The Best Guide to Window Replacement Terms

If you’ve been thinking about investing in replacement windows for your home, or if you’re building a new house in the Carolinas, you might have encountered a number of terms with which you aren’t familiar. Like any professional field, the window industry has a vernacular all its own. Don’t fret if you don’t know the definitions of various window replacement words and phrases, though! We’re here to help.


As you read the rest of this guide, you’ll discover the only window replacement term glossary you need. Whether you’re just beginning to think about the window brands and styles you might want for your house or you’re already halfway through the shopping process, the information in this guide will serve you well both now and in your future renovation endeavors. 


Window Glass Terms


Panes – Window panes are the pieces of glass that sit between window sashes. They can be cut in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the window opening they need to fit. Panes come in three common styles – single-pane, double-pane, and triple-pane. 


Spacers – Spacers, which are typically made from metal or plastic, are used in double-pane and triple-pane windows. Their purpose is to hold the panes securely apart at a fixed distance. Often, inert gas is pumped in between spacers to help with insulation. 


Glazing – There are a variety of glazes that can be used on window panes to serve different purposes. Low-E glass, for example, has a glaze. There are also glazes that help reduce heat transfer and prevent UV rays from penetrating window glass. 


Tempered glass – Tempered glass is extremely strong and durable. It is created through a specialized process that involves rapidly heating and cooling the pane. One of the benefits of this sort of glass is that, if it does ever break, it will crack into very small pieces that are unlikely to cause injury. 


Window Frame Terms


Sashes – As mentioned in the previous section, window sashes securely hold window panes in place. Some types of windows have center sashes, while others do not – picture windows, for example, have no sashes in the middle. 


Casing – Casing is a window industry term for molding. The space between an interior wall and a window is covered with casing. This prevents the edge of a window cutout from being visible. Casing is mainly for aesthetics, but also helps prevent drafts. 


Shims – If there are small gaps between casing and a window, shims can be used to fill the space to prevent air leaks. Shims are tiny pieces of wood that can be cut to fit any small space. 


Apron – The apron of the window is more commonly referred to as a “sill extender”. This particular piece of trim attaches the window frame to the wall underneath. Its primary purpose is to provide stability. 


Head – The top of a window frame, which can be covered in casing, is referred to as the head. 


If you want to talk about having new windows installed in your home, the Hatch Homes team is here for you every step of the way. From helping you choose the right window styles for your project to overseeing the installation process itself, we can help.

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