What Colour Should My New Windows Be?
In an odd way, plastic windows have the benefit of offering any colour, as long as it’s white. We will freely admit that there is a certain agony-of-choice when you start exploring timber and composite windows. Not only do you have hundreds of RAL colours at your disposal, but each one comes in different gloss levels, each factory often has a standard range that come at no extra cost, different painting processes mean that different factories don’t always match perfectly and we haven’t even considered timber oils and stains yet.
Of course though, we and our customers love this customisability. If you wish to choose the best solution to blend in seamlessly with your neighbours, or if you want to stand out – bespoke windows are the way to go.
Popular RAL Colours and Gloss Levels
One of the most common complaints about a painted aluminium frame is a high gloss level that results in a reflective sheen. We do things differently; so the default gloss level on all our timber and alu-clad timber products is a low 30%.
Here are the most popular colours chosen by our customers:
RAL 9010 – Pure White
RAL 9001 – Cream
RAL 1013 – Oyster White
RAL 7032 – Pebble Grey
RAL 7035 – Light Grey
RAL 7038 – Agate Grey
RAL 7015 – Slate Grey
RAL 7016 – Anthracite Grey
RAL 9005 – Jet Black
Please note: colours shown should not be used in place of an official RAL colour sample. We cannot guarantee colour-accuracy when viewed on-screen or printed out.
All can be chosen to be the interior colour, the exterior colour, or both! You can even ask for the opening sash to be a different colour to the outer frame to great effect.
In general, we have three recommendations for choosing the colour.
- Take a good look at the brickwork, stonework, rooftiles or any other detail of your home. Then pick out a colour that is present (but not the main focus) in one of these areas.
- Alternatively, contrast! White render and light stonework can look incredible with a dark grey or black window frame. Or a black timber structure can beautifully outline a white window frame.
- Choose something you like! This may sound obvious, but there is no point in deciding that a particular colour suits your house the best, or what a salesperson recommends, but doesn’t appeal to you personally. Above all, your preference is key.
If you’re still struggling to choose for replacement windows, small RAL paint samples are often easy to come by. If you’re committed to replacing them, you have the perfect opportunity to test various colours on your current windows without worrying about the consequences. (Although, we do recommend doing this on the rear of your property if possible!)
Whilst natural oak is an attractive timber species, it requires regular oiling, has an expensive initial cost and there are very few options to add aluminium cladding. For these reasons, a couple of our factories offer to stain their Nordic pine timber to look like other species.
Please note: similar to RAL colours, the timber stains shown should not be used in place of an official sample. We cannot guarantee colour-accuracy when viewed on-screen or printed out.
This is a fantastic option when an alu-clad exterior is needed for the maintenance-free advantage, but you still want the natural timber appearance inside. In order for the stain to keep it’s look over the entire lifespan of the window, the factory applies 3 stage treatment.
Paint differences between materials
As a company, we have very carefully chosen our manufacturers to minimise this problem. As a result of our factories committing to the same powder-coating and painting solution and method, material differences are thankfully hardly noticeable at all.
For example, the photo below shows a timber bifold door right next to an aluminium-clad window. Same RAL colour code, same gloss level but two completely different factories.
The result is a very cohesive project that combined three different products (and two different external surface materials as a result) in a natural and united way. The fact that a timber Lacuna bifold door can be fixed directly to an aluminium-clad Rationel corner post and fixed light, just around the corner from a tilt-turn and a sliding door, with faux-sliding sashes above and all this looks perfectly integrated is a testament to understanding and skill of our manufacturers and installers.
However, this may not be the case with all suppliers! We recommend that you double check before you order two materials with the intension of them having the same colour.
The Importance of Water-Based Paints
The largest mistake that the majority of UK manufacturers still make is not using a water-based paint on their timber windows. Timber is a living material, and will continue to breathe throughout it’s life as a window frame.
If a factory uses a polymer based paint, moisture often gets trapped within the wood. This moisture either cannot get out, and starts rotting the the timber from within. Or, in order to escape, the paint cracks. This means the maintenance and replacement schedule is much more frequent.
When buying timber windows, always choose a company that uses water-based paints. These allow the timber to breathe freely, avoids moisture ever getting trapped within and, ultimately, is a sign that the factory want their windows to last for as long as possible before they need replacing.