Sliding windows score a lot of points if you’re after practicality, reliability and functionality, so it isn’t surprising that they’re among the most popular window replacement options for homeowners today. Let’s take a closer look at them to see why.
What is a sliding window?
A sliding (or gliding) window is exactly what it says on the tin: a window that slides. It is a type of window that has at least two sashes, at least one of which can be slid horizontally to open and close the window. The sliding sash or sashes move along a specially made track within the window frame.
Parts of a Sliding Window
Like most operable types of windows, a sliding window has a frame, sashes, glass, handles and locks. The frame, which is the window’s primary support structure, can be further broken down into jambs, a head and a sill. Each sash, on the other hand, can be broken down into stiles and rails.
Sliding windows can have a combination of fixed (stationary) and operating sashes or purely operating sashes. They can also feature grilles, gas fills, spacers, weatherstripping, insect screens and other components designed to improve their function and/or aesthetics.
How a Sliding Window Operates
The key to sliding window operation is a track system that allows the sashes to move from side to side instead of projecting inwards or outwards. The system consists of upper and lower track strips that fit around the top and bottom edges of the sashes. These edges have sash rollers to facilitate smooth gliding.
Many modern sliding window designs have the upper guide track deeper than the lower one for easier sash removal during cleaning. Drainage holes are also incorporated into some designs to prevent rainwater from accumulating in the lower guide track.
Stay tuned for Part Two of The Homeowner’s Guide to Sliding Windows, where we’ll cover the different things that make them a fine addition to any home and a favorite among home designers and homeowners alike.