The difference between aluminium window frames and other types of window frames


While windows come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours, they are usually only available in three main types of materials. These are aluminium frames, timber or plastic (uPVC), and there are certain differences between them, so it is important to be aware of these, in order to make an informed choice.

Aluminium windows
The slim frame of aluminium windows belies their strength, which means they can be used for a much greater glass area than you might think. Aluminium windows are not only durable and lightweight, but they can also be coated in a range of colours to suit everyone’s palette.
Unlike painted windows, these frames do not have to have the finish reapplied every few years. Plus, with the development of a layer of insulating material on the inside of the frame, these windows hold in the heat nicely, resulting in energy savings. Last but not least, they are environmentally friendly and can be completely recycled at the end of their life.

Timber windows
Wooden window frames have been around for a long time and offer a natural finish to many properties. Usually made out of hardwood, they do suffer from exposure to the elements so it is necessary to keep them well maintained. Wooden frames can be stained or painted but this can fade, bubble or flake in hot temperatures, which allows water to seep into the porous surface. Being a natural substance, the wood could twist or warp, which could cause a problem when it comes to holding the glass in place. Also, wood-boring insects could work their way into the frame, which will cause it to weaken further.
Wood is a naturally insulating material, but due to the process of production can often be more expensive to buy. Wood is not a particularly lightweight material so if looking to hold a large expanse of glass, it is probably not a practicable window frame. It is also bulkier than aluminium and therefore cuts down on the amount of light entering the property.

uPVC windows
As technology in windows and doors advanced, plastic windows, or uPVC, became an option for consumers. The advantage over wood is that uPVC will not become waterlogged and will not rot. It is a good insulator and does not require the waxing, preservatives or painting that a timber frame needs to keep looking good. However there are some downsides to using this type of window frame.
It is not as strong as other materials, which when looking to hold and retain large pieces of glass, could be a problem. It is weaker than aluminium so in order to match up to the strength of aluminium, the uPVC frame needs to be bulkier. This results in a smaller area of glass so less light enters the interior of a property.
Aesthetically, as it is a plastic window, it will not suit all designs or necessarily give the look and finish that people want. Even though it can be produced to give a white wood grain finish, its overall look may not be suitable or attractive enough for all tastes. Neither is it environmentally friendly as it is not 100% recyclable.