Grids or Gridless? Choosing the Right Style for Your Home


While window grids once served the function of holding together multi-paned windows, they’re no longer a structural necessity in most cases thanks to advancements in everything from glass manufacturing to shipping.

However, this doesn’t mean they’re not purposeful. In fact, window grids have decorative potential depending on your aesthetic preference.

Which begs the question: Should you go for grids or opt for gridless when selecting windows for your home?

Here’s a closer look at what window grids are, why they matter, and whether they’re the right choice for your home.

What are Window Grids?

Also referred to as “muntins” and “grilles,” window grids are affixed to windows (and doors). Originally, grids were used to secure separate panes of glass together. Today, they merely create the appearance of smaller panes of glass from one larger pane. As such, including them in your window design is an aesthetic choice.

There are several types of window grids, including:

  • Grids between glass (GBG)—suspended between glass panes
  • Applied grids—affixed directly to the surface of the glass
  • Simulated divided lites (SDL)—a combination of GBG and applied grids

Additionally, window grids can be installed in a variety of patterns. Generally, the style of your home will dictate your grid style. In addition to popular grid styles including Brittany, Colonial, and Ladder grids, window grid design patterns are also customizable. 

Whatever your vision for your window grids, you can bring it to life with either pre-designed or custom window grids.

Do You Need Window Grids?

As mentioned earlier, window grids are now primarily aesthetic. This means that you don’t need them for structural integrity. However, if you aspire to a certain look for your home, then window grids can help you achieve it.

While window grids may seem like a minor detail, small details add character—and add up. Colonial homes, Craftsman bungalows, and Victorians are examples of architecture styles known for the incorporation of window grids.

With larger windows, meanwhile, window grids can also be used to create visual interest, draw attention to a special window or window design, or add a focal point within a space.

On the other hand, window grids may not be the right choice for certain styles of homes. For example, homes with more modern aesthetics may be more suited for the minimalist, clean appearance of gridless windows.

Additionally, if you have large windows and/or beautiful or interesting natural surroundings, you may prefer the unobstructed, expansive views provided by gridless windows.

While the choice of grids or no-grids is straightforward with some architectural styles, for others it comes down to preference. Take the farmhouse design style, for example. While farmhouse leads with functionality, it’s also large on charm. In this case, choosing between gridded and gridless windows may be more of a personal choice.

Coastal Homes and Window Grids

While there’s no hard and fast rule regarding window grids, many coastal homeowners prefer the aesthetic of gridless windows for a few reasons.

To begin with, coastal style typically has a relaxed laidback vibe that welcomes all things natural, airy, and clean. Abundant light is one of the primary characteristics of coastal style, with seamless indoor-outdoor transitions. Soaring windows with minimal window treatments are often at the forefront of coastal homes. Gridless windows are an excellent choice if your goal is to welcome in as much natural light as possible.

Furthermore, coastal homes are known for their gorgeous natural settings of sea and sky. Gridless windows can be the key to maximizing your views.

Of course, no discussion of windows for coastal homes is complete without mention of impact windows. Whether or not you include grids in your window design is not a factor when it comes to preparing your home for extreme weather. Rather, choosing high performance impact resistant windows and doors makes all the difference.

Also acting as insulated windows, impact windows offer powerful benefits for all homeowners, including desirable energy efficiency.

Key Considerations Regarding Window Grids

While some homeowners choose to go with all grids or all gridless windows, it’s not an “all or nothing” scenario. It’s possible to have a mix of both, although consistency with grill patterns is the key to cultivating balance.

For example, you may choose one consistent window grid pattern for all of your home’s front-facing windows while opting for gridless windows in the back to emphasize the view.

Furthermore, size and type of windows is also a consideration. Including grids in small windows may give the space a cluttered appearance while also preventing sunlight from entering, while including them with picture windows or horizontal windows can interfere with their intended aesthetic of showcasing both sunlight and scenery.

If you do love the look of grids, then combining a gridless picture window with flanked gridded windows may be a smart choice. There’s also the option of incorporating grids around the perimeter of a picture window to allow for more unobstructed glass.

Finally, while we primarily think of window grid customization in terms of grille pattern, color is also a consideration. Matching (or contrasting) the interior or exterior color of window grids can have a huge impact on your home’s appearance.

Elevate Your Home with CGI Windows

While beautiful windows may seem like an afterthought, selecting the right windows for your new home build or remodel mandates a mindful approach. Assessing your own goals and preferences, practicing due diligence during the selection process, and prioritizing high performance impact resistant windows and doors can lead you to optimal aesthetic and functional outcomes.

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