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What Is a Window Sash?

8/12/2013 8:16:07 AM

Window sash
The fixed or operating portion of the window consisting of top and bottom horizontal rails, left and right vertical stiles, and the glass.

The window sash is the moving section of the window. It can vary greatly depending on the type of window that you buy. Depending on the type of window you buy, there could be one or more window sash (i.e. double-hung windows), a single sash (i.e. single-hung windows), or a fixed sash (i.e. picture window). Any window that moves, such as a casement window, is also considered to have a sash.

Window Sash Components

In the past, window sashes were exclusively composed of wood and glass. Today, window sashes are made from a number of different components including metal, vinyl, and fiberglass, as well as traditional wood. While meta sashes are popular in both residential and commercial settings, they are more prevalent today in commercial buildings and patio doors. There has been a movement back to the traditional wood sash in new home construction, however.

Wood sashes provide traditional aesthetics that add warmth and character to a room that aluminum sashes simply cannot. Because customization is possible with wood sashes, they also provide greater flexibility in design, while metal sashes tend to be more utilitarian in design.

Window Sash Types

Double-hung windows – two moveable window sashes. Double-hung windows have sashes that can slide up or down and each section can be opened and closed, unlike single-hung windows which can only be opened in one direction.

Single-hung windows – one moveable sash. Single-hung windows have only one section that moves, most commonly the bottom, which can slide up. The top is typically fixed in place. Single-hung windows are very popular in older homes, but they are still used in new home construction as an economical window option.

Casement and awning windows – One or more moveable sashes. On casement and awning windows, the window sash is attached to a set of runners and tracks that allow the windows to be cranked open. Awning window sashes open outward horizontally, while casement window sashes open out vertically.

Sliding windows – two moveable sashes. Sliding windows have two window sashes that slide sideways within the window frame. In two-panel sliding window configurations, both window sashes are moveable, while in three-panel window configurations, the center window sash is fixed and the outer window sashes slide open.

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