Window Sill Styles

Updated February 21, 2017

A window sill is the flat, horizontal piece of wood, stone or PVC at the base of a window which receives and holds the window sashes or casement. A window does not need a sill in order to be operable, but they are a popular design choice because they bring a pleasing focus to the base of the window. Window sills are often desired for showcasing objects such as potted plants and stained glass.

Wood Sills

Wooden window sills are cheap in price and easily produced, making them a popular choice for many homeowners. Wooden sills can crack, rot or mildew easily, which can cause leaks or even breathing problems. The cost of replacing damaged wooden sills can become higher than the initial investment of a more durable window sill style. If a wooden sill is chosen, it is important to protect the exterior sill with an aluminium casing.

Marble Sills

Marble window sills are a great choice that provides a high-end look with superior durability. Marble is easy to clean and requires little maintenance to the homeowner. Marble is durable enough to withstand cold and hot temperatures and are water resistant. Marble sills come in widths of 4 inches, 5 inches, and 6 inches and can be ordered in a variety of colours to match any home decor. Their water and decay resistance makes them ideal for displaying items such as potted plants. Although this material was once reserved for lavish mansions, more and more homeowners are splurging on marble for its polished and long-lasting look.

PVC Sills

PVC window sills are a more durable alternative to window sills, but they are not as durable as marble window sills. They are more expensive than wooden sills, but much cheaper than marble sills. PVC is relatively easy to clean and are fairly durable, considering they are made of plastic. PVC does have a tendency do attract mould in damp environments, especially if the window and sill are not properly insulated. To combat the moisture problem, many homeowners may place baking soda boxes in the window sill, but this is not an aesthetically pleasing look.

Tile Sills

Tile is another popular selection in window sill styles. Tile sills do not have the same problems with moisture retention as wooden and PVC sills and are an attractive alternative to marble. The grout between tiles can easily become worn or dirty, making your sill less attractive. Another common problem with tile sills is that tile can be broken easily, particularly if it is not placed properly or if struck carelessly by heavy objects.

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About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.