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 Muntins were originally made of cast iron but were replaced with wood in the early 1800s.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.