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6 Types of Window Frames and Its Materials

Windows should provide a water-tight seal when closed. Window frames should have low thermal conductivity or be constructed to interrupt the flow of heat.

Material Used for Window Frames

A variety of materials are used for window frames.

  • Metal frames
  • Timber frames
  • Vinyl frames
  • Combination frames
  • Composite frames
  • Fiberglass frames, etc.

Each material has its own pros and cons and is suitable as per location, climate, aesthetics, function, and style.

Metal Frames



  • Light, strong material
  • Maintenance-free
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Does not warp or shrink as wood does
  • Does not require painting as it is powder-coated in the factory.


  • Conduct heat rapidly -a poor insulating material.
  • Prone to rusting for a few types of metals.
  • To reduce heat flow, metal frames should have a thermal break – an insulating strip.

Timber Frames



  • Soundproof provides insulation, strength, and security.
  • Durable and lasts for years.
  • Eco-friendly material


  • Care should be taken by sealing to prevent from absorption of moisture.
  • May sag over time as per differential atmospheric conditions.
  • Affected by termites unless care is taken.

Vinyl/PVC Frames


PVC window frames are made of polyvinyl chloride and are mostly preferred as it is fire resistant.


  • Economical and durable
  • Light in weight and easy to install
  • Resists damage by termites
  • Weather and moisture resistant


  • Weak than aluminum/steel
  • High coefficient of thermal expansion
  • Not resistant to UV light
  • To make them thermal resistant, window frames are filled with insulation.

Combination Frames

A combination of different materials is used for the frame and sash for a single window. It increases optimal performance. For example, the exterior frame can be vinyl, while the interior frame can be wood.

Composite Frames

Window frames

Made of various materials blended during the manufacturing processes. For example – composite wood products, such as particleboard and laminated lumber mixed with polymer plastics.


  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Well insulated
  • Better moisture resistance than conventional wood.

Fiberglass Frames



  • Durable and resistant to extreme climate conditions.
  • Elegant and classy
  • Energy efficient
  • Have air cavities that can be left hollow or filled with foam insulation


  • Expensive than standard wood

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