Wood windows have a timeless, elegant quality that vinyl and fiberglass windows can only try to duplicate. Yet as vinyl and fiberglass continue their dominance over the window market, wood windows are becoming harder and harder to find.
Many of the big names in windows still have substantial offerings in wood or wood-clad windows. Some are also blending wood with lower-maintenance fiberglass and vinyl. Finally, there are fiberglass windows that have a remarkable wood-look, since they are made from recycled wood fibers and PVC (such as Andersen's Fibrex line).
Still, for some buyers—and especially for certain types of homes—wood windows are still the only way to go.
Wood Window Basics
Wood windows are often not wood throughout. In many cases, aluminum or fiberglass clad the exterior portion of the wood window. Wood is always the interior material, with cheaper softwoods like pine and fir being the most popular species options.
Wood windows tend to be confined to traditional styles. Double-hung and casement windows are the two styles of windows that most often come in wood, though other types are available including bay windows, sliders, and picture windows.
Wood windows are all about appearances. Performance-wise, they're no better than fiberglass or vinyl. Wood is also more difficult to maintain than synthetic materials.
With wood, the preferred look is to stain and clear-coat the interior pieces. Sometimes, the wood is even left unstained (though it's always coated for protection).
01 of 07
Andersen offers three types of interior woods—pine, oak, and maple—on most of its windows, including awnings, casements, casement bows, fixed picture windows. This includes the popular classic single- and double-hung windows, as well as a few specialty ovals, circular, and other unusually shaped windows.
Andersen does not offer exterior wood but rather aluminum-on-wood cladding in a variety of colors.
02 of 07
Harvey Building Products is a huge company, booking well over $300 million in sales. But most of its business lies in vinyl siding, vinyl windows, doors, and so on.
Their Majesty wood windows line includes the two mainstays of most window companies, double-hung windows and casements, as well as a few other window styles. Pine is the only interior wood option, and all exteriors are aluminum.
03 of 07
Founded in 1960, Jeld-Wen, now based in Charlotte, North Carolina, revolutionized the production of wood windows in the West, when it was located in Oregon. Founder Dick Wendt purchased an old mill and turned it into window production facilities. He also bought up several other supply lines to make the windows, thus keeping everything in-house.
Today, Jeld-Wen produces four distinct lines of wood windows, from its budget W-2500 series up to its Custom Wood line. Myriad sizes and shapes are available, and all exteriors are aluminum-clad.
04 of 07
Marvin offers a wide selection of wood species as well as both extruded aluminum and wood exteriors.
Not all interior wood species are available in the exterior form. With Marvin's double-hung window, the company offers 15 kinds of wood for interior use and four of them (pine, vertical grain Douglas Fir, mahogany, and primed wood) for the exteriors.
Marvin supplies wood replacement windows through its Signature Collection.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Milgard is based in Tacoma, Washington and has a wide reach throughout the West, with dealers located as far east as Oklahoma and Missouri.
Milgard has prioritized its fiberglass, vinyl, and metal windows. But Milgard still does have one wood window series: Essence.
Pine and fir are Essence's wood species. The exterior material is fiberglass.
06 of 07
Pella has several lines of wood windows, from the bargain Proline 450 to the Architect Series, which comes in mahogany, alder, fir, pine, and white-painted, along with oak, cherry, red oak, and maple available through special order.
Within the pine species, it's possible to keep the wood natural or to have Pella pre-stain the wood in a range of seven shades, ranging from golden oak to dark mahogany.
07 of 07
Where other companies have narrowed down or eliminated their wood window lines, this Ivyland, Pennsylvania company has doubled-down on wood windows. Trimline offers a selection of all-wood or clad wood windows that are right for both residential and commercial use.
Trimline's wood windows have found their way onto hotels, university buildings, businesses, historic homes, and more.
Trimline offers new-constructions, remodels, replacement/pockets, and wood sash replacements.