When you’re planning to have a window replacement, you’ll probably hear the words “muntin” and “mullion” as you discuss your options with a professional installer. While these terms do sound alike and have similar definitions, they’re actually different in how they’re used, and they’ve been around for a long time. To better understand their differences, Renewal by Andersen® of Denver explains how they work.
An early reference to a muntin can be traced back to 1688, when the writer R. Holme described it as “moontans and panels.” Then in 1850, a much clearer definition can be found on an English architectural glossary: “English joiners [who] apply the term ‘muntin’ to the intermediate upright bars of framing, and call the outside uprights styles.”
Historically, builders often used muntins as a structural necessity for the outer walls of older structures; they simply couldn’t carry their own weight when installed with large windows. Muntins helped support the weight by transmitting it vertically. Today, you’ll hear this term more often when you plan your window installation, but it really refers to any kind of vertical divider, whether for windows, doors, wood panels or furniture.
Before the advent of inexpensive plate glass during the Victorian Age, manufacturing large sheets of glass was prohibited. Large windows were instead built by holding smaller panes of glass together by supportive mullions. In this case, a mullion only refers to the vertical piece of wood separating the panes of glass, and not the horizontal stile pieces.
Mullions are the vertical bars between the panes of glass in a window, so they differ slightly from muntins even if the term is used when referring to windows sometimes. Only a few companies actually differentiate the two words, since not all buyers look into their exact definitions.
Renewal by Andersen of Denver is one of the most trusted companies for window installation. Call us today at (303) 823-4312, or you can conveniently fill out our form online. We serve Denver, Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas.