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Grilles: A Closer Look at a Traditional Window Element

Grilles, also known as grids or muntins, are common elements of traditional window designs. In this blog, replacement window company Renewal by Andersen® of Memphis takes a closer look at this traditional window element.

Traditional Grilles

Glass set in latticework has been in use for as long as humans have known how to make blown glass. But the grilles as we know them today were derived from Renaissance-era France and were born of necessity rather than by design. During the time, glassmaking technology hasn’t advanced yet. Glassmakers at the time were already making almost-clear glass, but they could only do so in small pieces. Grilles were made to hold these trimmed pieces of glass to a window or door sash.

Modern Replacement Windows

With the advent of sheet glass manufacturing and insulated glass packages, grilles have become more a decorative element than a functional one. Almost every window replacement service company in the country offers replacement windows with a single glass package occupying the window sash. This helps keep the window energy-efficient as well as make it easy to clean and maintain. Grilles can be installed during manufacture using different methods:

  • True Divided Lites — This is the only exception to the rule, as individual panes of glass, or lites, are separated by the grilles, built as part of the framework. This particular style can cost more than typical insulated replacement windows as there are more transitions between glass and frame or grill.

  • Simulated Divided Lites — This style features a single large glass pane with the grilles installed on top of the glass. On double-pane glass, the space between interior and exterior surfaces is maintained. Unlike other similar options, simulated divided lites are non-removable.

  • Simulated Divided Lites With Spacers — This is the same as simulated divided lites, but with spacers sandwiched between the grilles. In addition to creating a look closer to true divided lites, it also helps improve window strength.

  • Between-the-Glass — The grilles are installed between the interior and exterior glass surfaces. This makes the windows easier to clean, but it can look obviously simulated when viewed from the outside.

  • Removable External Grilles — Another style that’s easy to clean. The grilles are attached to the window’s exterior surface using magnets or clips.

Renewal by Andersen offers grille options in the following configurations: full divided lites (simulated divided lites with spacers), between-the-glass, and interior wood grilles, which are removable grilles but attached to the interior side. We offer popular grille styles such as Colonial, Farmhouse and Prairie.

Renewal by Andersen of Memphis is your leading provider of house window replacement services. Give us a call at (901) 779-1178 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.


"Love my new windows from Renewal by Andersen. The installation was seamless. The installers were great and very professional. They also made sure to clean up after themselves. Need windows go with Renewal by Andersen."

Tessica Agnew
Feb 28, 2024

"Our windows were the original ones that were installed when they built the house in 1972. They wouldn't open, they had been painted shut. They were single pane and the glaze was cracked everywhere. I had to put plastic up every year to help keep the house warm at least a little bit. My MIL was surprised that there weren't any panes in the windows. Now she loves it. We have put a film on the windows so we can see out but no one can see in. We are loving it!"

Beverley Collins
Feb 16, 2024

"I love my new windows! The installation crew was efficient, courteous and tidy."

Jeannette Kirby
Feb 21, 2024

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