The use of vinyl for window frames is growing as an alternative to aluminum and wood, according to a trade association, which says its product has grown about 20% annually over the last five years.
Vinyl window frames account for almost a quarter of the 22.5 million replacement windows installed in American homes annually, says Julie Cahn, executive director of the Vinyl Window and Door Institute.
Some newer replacement windows combine wood and solid vinyl or aluminum.
"There's been a design revolution going on the past decade within the window industry," says K. Eric Ekstrom, of the National Wood Window and Door Association.
"What's more, consumers are learning all they can about new product designs and performance improvements," he says. "Design innovations and tougher manufacturing standards have helped wood windows, or vinyl-and aluminum-clad windows with solid wood cores, remain one of the most popular materials for replacement projects."