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Wood vs Composite Windows

In the battle between wood vs. composite windows, here are four key places to compare and contrast these very different materials - cost of the window, style and aesthetics, strength and durability and, finally, energy efficiency.

Costs & Pricing

Wood clad windows are the most expensive on the market. Typically, they will run 25 to 33 percent more than composites. Certain manufacturers, however, such as Renewal By Andersen sell their composites that are extremely expensive. Composite windows are typically as expensive as a mid range to high end vinyl window.

Style & Aesthetic

In terms of aesthetics, wood windows will win the battle every time. Typically, wood windows use an exterior cladding of aluminum or fibe glass and a real wood species ion the interior. Real interior wood makes for a rich and nuatural look that simply can't be beat. Composites, on the other hand, are a step above vinyl and fiberglass in terms of looks, but still a step below wood clad windows.

Strength & Durability

In terms of strength, composite windows are probably a bit stronger than wood windows. This will really vary based on the individual manufacturer, model and series you select. Click to see our top picks for wood windows.

Energy Efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency, composite windows and wood clad windows are probably equal, but certainly nowhere near the top in relationship to other options such as fiberglass and vinyl. A well-made vinyl or fiberglass window will be significantly more energy efficient than either a composite or a wood interior option.

Bottom Line

Overall, composite windows are a bit of a mixed bag because they tend to vary so much according to the quality of the manufacturer. On the other hand, wood clad windows are expensive and very beautiful, however they require maintenance and most homeowners would be better off going with vinyl or a composite option.

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