Parts of a Window: The Trim

There are two types of window trim—the interior and the exterior, they are similar in theory but different in application. There are plenty of decisions to make when it comes to these parts of a window, not least of which are materials and design.

The trim is often referred to as the casing, and it tends to be used interchangeably, although there are some subtle differences.

Trim Around Interior Windows

Interior trim is the part of the window that covers the bit where it meets the wall. It has a decorative appearance and hides any untidiness from the installation process. It also acts as an insulation as it creates another barrier between the window and the inside of your home—increasing energy efficiency.

Trim usually covers all four sides of the glass window, and for continuity’s sake, it matches the trim around the door, and it can be as ornate as you like. Some people opt for twirls, while others opt for sleek lines. Occasionally, the door and window trim also match the baseboards.

Interior window trim is made from wood or composite materials, although wood is often preferred. The choice of material is quite important as far as homeowners’ budgets are concerned. Composites and vinyl are more affordable surfaces than genuine wood, and they also provide a greater variety. However, genuine wood tends to have a richer finish.

The types of wood that are used for interior windows include cherry, walnut, fir, pine, poplar, and oak. Your choice depends on the look you’re going for. Harder woods are better for staining, and softer woods are better for painting, although they do also absorb the stain. The latter also tends to be cheaper than hardwood.

Trim also comes in a variety of styles, the four most common of which include:

  • Flat, which is simple and inexpensive for your window system
  • Colonial, which is more detailed than flat but still quite simple
  • Fluted, which is straight lines for simple elegance, and
  • Ranch, which is curved or angled to complement the framework

Trim Around Exterior Windows

The trim around exterior windows serves a decorative purpose, especially when it comes to curb appeal, but more than that, it protects the wood or other materials beneath it. Your choices include genuine wood and non-wood. Wood doesn’t always stand up to the elements and sun exposure.

Modern techniques use a primer to protect the wood, including the window sash and windowsill. Cedar is considered the best wood. It’s resistant to rot and mold and has an innate strength to protect the exterior window parts. However, it’s incredibly expensive.

Non-wood options include oriented strand board (OSB)-based products and fiber cement. These products are made from engineered wood. They are strong, dry, weather resistant, and cheaper than cedar, and are also resistant to rot and mold. However, they swell when wet and retain the swollen shape. Its edges are also rough, so they don’t make an attractive finish if the trim at the top and bottom extends beyond the window.

Fiber cement, on the other hand, doesn’t swell, and it goes with paint well. However, its problems are the opposite of an OSB product because it cracks when exposed to hot air and direct sunlight—it’s also on the heavy side and is brittle. The cracks are obviously a problem for the components, including the window panes because water will seep into the building and damage the handles and screens.

What is the Trim Around a Window Called?

The trim around a window is called the casing. This also goes around the windows and can be used internally and externally. Its purposes are also for decorating and insulating.

The difference between trim and casing is that trim refers to all the areas that give your home a finishing touch, like the baseboards, crowns, and molding. The latter, however, is specific to windows.

What is a Window Casing?

Let’s answer the question of what is a window casing with these four types, such as complete, low-profile, high-profile, and traditional.

Complete Casing

It is as you would think. It goes around all four sides of the window. You can choose from a range of styles and even mix ‘n match if you want. However, casing purists would be aghast at your eclectic choice.

They believe that the casing must match all other trim in your home, including the doors. It should provide unity and complement the rest of your house’s style. It’s really up to you and the ideas you want to implement, although contractors will guide you if necessary.

Low-Profile Casing

This hides from view and isn’t decorative, but it takes its role as insulation seriously. Low-profiling casing doesn’t go around the outside perimeter of the window. Instead, it’s placed on the inside of the window frame, up against the window jambs, and likes to fit in with its surroundings. Usually, this means it’s the same color as the walls or sashes.

High-Profile Casing

This is the complete opposite of a low-profile casing—and stands out, demanding attention. You can draw on your inspiration and have a lot of fun designing your high-profile casing style. You can add details or add layers and play with color shades. However, it’s important to bear in mind that customization comes at a price.

Traditional Casing

This is like low-profile casing in terms of simplicity and blending in, but instead of nestling against the window jamb, it goes on the wall outside of the window. Traditional window casing is pure and elegant. Its only nod to design is a few straight lines, but even those are optional.

How Much Does Trimming a Window Cost?

It’s a tricky question to answer because there are so many factors that affect pricing. For example, factors that affect the cost of interior window trimming include:

The total area to be trimmed and the number of windows you have

  • The materials such as aluminum or fiberglass
  • The Design and with any addition you want
  • The labor
  • The experience of the contractor

Exterior window trimming depends on the factors above and others are:

  • The area of installation
  • The number and length of pieces
  • The hardware or equipment necessary
  • The ease or difficulty of access

A professional carpenter estimates the average costs are $6.21 to $9.63 per linear foot. When you include labor, an average project costs $450 to $550.

Euroline Steel Windows and Doors – The Professional Window Trimming Service You Can Rely On

If you have carpentry skills, you could consider adding your interior or exterior window trim. If you want to take the DIY approach, it’s a good idea to stick to simpler designs like flat and ranch options.

However, it’s far safer to consult a professional company with experts who specialize in windows, like our team. If you want to know what is the trim around a window called or you need help with window installation, reach out to us.

To discuss your window installation project, contact us at 877-590-2741 at Euroline Steel Windows and Doors today.

Author: Elyas Balta

Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history in innovation and scalability in the luxury building materials industry. Passionate about inspiring and empowering others to grow in character and success. Determined in bringing art and engineering together to create and manufacture an exotic product line of steel windows and doors.