3 Tips For Choosing The Right Replacement Windows For Your Kitchen

Posted on: 23 February 2015

The kitchen is one of the most frequently remodeled rooms in many homes. That's not surprising – the kitchen is probably the hardest working room in your house. It is more likely to be exposed to moisture and extreme heat than the rooms that don't contain several appliances that either heat, freeze, or dispense water. When remodeling the kitchen, it's important to be sure you don't neglect the room's windows. Kitchen windows, like the rest of the room, can suffer from exposure to moisture or heat, so they should always be part of any upgrade efforts. Take a look at a few tips for choosing the right windows for your kitchen.

Which Materials?

When it comes to window fixtures, you usually have a choice of wooden, metal, vinyl, or fiberglass frames. In the kitchen, it's smart to choose window fixtures that are easy to clean, because the windows in your kitchen are likely to be exposed to a host of different messes. Splashes, spills, and dishes that spit grease are kitchen calamities that happen to everyone now and then, and nothing in a kitchen is immune to occasional messes. Wood is the most difficult window fixture to clean and maintain, and the most likely to stain, so wood fixtures should be avoided in most kitchens.

Metal wood features are easy to clean, but prone to developing rust when exposed to moisture, which makes them another less than ideal choice for your kitchen. That leaves fiberglass and vinyl – both good materials for a kitchen window. Each of these materials has their benefits. Vinyl is less expensive, but fiberglass may look more attractive. Both are impervious to moisture, but extreme heat will take more of a toll on vinyl than on fiberglass. Take time to weigh the pros and cons before choosing.

Which Window Style?

When considering different windows for your kitchen, you'll be asked to consider various styles, including awning windows, double-hung windows, sliding windows, casement windows, and more. When choosing a window style for your kitchen, you need to consider first and foremost where the window is placed.

Many kitchens have windows that are difficult to reach, either because they're particularly high up or because they're located behind a sink or an appliance that's difficult to reach over. Because of this difficult positioning, and because it may occasionally be important to be able to quickly ventilate your kitchen, choosing a window style that's easy to open quickly is often more important than it would be in the rest of the house.

Don't worry about matching the style to the rest of the house – worry about being able to quickly open a hard-to-reach window to let out the smoke from a casserole that spend a bit too long in the oven. Awning windows, that you have to push out to open and pulled in to close, and sliding windows, that can easily be pushed to the side with one hand, are often the best choices for difficult to reach kitchen windows.

Which Glass?

Compared to choosing window styles and materials, choosing window glass for a kitchen window is simple. Avoid single-glazed glass, as it's both more fragile and less energy efficient than double or triple-glazed glass. Because of the exposure to heat and moisture that your kitchen window will experience, you need strong glass panes that are unlikely to break, and of course, saving energy is always desirable.

Experts recommend that windows in most U.S. states should be at least double-glazed, and triple-glazed windows are the standard in countries like Germany and Sweden. You can further increase the performance of your kitchen window by opting for glass with a gas like argon or krypton inserted between the panes, or with a low-e coating that improves the window's insulating abilities.

When you choose the right materials, style, and glass options for your kitchen window, you improve the safety and functionality of your kitchen overall. Those are important things to consider when performing a kitchen remodel or upgrade. Ask your remodeling contractor to help you choose the window options that are best for your home's kitchen. 

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