Differences between wooden frames and steel window frames

Wooden frames

Sturdy: wooden frames seen on sash windows.

Throughout our county, steel window frames can be as popular as wooden frames. Steel frames are characterised by their sleek lines. For example: as seen on Sussex landmarks like the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea; also the Streamline Moderne gem that is Worthing pier. In this post, we at Chartwell Wooden Windows assess the advantages and disadvantages of wood and steel window frames.

Wooden Frames


  • Excellent Insulation: wooden window frames are breathable and offer good insulation from the elements;
  • Versatility: wooden windows are available in a variety of shapes and are suitable for coating or painting;
  • Sustainable: if from sustainably managed forests, the production of wooden window frames uses fewer chemical processes than that of PVC-U frames;
  • Durability: when properly maintained, wooden frames can last for several years – or centuries even.


  • Maintenance: wooden frames need painting or specific treatments over time;
  • Cost: at first, more expensive than PVC-U windows but cheaper in the long run;
  • Termites: wooden window frames need to be protect against termite which could lead to rotting frames.

 Steel Window Frames


  • Durability: without rusting, they could give wooden frames a run for their money. Longer lasting than PVC-U frames;
  • Slender: owing to their strength, thinner steel frames have more strength than aluminium frames;
  • Secure: excellent fire and crash resistance;
  • Sustainable: like our wooden frames, steel frames create less of an environmental impact than PVC-U window frames.


  • Weight: steel frames are heavy to install; they are best left to specialist contractors. Wooden frames are light enough for DIY installation;
  • Cost: again, not the cheapest option on initial purchase (but, like wooden windows, can last for years when properly maintained);
  • Rust: steel frames need to be protected against corrosion. In spite of the use of galvanised steel, corrosion can affect frames, especially in coastal areas.
Steel frames image by Lee D. Dong (via Shutterstock).

Sleek: steel window frames. Image by Lee D. Dong (via Shutterstock).

Chartwell Wooden Windows, 21 April 2017.

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