Wooden or plastic windows? What to choose?
Buying or replacing windows is an investment that should be well thought out. Windows are not only aesthetically pleasing; they also determine whether the building will be well insulated against temperature and weather conditions. The technologies used will affect, among others, how much noise will penetrate from the street into the room, the cost of operating the windows and their lifespan.
What about the material the window is made of? This is another very important element influencing the purchase decision. In this post we will look for answers to the questions:
- whether wooden or plastic windows are better,
- what their advantages and disadvantages are,
- when it is worth taking an interest in a given solution.
Key features of the windows:
- The overall heat transfer coefficient for the whole window (Uw) – this parameter determines whether the flat will be warm in winter, as heated air will not escape to the outside and cold air will not penetrate inside.
- Sound insulation level – this is something to pay attention to, especially in flats and houses located next to busy streets.
- Water-tightness and vapour-permeability – windows should protect against the intrusion of moisture into the room, but also drain the excess moisture to the outside and enable proper ventilation.
- Burglar proofing level – this parameter is particularly important for ground floor flats and detached houses.
- Durability and resistance of the material to the passage of time – with proper operation and periodical maintenance, windows should last for several decades.
- Cost of operation and access to service – windows should come with a multi-year warranty.
Currently manufactured wooden and plastic windows meet all imposed standards and are characterised by similar parameters. Individual models differ from each other in materials used, production technology or additional improvements.
Check out the other overview as well:…
However, both plastic and wooden windows stand at a very similar level and comparing the parameters of models from the same quality segment it is difficult to find a clear winner. In this case, does it not matter what frame material you decide on? Well, not quite.
Below is a comparison table we have prepared. It shows that both technologies are extremely similar in terms of parameters and workmanship. Plastic windows are slightly cheaper, they are recommended primarily for blocks of flats, multi-family buildings, office buildings or industrial facilities. Wooden windows captivate with their appearance, they are ecological, but also more expensive to produce, they are best suited to houses and low-rise buildings.
Plastic vs wooden windows – advantages and disadvantages. Comparison
- They are usually cheaper than wooden ones.
- Due to their popularity, it is easy to buy off-the-shelf windows in standard sizes.
- Lots of universal sizes.
- Possibility to buy a custom-made window, tailored to your own needs in terms of appearance, materials and parameters.
- Reinforced profiles ensure the stability of windows similar to wood, so frames do not deform and are resistant to burglary.
- The modern PVC material is resistant to urban dirt, dust and the adverse effects of chemical agents.
- In addition to the standard white frames, coloured and two-tone frames are also available, one on the outside and one on the inside. Wood imitation models can be ordered.
- The material is lightweight.
- They can be additionally reinforced and supplemented with anti-burglary solutions.
- Care comes down to regular cleaning of the frames with normal products and periodic cleaning of the seals.
- Large selection of models and designs.
- It is possible to manufacture windows to individual order according to any design.
- Modern, classic or vintage styled models.
- Possibility of free decoration, e.g. carving, painting.
- Option to make windows in various shapes.
- Very good technical parameters: low heat transfer coefficient, good sound insulation, high resistance to damage.
- Possibility to use various types of large glazing, double and triple glazing packages, glazing with special parameters.
- High resistance to damage and possibility of additional anti-burglary protection.
- Elegant, high-quality products.
- They blend well with other elements of the external façade and furnishings.
- They do not warp and are resistant to weathering
- Wooden frames are easy to repair and maintain.
- They are like a piece of furniture. They can also be two-coloured, e.g. natural shades on the inside and white on the outside.
- If well cared for, the durability of wooden windows is better than that of windows made of other materials.
- Due to the raw material and the production process applied, they are considered ecological.
- Compared to wooden windows, they have a shorter lifespan.
- If the frame is damaged or scratched, it must be replaced. It cannot be repaired easily.
- White PVC plastic can yellow when exposed to UV light.
- They are characterised by lower durability and greater susceptibility to damage.
- They are much less environmentally friendly in production and subsequent disposal.
- They are more expensive than plastic due to the long and complex production process.
- Compared to plastic windows, their market share is smaller.
- They require regular annual maintenance (to keep them in perfect condition for as long as possible).
- In damp environments they require extra care and protection.
The choice of plastic or wooden windows is strongly influenced by individual preferences, the habits of the user, the style of the building and the requirements of the owner or manager. Each solution has specific advantages and disadvantages, and there is no single right option.
The only exception is if the building is under the supervision of a conservator or the administrator/owner watches over it, then the administrator/owner will tell you which window you should choose, how it should look like and what parameters it should meet.
We prefer renewable raw materials, which is why we only offer windows made of wood, aluminium or steel. We encourage you to think this way – wood, aluminium or steel are noble and renewable raw materials.