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What Is The Difference Between Bow And Bay Windows?

Bow and bay windows may be the most well known window array aside from the traditional double hung window. Bow and Bay windows are great for areas of your home with large window areas, or areas where you're trying to capture a great view. In addition, they also provide great natural light in the home while subsequently increasing the homes value.


Although they are commonly grouped together, and they look alike, Bay and Bow windows are actually different window arrays. We will go over the differences between each of these windows as well as the best way to utilize each of them.


Bay Windows


Bay windows are made up of three windows of various sizes. The most common arrangement that you see with bay windows is a large window in the center and smaller windows to compliment it on the sides. The side windows are positioned anywhere between 25 to 45 degrees. The middle window is usually a picture window, one that doesn't open or close and offers an unobstructed view. The side windows are usually double hung windows or casement windows to provide airflow for the home. It is not rare to see slider windows on the side either. There can also be a shelf created with the bay window, which can serve as a place for room decor or somewhere to read a book utilizing the natural light.



Bay Window Configuration

Bow Windows


A bow window in generally made up of anywhere between 3 or 6 equally sized windows. This is the first difference between bay and bow windows, bow windows are made up of the same sized and type of window. In addition, bow windows do not consist of sharply angled sides. Instead, they gradually angle outwards to form a smooth arched shape. Bow windows also create a nook just like their bay counter part. Bow windows create a wide view that can be used in a living room, bedroom, or elsewhere.


Bow Window Configuration


Differences Between Bay and Bow Windows


Since bow and bay windows are often mistaken for each other and used interchangeably, here are the biggest differences between the two.


  • Bay windows usually have three window panes, bow windows usually have four or more panes of glass

  • A bay window has one larger picture window with smaller angled panes on each side. Bow windows will appear to be curved, especially when viewed from the outside.

  • Bay windows will extend further from the house, while adding more floor space in addition.

  • Bow windows have more glass panes which results in more light entering the home.

  • Bow windows are usually wider overall from end to end.

  • A bow window is slightly more expensive to install than a bay window because it requires additional tools.

At then end of the day both of these window types benefit the home in their own ways. It can be tough to determine which of the two work best in your home, so it is best to have a licensed professional give you their opinion.




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