Window grille options - need opinions!

ranchrenoMarch 29, 2006

We are going with either Anderson 400 or Marvin Integrity and are trying to decide on a grille pattern and style. I realize that I'll have more options with the Andersons.

The house is a new construction, dark red brick fairly traditional home, although I would describe our style as transitional (think Pottery Barn catalog). I will probably try to work in some craftsman style touches with shaker kitchen cabs and our staircase woodwork.

Need to order windows early next week and are disagreeing on whether to put the grid over entire window (very common here), or just upper sashes (most windows are double hung). I like the upper sashes only because it offers less obstruction while still having some sort of design element. Also conveys that "modified colonial" look that I think accurately describes our style. Where the traditional full grid says true colonial to me. Also might consider the architectural style that is more craftsman in nature (more open middle, single vertical and horizontal dividers near edges). Any thoughts on the "look" that different grid patterns give a house? Old vs. new, etc.

Also trying to decide on removable or in-between-glass grilles, true divided light, etc. Love the look of permanent grilles both in and out, but seems like it would be hard to clean. Especially if I lose the battle and we've got 50 windows with a millions little squares to clean individually!

Sorry this is so long, but really would appreciate some un-biased opinions.


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I look at windows all day long, and I agree with you, the grills on the top sash only look nice and offer a less obstructed view. I don't know what Anderson offers, but Integrity by Marvin has only a few choices for types of grids. You can get snap in grids or the ones between the glass. There are aftermarket grid companies that you can buy interior and exterior SDL (simulated divided lites) bars from and have them put on your glass.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 10:12PM
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I may be getting Integrity and was hoping for true simulated divided lites (there's an oxymoron.) Incidentally, I am planning to get the top only kind:

Is it expensive or difficult to get aftermarket grids? Who does that and how?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 8:25PM
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I don't know how hard it will be to get SDL bars for your Integrity windows. You should be able to ask your dealer for information about it. If you are in California it will be easy as the wholesale distributor can get the bars for your dealer and have them installed. You can get the removable grids (interior) as an Integrity add on.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 10:05PM
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JUst put 3 new windows in my kitchen remodel -
I went w/Marvin - 6/1 - SDL - the grids are attached on both sides of window wood - not removable -
Yes harder to clean but everything is relative - the rest of the home is 6/1 true divided single pane (or shall I say pain!) - 1930 Dutch colonial revival

I spent much time agonizing about this detail - I really wanted to match as closely as possible the detail in the other windows. The muntins are an architectural detail that really makes a statement - start looking at curbside view of homes - see what you like and don't like. I really do not like grills btwn glass - I just think it really cheapens the look - I don't like Anderson's removal grills - yes, makes easier cleaning but to my eye it cheapens the look. I would imagine that pricing has got to be close with grid options. I'm a lover of old buildings and architecture so my keen eye picks up on such details. Muntins should stand out - not be a little detail (betwn the glass grills)IMO. You have to live in the home - so you ulitmately
decide what is important to you.

One word of caution::

In reviewing the Marvin catalog for window order look CLOSELY - those pics are tiny & make seeing the true detail very difficult. Many of their windows start to get horizontal - Windows should be vertical like a cereal box - My contractor calls the "squatty" but look at the individual panes in your choices make sure they are vertical - My architect friend pointed it out to me - when i wasn't really seeing it ,she said "don't you want to take that window & turn it" then I got it.
Now when I'm looking at curbside appeal - I see far too many people have done replacements with "squatty" windows

Looks funny - would drive me crazy

Good luck

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:30PM
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It really comes down to personal preference. Applied grill bars look best, between the glass is easiest to clean, snap in grilles are usually the least expensive. I know Andersen prices their grilles "per light", so a 6/1 window is cheaper than a 6/6. I don't think the Integrity offers applied grilles, you may have to move up to Marvin's higher end unit to get them. To save a little money, you can get the applied grilles without the spacer bar between the glass.
I also know of a project near me that used Andersen windows with an applied exterior grille, but also the between the glass grille. So from the inside, all you saw was the between the glass bar, making cleaning very easy. But from the outside, the windows had the "authentic" look. Sounded wierd at first, but it looked pretty good.
They offer the applied grilles outside with a removable interior grille, but I don't recommend it. If you lose/break the interior grille, you'll be staring at a very ugly gray VHB tape.
I wouldn't recommend an aftermarket grille applied to the glass, as it will most likely void factory warranties.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 1:22AM
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help, i am looking for grilles for windows. I just put a beautiful divided light french door in the front of my house. Noww all of my other windows a total of 3 on the front of my house look hideous...I can't afford any more major home improvements so--and I'm not worried about voiding warranties. Does anyone know of an after market company that has grilles? sick of looking mismatched

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 1:11PM
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Port-O-Lite in New Hampshire makes custom wood grilles. They can make them to any size. Are you looking for exterior grilles? Or interior? I wouldn't recommend wood grilles for the exterior, but there are some companies making lineal grille bars to apply to windows. Not sure about exterior grilles. I'm sure you can search the internet for some after market company.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 1:31AM
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My daughter bought Marvin windows. The grills are a great disappointment. They attach with metal clips that are into each section and stick out to make it look very obvious. Can you point me to other dealers who will make new grills to fit her windows. Or. is there someone who sells a new connection that she could use to attach the grills that would not show metal on each side..

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 9:40AM
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We are also trying to decide on grille options. We are going with a Marvin wood clad french slider. I am disappointed in the way the grilles look on the SDL. There is not much depth to them. In fact, I feel they are not much better than the grilles located inside the double pane. The grilles inside the double pane do have a ridge to them. I am almost tempted to go with them, however I don't want to make a mistake (be disappointed). I always thought that I would go with the SDL, but Marvins don't seem that great. The decision is whether to just go with the is Marvin SDL, at least I get something close to the actual divided lites look, or to go with the interior grill which isn't that bad. Thanks for any thought you may have.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 1:39AM
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