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Mullioned Windows and How They Compare to Similar Styles

By May 15, 2024Windows
Mullioned windows

Mullioned windows are a timeless architectural feature that adds character, charm, and functionality to any home or building. These windows consist of multiple panes of glass separated by bars and have been around for centuries.

In this post, you’ll get a closer look at what mullioned windows are, their benefits, and how they compare to similar window styles. We’ll also share some pointers on maintaining and caring for your mullioned windows so they stay beautiful and functional for years.

What are Mullioned Windows?

As mentioned above, mullioned windows feature multiple panes of glass, separated by thin vertical and horizontal bars called mullions. These can come from various materials, such as wood, metal, or even stone, depending on the architectural style and the building’s age.

The history of mullioned windows dates back to the medieval era, particularly in Gothic and Renaissance architecture. They were popular in churches, castles, and other grand buildings, as they allowed for larger window openings while still providing structural support.

Over time, mullioned windows became a common feature in residential homes, particularly in Tudor, Victorian, and Colonial Revival styles.

Advantages of Mullioned Windows

This feature offers a range of benefits that make it a popular choice for homeowners and architects alike. One of the most significant advantages is their aesthetic appeal.

The intricate grid pattern created by the mullions adds visual interest and character to a building’s appearance and creates a sense of proportion and balance. This is particularly true in larger window openings, making them a perfect choice for grand living rooms, dining rooms, or master bedrooms.

Mullioned windows also offer practical advantages! The multiple panes of glass allow for increased natural light to enter the room, creating a bright and airy atmosphere that can help to reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day.

Finally, they can also provide a sense of security. The smaller panes are more difficult to break than a single large pane, making them a less attractive target for potential intruders. While not a substitute for proper home security measures, the added protection offered can enhance peace of mind.

Mullions vs. Similar Features

While mullioned windows are unique, several window styles share certain similarities. Let’s take a look at a few and how they compare.

Transom Windows

Transom windows are a type of window that sits above a door or another window. They are typically rectangular and can be either fixed or operable. While transom windows can have mullions, they are not a defining feature.

The main difference between mullioned windows and transom windows is their placement and function. Transom windows let in additional light and air above a doorway or window, while mullioned windows are a standalone feature that can be in various locations throughout a building.

Clerestory Windows

Clerestory windows are a type of high window that sits above eye level, typically near the roofline. They bring natural light into a room without sacrificing privacy. Like transom windows, clerestory windows can have mullions, but they are not a necessary component.

The primary difference between mullioned windows and clerestory windows is their location on the wall. Clerestory windows capture light from above, while mullioned windows can be at any height and are often a primary window style.

Leaded Glass Windows

Leaded glass windows are a type of decorative window that features small pieces of glass held together by strips of lead. While leaded glass windows can have a similar appearance, the key difference is the material of the dividers.

Mullioned windows use solid bars, typically made of wood or metal, while leaded glass windows use thin strips of lead that are soldered together. Leaded glass windows are often decorative, such as the ones in churches or historic homes, while mullioned windows are a more versatile architectural feature.

Comparing styles similar to mullioned windows.

Recommended Maintenance

Proper maintenance is the key to ensuring beautiful and functional windows for years. Here are a few essential tips to help you care for your windows

  • Clean the glass regularly using a soft, lint-free cloth and a mild glass cleaner. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or rough materials that could scratch the glass.
  • If your mullioned windows are made of wood, consider repainting or staining them every few years to protect the wood and keep them looking fresh.
  • Check for drafts or air leaks around the window frame and mullions. If necessary, apply weatherstripping or caulking to seal any gaps and improve energy efficiency.
  • Lubricate any moving parts, such as hinges or latches, to ensure smooth operation.
  • Check for signs of condensation between the panes of glass, which could indicate a broken seal that needs repair.

When to Call a Professional

Lots of mullioned window maintenance tasks can be done yourself. But with most other aspects of your home, there are some situations where it’s safest to get an expert’s help. Here are a few instances:

  • If you have an older home with original mullioned windows. You may want to consult with a historic preservation specialist before attempting any repairs or replacements. They can help you maintain the authenticity and integrity of your windows.
  • If you notice any major structural issues with your mullioned windows. Things like rotting wood, sagging frames, or broken glass, are best assessed by a professional.
  • If you’re looking to upgrade your mullioned windows for better energy efficiency. A professional can help you explore your options and ensure proper installation.


In summary, mullioned windows are a timeless feature that can elevate the charm and functionality of a home. Their unique characteristics and benefits set them apart

You can generally keep them in shape with a regular maintenance routine, but if you notice issues or want an expert inspection of your home, reach out to Atkinson Inspection Services in Clermont, FL, and surrounding areas.