Top Sliding Window Materials

October 11, 2010

Sliding windows, also called sliders or gliders, come in many shapes, styles, and sizes. Originally used in bathrooms, kitchens, and outbuildings such as sheds and workshops, sliding windows are now found in living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and more. Typically, a sliding window resembles a single-hung window turned 90 degrees, with a fixed sash and a sliding sash that is opened for ventilation. They are also found in combination windows, for instance on either side of a picture window. The sliding pane can be lifted out of the channel and removed for ease of cleaning.

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Typical Sliding Window Materials

Top sliding windows materials most frequently used are aluminum, fiberglass, wood, or vinyl. Each has its own characteristics:

  • Aluminum: Because of its strength and durability, frames are thinner than with other materials. Poor thermal performance issues have been addressed with thermal breaks. Powder-coated or anodized finish resists fading, and aluminum is impervious to rot, flaking, and peeling.
  • Vinyl: Excellent thermal performance is complemented by maintenance free finish that resists the elements. Vinyl sliding windows are economical and can be ordered with simulated wood grain in a variety of colors.
  • Wood: Wood is an excellent choice for sliding window materials on more formal homes. The traditional look of wood adds elegance to the sliding window. Wood has good insulating properties as well, but requires considerably more maintenance than other materials.
  • Fiberglass: Impervious to extreme temperatures, water damage, ultraviolet, warping, cracking, or peeling, fiberglass sliding windows are strong, virtually maintenance-free, and provide excellent thermal performance.

Depending on where you want to install your windows, your budget, and your personal tastes and preferences, you will find one or more of these top sliding windows materials to be ideal.

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