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Vinyl vs Aluminum: Which Is Better For Window Frames?

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Both vinyl and aluminum are two of the most popular materials for window frames. Both of them have their strengths and weaknesses so it is best to know all of these first before you go for a window replacement with these materials. So when choosing between the two, which is perfect for your home window needs? Let’s go ahead and find out!

Gone are the days when homes are constructed with wooden windows. Even though older homes still have their own charm and beauty, vinyl and aluminum are now the popular choices for new window installation or window replacement. Both of them are durable, require less maintenance, and are less expensive compared to wood. But each of these materials has its own pros and cons.

Window Frame Styles

When the style is taken into consideration, both vinyl, and aluminum have similarities. They are readily available for single or double hung. You can also get them both on single or multi-pane and there are plenty of colors and finish to select from.

  • Vinyl. They are thicker compared to aluminum and usually have a smooth, textured, or maybe a faux wood finish. The ones that come with a wood-grain texture are most preferred by many homeowners who want to have their window frames look like wood but want durability with their new window materials.
  • Aluminum. They are typically smooth but some are also textured powder-coated enamel. This gives them a sleeker and a much modern appearance. These characteristics make it easier to fit and match with contemporary architectural styles.

Durability Between Vinyl and Aluminum

When it comes to durability, both vinyl and aluminum are resistant to scratching, marring, and cracking. Vinyl, however, has extra durability against dents and chips. If in any case your frames are damaged, since vinyl is made of the same material through-and-through, the damages will not be visible. Aluminum frames, the finish will expose the damage and expose the raw material beneath it.

In cases of corrosion and color change, aluminum windows with steel or zinc fasteners corrode and pit especially if your home is located in areas with salty water. Its enamel finish can fade easily under strong sunlight. This is where vinyl is better because of its construction.

Which is stronger? Aluminum frames are. If your home has large windows, the aluminum frames are much preferred. The strength, as well as the structural integrity of aluminum, makes it the best choice for larger-sized windows. The strength of this material also means that it has a higher impact resistance which is highly recommended for homes frequented by hurricanes.

Window Maintenance

Maintaining your windows is very important if you want it to stay longer. Vinyl window frames are maintenance free. With aluminum windows, they don’t require much work to maintain either. However, both vinyl and aluminum are prone to condensation which can lead to rust and/or mold. With aluminum window frames, clean it using a special aluminum cleaner. Rinse it thoroughly and dry it semi-regularly. You should also lubricate any moving parts to prevent wear and tear of its metal mechanism.

Vinyl vs Aluminum: Which Is Cheaper?

If you need a window replacement, you also need to consider your budget. Between vinyl and aluminum, the industry estimates differ. Many homeowners agree that vinyl windows cost 30% lesser compared to aluminum windows.

Replacing your windows need extra time and thinking for different aspects to consider. Use the tips mentioned above to make sure that you are making the right decision. Always consider the pros and cons of the two materials.

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