The Modern Wood Window

modern-wood-window

Did you know that most wood windows have at least 70 parts?

JELD-WEN’s modern wood windows certainly aren’t the same as those made 50 or even 25 years ago. Wood windows once held the largest market share in the U.S. window industry until vinyl became the preferred material. Wood windows were officially eclipsed by vinyl windows in the 1990s. This happened for several reasons. Vinyl came to be perceived as more durable. The cost effectiveness of the vinyl window also made it popular.

However, the modern wood window is gaining market share. The market is expanding rather than deflating, mainly due to the new construction of wood windows. Most of this revolves around treated wood products. Treatments can help the wood resist rot and stand up better to the elements, even termites.

The need to create a more durable wood became a critical goal for JELD-WEN, one that was accomplished with the invention of AuraLast® pine. AuraLast has revolutionized our wood window offerings. Because it is treated to the core, it has the ability to resist wood rot, water infiltration and termites. But that’s not the only thing innovative about our wood windows.

What’s inside a wood window?

The construction of wood windows is an engineering feat. Dozens of hands touch wood windows during manufacturing. We don’t “stock” wood windows. They are made based on orders. So, if you thought there was a warehouse in every plant with stacks and stacks of wood windows, that’s not really how it works. There is still a lot of handcrafting that goes into every wood window.

The modern wood window advantage

AuraLast is just one of the advantages of today’s wood window. There are additional elements that elevate it from where it began. It has an aluminum frame and sash for extra strength. Thermal breaks offer a barrier to reduce the flow of thermal energy into and out of a room. A concealed jamb liner is found in a double-hung to ensure smooth operation.

The subject of wood windows can become very technical. This is just a quick review to help you understand the importance of how a window is built from the inside out.

We invite you to learn more about our wood window lines, including W-2500™, Siteline® and Custom Wood windows.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About JELD-WEN Wood Windows

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Wood windows have been part of homes for hundreds of years. They were the original window material. Not until the 19th century did metal become a window material. Vinyl windows didn’t become a major player in the market until the 1970s.

Wood windows have gone through a makeover in the last few decades. The manufacturing of wood windows is a very technical process. This process has many steps and details. The process and the material have greatly improved.

We put together this list to introduce you to JELD-WEN wood windows.

  1. A JELD-WEN wood window has 70 individual parts.
  2. Our treated wood product, AuraLast® pine, is treated to the core.
  3. AuraLast repels termites.
  4. You can choose from a variety of finishes for the interior and exterior of your windows (even two different colors!).
  5. AuraLast is real wood, not a composite. The exterior of AuraLast windows doesn’t require cladding, allowing for a more accurate historical representation.
  6. Performance glass is available for most wood window lines, including energy-efficient and impact-resistant options.
  7. Contemporary or traditional glazing stops are available.
  8. Our wood windows are viable in coastal areas. Combining AuraLast pine with ImpactGard® glass creates a wood window product that can withstand Wind Zone 2 or 3.
  9. We offer American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2605 certified products.
  10. We have National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) rated products for the following areas: U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and visible light transmission.

Want to explore our entire wood window line and learn more? Visit our wood window page for information, options and reasons why our wood windows are different.

Window Glass Divided Lites: SDL Versus GBG

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History, differences and what’s best for your home

The divided lite goes back hundreds of years to the first glass windows. Windows didn’t always have glass. Prior to this, they were just openings.

The original divided lites were individual panes of glass held in by mullions. Glass production was in its infancy so it could only be produced in pieces about the size of someone’s hand.

These glass panes then needed to be linked together to form a larger space. Muntins joined glass, thus the invention of the true divided lite. Muntins were originally made of cast iron but were replaced with wood in the early 1800s. Windows from this period are what would be considered a historic or traditional divided lite.

Glass becomes easier to produce

With the Industrial Revolution, glass production became easier and less expensive. Larger pieces of glass were produced. This meant the end of the true divided lite. However, the authentic look of divided lites was still desired then and now. Look at most homes today or even commercial buildings, and you’ll find some type of divided lite.

SDL versus GBG

With modern windows, there are two ways to achieve the divided lite look. Simulated divided lites (SDL) offer the most authentic look. SDLs are permanently adhered to both sides of the window with a narrow spacer bar within the insulating glass airspace. This look adds more depth. SDLs provide a bit more breadth in terms of options relating to shape and finishes.

Grilles between the glass (GBG) are as described, between the glass. The grille pattern is completely encased in the glass. This means less maintenance, as you won’t have to clean between all dividers. GBGs are also more budget friendly.

Ultimately, the use of SDLs or GBGs is a personal preference and depends on the type of look you want for your home.

Learn more about window options by viewing two of our popular window series: Siteline® wood windows and Premium™ Vinyl.

Exterior Door Materials: Wood, Fiberglass and Steel

exterior-door-materials

Check out this comparison of the most popular exterior door materials

When choosing the right exterior door, you’ll want to compare each material. The three most popular exterior door materials are wood, fiberglass and steel. Each has its own advantages. In this post, we’ll take a look at each material and provide relevant information so you can make an informed decision.

Wood

Wood is the most traditional and one of the oldest materials used for doors, dating back to ancient times. The earliest records of wooden doors are represented in the paintings of the Egyptian tombs.

Fast forward a few thousand years, and wood is still an excellent choice for doors. Doors can be crafted from hardwoods and softwoods. The most widely used are Cherry, Oak, Walnut, Mahogany, Knotty Alder, Douglas Fir and Pine.

Why you’ll love wood exterior doors:

  • Beauty and warmth immediately invites guests into your home
  • From modern to traditional, wood is versatile
  • Any stains or paints work on wood doors
  • Sturdy, heavy feel
  • Insulating core
  • Customizable based on size, style, accents, glass and more
  • Good at reducing sound

Fiberglass

Fiberglass has unique qualities that make it a great material to use in variety of applications. It’s strong yet lightweight. It also has weather-resistant qualities. It’s been used in aviation as well as in boats and car bodies.

Now, it’s a leading material for exterior doors. The sophistication of the processes used to create fiberglass doors makes it almost impossible to tell the difference between wood and fiberglass. Our Aurora® custom fiberglass doors are made to order and are handcrafted. Aurora doors even have imperfections created by hand for authenticity. When touching an Aurora fiberglass door, you can actually feel the grain and texture.

In addition to the Aurora, we have many other fiberglass door lines that provide all the great benefits of fiberglass at a budget-friendly price. Those include the contemporary Studio™ Collection and the Statement™ Collection, both offering multiple styles.

Fiberglass has many benefits that make it a durable, quality choice. The doors have energy-efficient cores with insulating properties. They also resist bowing, warping and denting. Fiberglass doors can be stained or painted, depending on the look you desire. They are often less expensive than real wood doors.

Steel

Steel is a great material option for exterior doors. It offers durability, safety and style. Exterior steel doors are dependable as well as aesthetically pleasing.

The best steel doors are made to last. They include wood stiles and rails with mitered top corners. Why does this matter? It helps prevent water absorption. A neutral, low-sheen, baked-on enamel primer reduces the occurrence of fading. Epoxy primer coats the back of steel doors to resist corrosion. An energy-efficient core is an additional feature. A steel bottom rail is added for strength. Proper coating prevents the door from rusting from the inside out.

Steel also provides additional security. Install an optional steel edge for added peace of mind. Steel doors are low maintenance and the least expensive of the three materials discussed. You can learn more about steel doors in our blog.

Which material is right for you?

Now that you have all the basics, it’s time to choose. You’ll want to consider several things to make the best decision including:

  • Budget
  • Architectural style
  • Climate and environment
  • Overhang
  • Accents and glass options
  • Paint versus stain

Here’s a quick comparison review.

Wood

  • Easy to stain or paint
  • Very customizable
  • Reasonable at reducing sound transmission
  • Insulating core

Fiberglass

  • Energy efficient
  • Weather resistant
  • Stain or paint
  • Highly durable
  • Affordable
  • Highly customizable

Steel

  • Water-damage resistant
  • Durable and resists rusting
  • Low maintenance
  • Best pick for smaller budgets

If you’d like to learn more about our exterior doors, you can browse all our options.

How Interior Doors Reduce Sound Transmission

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Your dishwasher shouldn’t be quieter. Better-performing interior doors reduce sound transmission!

How often are you irritated because you can hear your dishwasher or washing machine in the next room? Or maybe you’d like not to hear your teenager’s loud music? What if many of the sounds you’d like to block could be significantly minimized just by upgrading your interior doors? Well, that’s certainly a possibility.

In this post, you’ll learn how interior doors reduce sound transmission.

How sound travels

When sound comes into contact with a barrier like an interior door, some of the energy from the vibrations transfers to the door. The resulting vibrations in the door then set the air in motion, creating sound on the other side of the door. The mass and stiffness of the barrier impact how much sound will transfer.

Thus, the inside of your interior door is critical when considering noise reduction.

Why your interior doors matter

Busy homes or active areas create a lot of noise. However, you’d probably like to keep that noise confined to its space. Upgrading your interior doors is a budget-friendly, easy solution. You’ll want to determine the Sound Transmission Class (STC) and/or the OITC (Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class). You can read more about STC and OITC in our blog.

Once you’ve determined what your level of sound reduction is, then you can review all the doors that meet those requirements. We offer ProCore® solid cores for all molded doors as an upgrade. This can reduce the transmission of sound by up to 50 percent compared to a hollow core door.

Our TRIA™ interior doors are carved from composite wood and have a solid core. The TRIA collection doors have the highest STC ratings of all our interior doors.

Where better interior doors will benefit you the most

Where to install higher-quality interior doors depends on the layout of your space as well as what occurs in it. We’ve discussed the annoying sounds of a dishwasher and washing machine. If your home has its own laundry area, install a solid core door here to reduce the myriad of sounds. Kitchens are typically open spaces now, so it might be harder to ignore the dishwasher.

They also make sense in bathrooms or bedrooms. Again, these are noisy areas, so a great solid door in a child’s bedroom will hopefully keep him or her asleep. For bathrooms, eliminate noise related to plumbing and the blow dryer.

By reducing the transmission of sound throughout your home, you can create a better experience for each of your spaces. And interior door upgrades are certainly not a blow-the-budget kind of upgrade. It’s worth checking out some better doors if the noise in your space is impacting your quality of life.

We invite you to review all our interior doors. Better interior doors reduce sound transmission, providing you a more serene environment. Just another way that JELD-WEN is here to make your possibilities come true.

Sound Transmission Ratings: STC Versus OITC

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When discussing sound transmission ratings for windows and doors, there are two different scales. In this post, we’ll look at Sound Transmission Class (STC) and Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC) ratings and what they mean.

Sound Transmission Loss (TL)

A door’s ability to reduce noise is called its TL effectiveness. TL is a decibel value, determined by measuring sound pressure levels and certain frequencies. It also accounts for reverberation time (the length of time required for sound to decay 60 decibels from its initial level). The higher the TL, the better the door or window is at reducing noise transmission.

STC

Because TL ratings are based on a range of frequencies, it’s hard to know how accurate they are. STC ratings provide a single value of the acoustic performance of a door. STC is a weighted average of TL values over 16 frequencies. The higher the STC value, the better the performance.

We can divide STCs for interior doors into groupings:

  • STC 40-60: Best (loud sounds or speech heard faintly)
  • STC 25-40: Better (loud speech heard fairly well)
  • STC 20-25: Good (low speech audible)

Sound transmission ratings: The difference between STC and OITC

OITC is much newer than STC, originating in 1990. It also emphasizes the transmission of street sounds (horns, sirens, airplanes) through exterior walls, windows and façade elements. STC doesn’t focus on specific kinds of sounds, only how they transmitted through walls, doors and windows. OITC is not universally adopted, so STC ratings are still more prevalent.

Professionals have been using the STC rating system to measure sound transmission for decades. Originally evaluating transmission through interior walls only, you can use STC to assess almost any type of barriers: exterior walls, interior walls, windows and doors.

Exterior noise tends to be a lower frequency than interior noise (such as voices), so the OITC rating system emphasizes low-frequency sounds in its calculations. Professionals use OITC less frequently than the STC.

How OITC is measured

Like the STC rating System, OITC measures sound intensity loss in decibels. If a 105-decibel above-ground subway only registers as 80 decibels after traveling through a window, the sound experiences a 25-decibel deficit. The ability of a barrier to create a specific decibel deficit varies according to the frequency of the sound passing through it. In general, very high and very low frequency sounds are more difficult to block.

A barrier’s OITC rating is measured using data gathered over an 80 to 4000 hertz frequency range. After data collection, testers calculate the barrier’s OITC rating in accordance with standards laid out by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Typically, a barrier’s OITC rating is lower than its STC rating.

What do STC and OITC ratings really mean

Ratings of sound transmission can be subjective. There are benchmarks that provide a standard platform for deciphering acoustic performance. Here are some examples:

2×4 exterior wall

A typical 2×4 wall with insulation in a stick-built home has an STC rating of around 36. Unless the entire structure is engineered for sound control, there is little value to purchasing windows with a higher rating than the wall. If the windows rate higher than the wall, sound enters the structure through the walls. Additionally, if the structure is old and not well-designed, sound-control windows may do little to nothing to improve the situation.

Single-pane windows

Existing single-pane windows often have an STC rating between 18 and 20. Replacing old single-pane units with new acoustic windows will likely have a noticeable effect.

Dual-pane windows

New dual-pane windows with standard glass fall in the STC 25-27 range. In many situations, this can reduce sound by as much as 40 percent when replacing single-pane windows with dual-pane. High-noise environments may require higher ratings.

When building or remodeling a space, it’s important to consider how sound will travel and where the weak spots might be. By looking at STC and OITC ratings, you can choose the windows and doors that best fit your needs.

Learn more about JELD-WEN products’ sound transmission ratings by reviewing our Technical Acoustic Documents.