Having picked out the style of window you want, and the material to make the frame out of, you might think that you’re all done. From a purely functional point of view, you would be correct, but there’s certainly more to your window than just a cover and glass for that hole on the side of your home. Between options like screens, grilles, and different color combinations, you can customize your window to your heart’s content and increase your window’s impact.
Grilles and muntins are a common way to enhance the visual aesthetic of a window. Muntins – alternately called “sash bars,” “muntin bars” or “glazing bars” – are strips of material used to subdivide the surface of the window pane into grids. The particular arrangement of the muntins on your window constitute the grille pattern of the window.
The most common grille patterns arrange the muntins on the window to subdivide the glass either diagonally into diamonds, or vertically and horizontally into squares or rectangles. While window manufacturers will typically offer the most common grille patterns for your new windows, some will allow you to make up custom patterns, too. That way, you can exercise your creativity and express your personal sense of aesthetics.
The way the muntins are installed has an effect on the window’s look, too. Permanent grille patterns will have the muntins attached to the glass surface, but exactly how they are attached to the glass depends on the particular look you’re after. You can have the muntins attached to the glass both on the exterior and the interior, with spacers (full divided lights), without spacers (simulated divided lights), with removable grilles on the interior (but with fixed exterior grille), or with the muntins in between the panes of the glass. You can even have them installed only on the inside of your home, in which case they are normally detachable.
Rounding out your choice of grille pattern and muntin style is your choice of the color for the window’s frame, grille, and muntins. With a wide range of available stock colors, some manufacturers allow you to specify two- or even three-tone color combinations for your window’s exterior and interior colors, allowing you to pick the best colors to complement or contrast with your home’s existing look.