism. So, as aluminium windows tend to have the slimmest frames, owing to the materials incredible strength, they work beautifully with minimalist and modern design schemes.

However, R7 windows, which are built from PVC, feature a sleek framed, flush sash window design that also works beautifully with modern design schemes.

grey residence 7 window

How long do windows last?

PVC windows and aluminium windows have expected lifespans of around 35 and 45 years respectively. However, it’s possible for each of them to last for longer than this and the best way to to maximise lifespan is to perform regular maintenance.

Timber windows, on the other hand, can last for a lifetime provided they are properly cared for. Because of their incredible lifespan, timber windows offer incredible long-term value.

What is the most energy-efficient windows?

PVC and wood are naturally insulating materials. Whilst aluminium is a natural conductor, this is offset by insulating polyamide barriers. As a result, our PVC, timber and aluminium windows can all achieve fantastic energy ratings of ‘A+’. Guaranteed to keep more heat in the home, there’s a good chance to lower your energy bills too.

However, PVC and timber have slightly superior U-values of 0.8 W/m2k, whilst aluminium windows achieve U-values of 1.1 W/m2k. U-values measure thermal transmittance and the lower the U-value, the better insulated the material is.

Do timber windows need more maintenance than PVC and aluminium windows?

Timber casement bay windowPVC and aluminium require virtually no maintenance to keep them looking their best. Simply wiping down either material with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water will keep them dirt-free.

Timber windows can be cleaned just as easily. However, they also require retreating every 7 years to protect them against rot. Whilst this means wood requires slightly more maintenance than the other materials, periodically retreating wooden windows ensures they can last for a lifetime.

What colour options are there for windows?

There are plenty of colour options to choose from regardless of your chosen window material. Here at Wolverhampton Glass, our PVC windows can be finished in 42 different colours and a selection of woodgrain foils. Woodgrain foils give PVC a textured appearance that emulates genuine timber.

Aluminium and timber windows are available in more than 150 RAL colours and several timber effects. With so many options to choose from, finding a finish to suit any property is easy.

PVC, aluminium and timber windows installed in and around the West Midlands

Are you interested in replacing the windows on your West Midlands home? Wolverhampton Glass can help! Give us a call on 01902 773831 or contact us online.

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