Monthly Archives: October 2007

Muntin Bars…

October 1  |  Windows  |   wcadmin

Keeping it historically correct

The Oxford Dictionary tells us that a “muntin” or “munting” is an English derivation of the French word “montant”—a vertical dividing bar, which stems from the verb “monter”—to rise or to mount.

Nevertheless, it describes a wood section that separates window glazing into individual panes, since glass at one time was only available in small pieces, requiring multiple groupings.

The use of plate glass “picture windows” was thought to put us more directly in touch with nature because it was more like an opening, more like air. The opposite is in fact true. A divided window allows different views from different positions in the room, while a large window tends to be the same from all views. Muntin divisions provide a sense of protection and shelter. They provide a multitude of visual snapshots, all different and ever changing.

In the early 1980’s, Windowcraft was instrumental in the development of the authentic muntin bar for thermal glazing. Over the years, we refined the width of the bar, but due to the thermal spacer we could not approach the slender ¾” width of a single glass muntin.

The 1990’s saw the introduction of the “simulated muntin bar”, which was essentially a profile glued to either side of a thermal unit. This movement was spear headed by the larger manufacturers as their answer to the authentic muntin bar.

Normally the word “simulated” does not sit well with us at Windowcraft, unless of course, it is done correctly.

Our approach was straightforward. We used our historic single glass knife to create the inside profile. A trapezoidal shaped piece on the outside replicates authentic putty work. An optional grill between the two layers of glass provides a visual separation. A special mounting tape designed specifically for this purpose adheres the profiles to the glass.

The result is a historically correct detail that has become so popular with clients that we have made it our “house profile”.