Vinyl is a Good Window Frame Material — If It’s Used Properly!
Vinyl PVC is a highly popular material in the window and door industry. There are good reasons for this: it’s an affordable, yet cost-effective material that is very thermally efficient. That said, it also has significant limitations and weaknesses that homeowners in search of replacement windows or patio doors need to know about. The interplay between vinyl’s pros and cons makes answering the question “is vinyl a good window frame material?” not as straightforward as saying yes or no. Ultimately, taking advantage of the benefits of vinyl comes down to how window manufacturers use the material.
In this post, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of vinyl PVC to help you better understand how it can be used effectively in window frame applications.
Browse This Content:
- What are Vinyl Windows?
- Strengths: What Makes Vinyl a Good Window Frame Material?
- Weaknesses: What Are the Cons of Vinyl as a Window Frame Material?
- Vinyl is a Good Window Frame Material When it’s Reinforced
- Hybrid Fusion Frame Technology: More Strength, More Style, Better Performance
- Want To Learn More About Vinyl Window Frames & Doors? Contact Us Today!
What Are Vinyl Windows?
Vinyl window frames are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a commonly-used synthetic polymer. In other words, PVC is plastic. These frames are a combination of different plasticizers, pigments, and chemicals that make for a lighter, more flexible product. And while there is nothing wrong with PVC being characterized as plastic, it’s an important fact to keep in mind when window companies try to sell you on the unique benefits of their standalone vinyl frames. Regardless of what they say about the efficiency or durability of their product, a standalone vinyl window is made from plastic — nothing more, nothing less.
Strengths: What Makes Vinyl a Good Window Frame Material?
Before we get into the glaring flaws associated with vinyl window frames, it’s important to understand the benefits that vinyl PVC brings to the table.
Vinyl is a very energy-efficient material due to its low thermal conductivity. This means that heat and cold have a very difficult time penetrating and moving through the material. The advantages here are clear: the more thermally efficient your window frame, the more effective the window will be at insulating your home. What’s more, vinyl frames come with welded corners which help to create a watertight seal.
While it should by no means be the only factor to consider when seeking out replacement windows, the low cost of vinyl makes it a very attractive frame material for homeowners looking to replace their windows on a tighter budget.
Low Maintenance and Upkeep:
Unlike wood windows which require regular staining, painting, sanding, and more, vinyl windows are very easy to clean, won’t rot or rust, and do not require any painting or sanding.
Weaknesses: What Are the Cons of Vinyl as a Window Frame Material?
Thermal efficiency, affordability, and upkeep aside, standalone vinyl PVC frames come with glaring weaknesses that homeowners need to know about before committing to their purchase. Because while the cheaper upfront cost is appealing, it’s important to think about the long-term performance of your window units.
Wear & Tear/Expansion & Contraction:
While vinyl is a popular frame material due to its cost-effectiveness and its advantages when it comes to energy efficiency, these attributes don’t make up for the structural flaws. These frames lack strength, rigidity, and durability. They are disposable products that are highly susceptible to wear and tear as well as expansion and contraction in the heat of Canadian summers and the bitter cold of the winters.
Vinyl frames are often thicker resulting in lost natural light transmittance and bulky-looking window units that do nothing to enhance the look of a home. Why are they so thick? It ultimately comes back to the lack of structural integrity inherent to these types of frames.
Vinyl is a Good Window Frame Material When it’s Reinforced
The pros and cons we’ve covered so far prove that answering the question “is vinyl a good window frame material” isn’t a case of saying yes or no: there are clear advantages to vinyl and clear disadvantages. The key, then, is to use vinyl PVC in a way that will showcase its strengths and make up for its weaknesses.
By reinforcing vinyl frames with a skeleton of anodized aluminum and galvanized steel, you are able to take full advantage of vinyl’s clear benefits as a material. At Magic™, that’s exactly what we’ve done with our Hybrid Fusion Frames.
Hybrid Fusion Frame Technology: More Strength, More Style, Better Performance
The logic behind our Hybrid Fusion Frames is simple: we wanted to combine the strength and durability of aluminum and galvanized steel with the excellent insulating properties of vinyl PVC. The result is a stronger, more efficient window frame that will perform well and require little to no maintenance for 40 years or more.
With this added strength comes the potential for a more contemporary, visually-appealing style. Hybrid Fusion Frames come standard with a slim, stylish profile that places visual emphasis on the window’s glass and the outdoors beyond. The profile of our frames is a full three inches thinner than our competition. This ultra-thin design reduces the frame’s size and maximizes the glass surface to create a more contemporary look.
Plus, homeowners can also choose to customize the look of these high-performance frames. With a wide range of colours and textures to choose from, we can help you match an existing style or branch out into new aesthetic territories.
What You Can Expect With Hybrid Fusion Frame Windows & Patio Doors:
- A rock-solid frame constructed from anodized aluminum and galvanized steel
- An outer surface of specially formulated and patented U-PVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride)
- The long-lasting strength and support of galvanized steel and aluminum
- A durable and efficient vinyl frame that won’t expand and contract
- A cost-effective, high-performance window frame material that we guarantee will last 40 years or more
Want To Learn More About Vinyl Window Frames & Doors? Contact Us Today!
Replacing your windows and doors comes with a lot of questions and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the process. At Magic, we help homeowners across the GTA understand the window replacement process and install units that will perform well for years to come.
For more information, book a free, no-hassle in-home or virtual consultation with us today. One of our certified project managers can explain the innovative design features that set our windows apart and how we can customize them to suit any home.
Learn More About Window Replacement On Our Blog:
- Energy-Efficient Windows: Here is What to Look For
- The Parts of a Window: A Guide to Window Design
- The Benefits of Retractable Window Screens and Blinds
- 6 Ways to Tell if You Need to Repair or Replace Windows
- Why Crank Operated Casement Windows are Mechanically Flawed
- 4 Stunning Panoramic Window Walls
- The Main Issue With Hollow Vinyl Replacement Windows
- 3 Factors That Lead to Secure, Durable and Efficient Replacement Windows
- The Window Energy Rating Costs You Money: So Why Do Companies Promote It?
- Is There a Best Window For Cold Weather Climates?