Quality Window & Door Blog

What Is a Muntin Bar?

Muntin bars are a common sight in the DC area, but you might not realize they go by this name. Put simply, muntin bars are the grilles that separate a window pane into smaller sections. If you’ve ever seen a window with a grid-shaped pattern dividing the glass, you’ve seen muntin bars in action. Windows with this feature are called divided-light or multi-light windows.

Muntins: Not to be Confused with Mullions

Some people mistakenly believe that muntins and mullions are the same things. However, there is a distinct difference.

While muntins are thin grilles that divide panes into smaller segments, mullions are thicker pieces that separate adjoining windows from one another, including casements and double-hung windows mounted side by side. Understanding the difference between these two terms helps you shop for replacement windows with greater ease.

True Muntin Bars vs. Simulated Muntin Bars

When glass window manufacturing first developed, limited technology made it impossible to craft large glass panes. To make window openings bigger, small panes were joined together with muntin bars and set into a frame. True muntin bars are hard to find these days because this technology is outdated and makes windows leaky and inefficient.

Still, many homes built with traditional styling – including Victorians, Cape Cods, and Colonials – look their best with divided-light windows. This is where the concept of simulated muntin bars comes in. Windows are manufactured as a single sheet of glass, but grilles are also included to simulate the appearance of a divided-light window purely for aesthetic reasons.

Types of Muntin Bars

Perhaps you’re set on installing multi-light windows in your home, but you still need to choose the style of muntin bars you want your windows to come with. Weather Shield offers one of the widest selections of muntin bars in the industry. Your choices include:

  • Removable muntin bars: A unique removable option includes muntin bars that snap security to the inner sash via a concealed pin system. Weather Shield’s removable muntins are stronger and more durable than stick grilles offered by other manufacturers. Removable muntin bars make window cleaning easier without having to sacrifice the style and dimension of divided-light windows.
  • Between-the-glass muntin bars: Modern double-pane windows make it possible to manufacture windows with muntin bars between the glass. This provides the aesthetic of divided lights while making window cleaning easier. Choose from flat or sculpted muntin bars for just the right look.
  • Simulated divided lights: For an appearance that most closely resembles true divided lights, choose this option. Simulated divided lights include both interior and exterior muntin bars that are permanently adhered to the glass along with a narrow spacer bar between the panes. The interior muntin bar is wood, and the exterior one is made of the same material and finish as the frame.

Looking for Windows with Muntin Bars in the MD, DC, or VA Area?

Many people love the traditional aesthetic that muntin bars lend to windows. If you’re interested in installing divided-light windows, Quality Window & Door has a wide selection available from multiple manufacturers, including Weather Shield.

During the window selection process, we’ll help you consider features beyond just muntin bars. From the operating style and frame material to glazing technologies and efficiency ratings, we’ll educate you on all your options to ensure you choose the best product for your home.

To learn more about window features from today’s best brands, please visit one of our local showrooms in Maryland and Northern Virginia. Then, when you’re ready, contact Quality Window & Door to request a free window installation quote.

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