Window Mullions vs. Window Muntins: Variations


Muntins and mullions are words that do not particularly roll off of your tongue. But it is doable that your contemporary home has muntins or mullions on its windows, regardless of whether in actual or simulated type. As well as, for the reason that the two terms audio alike, they normally get bewildered.

Is a muntin the exact point as a mullion? What about individuals other words—stiles and grilles? How do they enjoy into this? Unraveling the secret implies touring again a several hundred decades to England, where by equally terms originated.

Window Muntins

What Is a Window Muntin?

Muntin refers to the vertical dividers that individual glass panes in a window. Muntin applies only to the internal vertical pieces the outer parts that variety the frame are stiles and rails.

Even however muntins nowadays are most frequently associated with windows, they can mean any sort of vertical divider, irrespective of whether for windows, wood panels, home furnishings, or doors.

As significantly back again as 1688, the author R. Holme referenced “moontans and panels.” A different author, T. Smith, referenced “mountaynes” as being “six pieces of timber…ready geared up for [Westminster] chapel.” Mountayne is a Middle English phrase meaning peak, mountain, or pile.

The clearest early definition comes in 1850, from an English architectural glossary that references, “English joiners [who] use the expression muntin to the intermediate upright bars of framing, and call the outside uprights styles.” Models is normally expressed right now as stiles.

Early builders applied muntins not for looks but due to the fact they have been structurally needed. Early buildings’ outer walls could not carry the body weight when massive windows were being positioned in the partitions. Muntins permitted for fat to be transmitted vertically.

This would particularly have been the situation with Westminster’s extensive amounts of fenestration: Its west window is shut to 45 toes significant.

Window Mullions

What Is a Window Mullion?

Typically, mullions are the single vertical bars that separate two sides of a solitary window. One more way to feel of them is that mullions are frequently heavier features that divide larger sized window frames. From time to time they can surface to develop two windows the place a single window would be envisioned.

Mullions are distinct from muntins, though they each act as supporting products. An additional way to assume of them is that mullions are usually heavier components that divide greater window frames. From time to time they can look to generate two windows the place a single window would be expected.

The Oxford English Dictionary calls a mullion “A vertical bar involving the panes of glass in a window.” Prior to the Victorian Age and the arrival of inexpensive plate glass, it was unattainable or prohibitive to manufacture substantial sheets of glass. Big expanses of windows ended up attained by holding smaller sized panes of glass with each other by supportive devices.

Two different windows that are closely mated can even have that slender separating element referred to as a mullion, even though it is technically component of the wall.

Post-War Years and Plate Glass

Right after Earth War II, mullions and muntins fell out of favor. With larger expanses of tempered plate glass currently being obtainable on the household industry, smaller panes of glass divided by supports were being no extended needed. Muntins and mullions had been a indicator of old-fashioned setting up: ungainly. obstructive, pointless.

In 1956, Minoru Yamasaki, who would afterwards establish the Entire world Trade Heart, campaigned versus window mullions for his design of the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Modern was what Yamasaki desired. He known as window mullions a “blunder.”

In 1963, window mullions had been expressly taken off from a Chicago Lake Shore Generate property because they “cluttered the beautiful see of Lake Michigan.”

Windows with mullions would constantly remain as stylistic gadgets, but never ever once more functionally.

Grilles: Substitute to Muntin and Mullion Terminology

In the truest sense, muntins are the vertical pieces of wooden separating panes of glass in a traditional multi-pane glass assembly. Mullions are the single vertical supports used in two-pane assemblies.

But few window companies now make a difference concerning muntins, mullions, and stiles due to the fact couple window prospective buyers treatment about this. This is a fine distinction that almost never issues, and which only makes the window buying course of action much more confusing.

As a consequence, if these conditions are even used, the things could possibly all be known as muntins. Even extra frequently, all of those terms drop beneath the a lot more useful, universal term grille.

Big window company Pella calls all of these factors a grille, no matter whether muntins, grids, windowpane dividers, or mullions. This is a enough a person-size-suits-all phrase for an aspect that no lengthier has a structural purpose. These days, a mullion or grille is just there for aesthetic enchantment.

Window Grille Building

Just one of the intriguing areas of the modern-day property is the way that outdated and typically unneeded factors are retained, even following their purposeful use is no for a longer period essential. Shutters that are unable to near and columns that assist no weight are commonly observed on property facades.

The illusion of muntins is created by sandwiching thin strips of aluminum or plastic involving double-paned glass, or by affixing these grilles on to the exterior of the glass. They are ordinarily supplied as an add-on for an added demand.

These kinds of window grilles have no useful intent they are only there for visual charm. In fact, grilles connected to the outdoors of the window can be a nuisance because they have to be removed in purchase to cleanse the window.

Misspellings: Mutton and Mutin

Muntin from time to time gets its “n” dropped, turning into “mutin” or “mutton.” The two are incorrect. 

“Mutin” is not a term. “Mutton” is a phrase but it has practically nothing to do with windows or structures at all it refers to sheep meat.


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