Bow Window vs Bay Window: What’s the Difference?

Jun 20 2020 Posted By Ontario Window Reviews

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Bay vs Bow Windows: What’s the Difference?

There’s a lot of confusion between bow windows and bay windows. To the untrained eye, both windows are equally beautiful and hard to tell apart. While this is true, knowing the difference between bow window vs bay window will help many homeowners decide which ones would be a better choice for their homes in terms of aesthetic quality and practical benefits. When we plan our interior design, we often look into what factors can improve the aesthetic appearance of our home. Sometimes there are very few spaces left. That makes it difficult to decide upon which area should become the focal point. That is where the bow windows vs bay window come into existence. At the first glance, the bay and bow windows both look alike and also help in enhancing the appearance of your room also adding a dash of glamour to your interiors.

In this article, we’ll talk about the unique characteristics that set these two centrepiece windows apart and share some ideas on how they can enhance your home’s interiors. Modern homes both contemporary and traditional styles use bay windows more often but they are also seen in Vintage victorian or classic cottage styles. 

Let’s get started!

Bay and Bow Windows, Style and Appearance 

Bow window is also called a compass window which is composed of four or more identical shape and size and have a slightly distinct curve than a bay window. Bay windows are typically composed of  three panels of energy efficient windows that project outwards from 18 to 30″ from the interior wall surface. The centre unit is a full and fixed picture window set between two slightly smaller casement windows or double-hung windows on each end. 

Depending on your personal preference, you can have them made in various shapes and different angles, including square, rectangular, hexagonal, or octagonal. Bay window designs have a sharper and more angular appearance that stylishly complements contemporary homes. Nevertheless, many homeownersbay window reviews reveal that they have a curb appeal and a versatile quality that blends well in architectural design with professional window installations.

On the other hand, bow windows consist of four to five window panels mulled together. That’s why these windows are usually called four-lite bow or five-lite bow windows. Unlike bay windows where the central unit is usually bigger, all four or five panels of bow windows are uniform in size and are fitted with an opening mechanism. Bay windows tend to be less extensive compared to bow windows because of the number of individual windows that they have.

Bow windows stand out with an elegant curve because of the semi-circular structure it creates on the exterior of the property. Its graceful curve gorgeously accentuates the classic charm of Victorian-style homes.

The Best Energy Efficient Window to Let More Natural Light Into Your Home

Basically, both window types bay or bow window is an excellent choice if you are considering replacement windows to brighten up your home and to increase the curb appeal. But the beauty of bow windows is that it usually consists of a larger window and is wider since it has more glass panes (four to five) instead and curved shape rather than bay windows, which only have three.

As a result, the bow window provide you with a more compelling view of the verdant outdoors. But aside from uninterrupted views, it also means bow window can usher in more sunlight. It’s the right decision that will make a massive difference for your property in terms of aesthetic appeal and resale value.

Modern homes with an abundance of natural light have a lot of benefits and will be a gem in the real estate market. If you’re into indoor plants, the ledge or bench in front of the windows can be a perfect spot to showcase your plant collection because they’ll love the shower of more sunlight in the morning.

With bow window installed and letting sunlight in, expect to see your home’s interior space coming alive with more vibrant colors like you’ve never seen before—the more reason to consider your options between bow and bay windows.

Increase Fresh Air Flow In Your Home with Bow Window

Between the two, a bow window is a better option if you’re trying to increase your home’s ventilation. Because all four or five individual window units of a bow window can be opened, it means there’s a greater chance to improve air circulation by letting the cool breeze in and the warm temperature out of a room.

Bay vs Bow Windows, Which Gives Extra Floor Space?

Getting bay windows would be a clever strategy if you are looking for ways to make your home more spacious and functional. 

Bay windows can be installed at projection angles of up to 90 degrees from the exterior of the house. Because the bay windows protrude farther, it creates more space i.e floor space that can be used for a cozy seating nook where you can lounge while enjoying the idyllic views of your property. In some cases, bay windows can be installed in a way that they can be big enough to fit a breakfast nook or a full-sized dining area. 

There are many beautiful bay window ideas that you can explore and apply to your own home to make it appear bigger and have more usable living space for you and your family. The bay and bow windows have projection windows that give an arched shape projecting outward. This unique feature enables many homeowners who need a multidimensional and expanded view of their backyard garden or to view any spectacular nature view outside while getting an extra floor space. There are other areas where the bay and bow windows can be installed.  These include

  • A quiet reading corner
  • An inspiring home office
  • A charming kitchen bay window
  • A dining or living area with a view 

On the contrary, because bow windows do not protrude outwards that much, it only creates a very minimal floor space. It can still accommodate a narrow bench for sitting down, which you can maximize by customizing it with built-in storage for your knick-knacks.

Bow window vs Bay window, Cost Per Unit and Installation

In terms of cost per unit and window installation, bow windows are expected to be twice more expensive than bay windows. It’s because bow windows are not a single unit but four to five separate windows that each comes with its own operating system. The bow window installations are also more complicated compared to bay windows because a soffit or tie-in is necessary to ensure that each unit is properly sealed against water and air. Inefficient windows can directly affect your utility bills even if they have slight air leaks. The energy efficient  windows help in reducing the annual energy bills and also is efficient in providing charm and beauty.    

Ontario Bay windows Vs Bow Window Companies

Have you made up your mind about getting Bay windows Vs Bow windows? Beyond the  window styles, there are several more important factors to consider, like window materials, energy efficiency, functionality, durability, and insulation capability. All of which depends heavily on where you’re going to source your windows. Bay and bow windows are available in a variety of customizable sizes according to your architectural interest. They are mostly installed in new construction homes. Bay and bow windows can be added to any room to increase the elegance. 

Let us help you select a reliable provider from our selection of top-rated window manufacturers. Do your research by browsing our comprehensive bay or bow window reviews.

Check out our list of Ontario window companies now!

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