Window Grille Basics, Necessity and Profile Options

There are a few important visual components that may or may not be included in a given window setup, and one of the single most notable and well-known here is the area of window grilles. Also sometimes called window grids, these are the decorative and/or functional lines that are used to separate a window into separate panes – should you be using grilles for your new windows? If so, which style is right for them?

At Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors, we’re here to help with these and numerous other questions for any window need you may have. From new construction windows to window replacements and various window frame options, we’re on the job. Should you be utilizing grilles for windows, and if so, which grille style might be ideal? Here’s everything you need to know.

window grille basics options

Grilles or No Grilles?

First and foremost, it’s important to realize that grilles are not a requirement for all windows. Some windows, for example, may look more aesthetically pleasing without grilles, depending on the type of window and the overall style of your home. On the other hand, grilles can add a distinct level of decoration to a window – or even useful functionality when considering ventilation requirements in certain rooms.

As you’re thinking about this decision for any new windows in the home, it’s important to consider not only aesthetics but also practicality. Some may simply prefer the look of grilles while others actually need them for proper ventilation in areas like a kitchen or bathroom.

You should also be thinking about how other existing windows in the home look. If there’s a window that is already equipped with grilles, then it may make sense to have the new one match in order to maintain consistency in the overall style of your home.

Window Grille Types

While there may be a few other sub-categories to consider, window grilles generally come in a few broad types:

  • Grilles between the glass: For double- or triple-pane windows, grilles are often built between the glass panes – meaning they are a permanent fixture to the window and cannot be removed. This type is particularly ideal for low-maintenance homes or those with young children. These window grilles require no maintenance and offer a very clean look.
  • Simulated Divided Light (SDL): The SDL option is one that’s great for energy efficiency, and involves dual-pane windows where grilles are permanently bonded to between the interior and exterior. There are no spacers in between them.
  • Integral Light Technology: This option is similar to SDL, but involves metal spacers that are added between the grilles to create a “shadow” effect. This offers a traditional look but with more efficient energy performance.

Each of these grille types comes with a variety of patterns, colors and finishes – allowing you to customize the window to your exact liking.

Common Pattern Options

While we definitely don’t have the space here to go over every conceivable pattern option for your window grilles (in reality, the possibilities are endless – grilles can be customized), here are a few of the most common and popular:

  • Traditional: The traditional grille look for windows is a rectangular pattern that creates a “box” look.
  • Colonial: Also sometimes called diamond grilles, this pattern creates a diamond-shaped grid across the window panes.
  • Farmhouse: This style of grille is typically used in windows with larger panes and creates more of a “waffle” pattern look to separate the glass.
  • Top row: This style is popular in windows with two panes, where grilles are added only to the top panel of the window.
  • Full view: This type of grille completely encases the entire window, creating a uniform and consistent look all around – no matter how many panes.
  • Victorian: For a more involved look, the Victorian grille pattern is ideal. This style creates a more intricate and detailed pattern with smaller pieces to separate the window panes.
  • Prairie: The Prairie look is one that has several sub-categories – 12-Lite Prairie, 14-Lite Prairie, and 16-Lite Prairie. Each of these options is similar in that they create a multi-paned look with grilles separating all panes.

Can Window Grilles Be Added to Existing Windows?

Yes, this can be done – though there are some situations where it will be a bit more expensive and/or complicated. Many of the options we discussed above can be added to existing windows in order to give them a more finished look or add structural integrity.

It’s important to note that if you’re working with an older home, then certain grille styles may not be compatible with your window frame or other components. In these cases, it’s best to consult an experienced window contractor for advice.

Can Window Grilles Be Removed?

The answer to this question: It depends. Certain types of window grilles are meant to be detachable (e.g. between-the-glass grilles and SDL grilles), while others are permanently bonded to the window (e.g. integral light technology).

It’s also important to note that it may not be as simple as just popping out the grille – you may need to take off part of the frame, or even the entire window, in order to remove a grille. For this reason, we always recommend consulting an experienced professional before attempting any DIY work on your windows.

As you can see, there are a variety of window grille styles out there, each offering its own unique look and set of benefits. Before deciding on the right option for your windows, make sure to consider all of the factors above – including energy efficiency, maintenance needs, cost and installation issues. This will help you make an informed decision that suits both your home’s style and your desires, and will also ensure that you get the best return on your investment.

And if you need any assistance here, our team at Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors can help! Contact us today, and let’s talk about how we can work with you to customize your windows, doors or other areas in your home.