Difference Between Fiberglass, Wood Clad, and Vinyl Windows

Your window frames are an important consideration when it comes to getting a replacement. In the past, the frame solely functioned to hold the windowpane together, but a lot has changed since then. The right frame for your window depends on your preferred style, performance, and budget.

That’s why today we are sharing the difference between fiberglass, wood/clad, and vinyl windows to help you make the best decision for your home.


Let’s start with the most popular and classic look of wood frames. If you have a vision and you’re all about the details, wood windows may be the perfect choice for you.

The reason wood is a favorite among homeowners is that many homes have classic wood trim interior and original architectural details that they would like to maintain. Flexible design options like wood species and stains help with historical accuracy. With proper maintenance, wood windows can give your home a timeless and elegant look.

Besides beauty, wood windows offer several benefits including energy efficiency for your home. Wood insulates well and thoroughly protects interior spaces from cold and warm weather. Not just that, but adding and maintaining wood windows can improve your home’s resale value. It’s a look that homebuyers love and can appreciate.

With wood, you’ll have numerous shapes, styles, sizes, and options available which means more flexibility to meet any design challenge. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, we can help you design something that works for your home. Plus, our experts can help you visualize this final window look with our Home Visualizer tool that allows you to try on styles before buying.

The key to having beautiful wood windows that last for many years is to know how to properly care for them. Wood windows require regular maintenance to keep them in their best shape. If wood is what you’re opting for, make sure to inspect the exterior periodically, remove surface dirt, and touch up any small damaged areas – sometimes repainting is necessary.


Fiberglass windows are the strongest among the three listed here. These frames can withstand any extreme conditions. Fiberglass is known as the best insulating material and only requires minimal maintenance. So if you are looking for a window that’s stronger than vinyl and requires less maintenance than wood, fiberglass windows are the clear winners!

Fiberglass is not only 8 times stronger than vinyl — it resists expanding and contracting in any climate (which is key for living in Chicago). So you get a tight, snug fit that will last. These windows will also not stick, swell or warp so they will continue to open and close with ease. Fiberglass also offers the best warranty.

You can also choose a “wood” profile so you can get the “look” without the wood maintenance. Making fiberglass windows a good option for modern or traditional homes. Another benefit of fiberglass is that the frame can be narrowed so that you can get more of the view outside of your window and less of the window frame. Let’s not forget the energy efficiency and long-term performance that you can get by choosing fiberglass windows.

NEXT Door and Window offers Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows. With only a limited number of dealers in the Chicagoland area, we are proud to be an exclusive Infinity dealer in this market offering this premium product.


Vinyl windows are the most affordable of the three options mentioned here. Although they are a good economical option, vinyl windows do come with their share of other benefits for homeowners.

Vinyl offers good insulating properties and moisture resistance. It is usually made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers to resist damage caused by sunlight. Vinyl windows are low maintenance because they never need painting or scraping. They can withstand the harmful elements and remain functional through the years. You only have to clean them with soap and water to preserve their beauty.

Vinyl windows also have excellent insulating values to keep your home cool during summer and warm during winter. They come in an array of colors and finishes, as well as mimic the appearance of other materials. Overall, vinyl windows give you a great bang for your buck.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your windows to fiberglass, wood, or vinyl windows, our Design and Energy experts are here to guide you along the way. We are currently offering in-home or virtual appointments with our experts to get your projects started ASAP. Schedule yours today.


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