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Difference Between Bow Window vs Bay Window

What’s the Difference Between Bay and Bow Windows in Leicester?

Struggling to understand the difference between a bow window vs bay window? You’re not alone.

The main thing that sets bay windows and bow windows apart is how many parts they have. Bay windows have three sections: a big middle window and two smaller ones on each side. 

In contrast, bow windows have multiple sections that all look the same and form a curved shape. Bay windows have straight angles in their sections.

Bay and bow windows give your home a classic and Victorian-style look, creating extra space and flooding rooms with natural light.

These windows may seem alike at first, so we’ve made this guide to show you how they’re different and list the pros and cons to help you make your decision.

Phair Windows & Glass offers bay and bow window installation to the greater Leicester area. If you’d like some information, or a free quote, get in touch with our friendly team.

What is a Bay Window?

Bay windows are a special type of window that sticks out from the wall of a building. The part of the wall beneath the bay window is shaped to match the window and can hold its weight.


This design brings more sunlight into your home, making it feel spacious and bright. It also adds extra floor space and keeps the classic look often seen in Victorian and Edwardian houses. 


However, building a bay window usually needs approval from authorities and follows certain construction rules because it involves changing the structure of the building.

Benefits of Bay Windows

Bay windows offer several advantages, including:

  • Ample Natural Light: The design of bay windows allows an abundance of natural light to flood your interior, making rooms feel brighter and more inviting.
  • Expansive Views: With their panoramic view, bay windows provide stunning vistas of the outdoors, making them an ideal choice for homes with beautiful landscapes.
  • Increased Space: The protruding bay creates a cosy nook or additional seating area, maximising your interior space and adding character to your home.
  • Ventilation Options: The operable side panes enable better airflow and ventilation, improving indoor comfort.

Ideal Uses for Bay Windows

Bay windows are perfect for:

  • Living Rooms: Enhance your living room’s aesthetics and create a perfect spot for relaxation with a bay window.
  • Dining Areas: Transform your dining space into an elegant, well-lit room that’s perfect for hosting family dinners.
  • Master Bedrooms: Add a touch of luxury to your bedroom while enjoying panoramic views of the outdoors.

What are Bow Windows?

Bow windows share similarities with bay windows but come with subtle differences. 

Bow windows bring in more natural light compared to a single flat window. They have a curved shape that works well with older buildings. 

Their sleek design adds a modern touch to any type of property and improves your view of the outdoor surroundings while brightening up the inside of your home. Unlike bay windows, the area under a bow window is flat. 

Converting a flat window into a bow window is easier and can be done quickly, often in just one day, without the need for structural changes, permits, or building regulations. This makes it a cost-effective way to give your home more character and curb appeal.

Advantages of Bow Windows

Bow windows offer unique benefits, such as:

  • Elegance and Versatility: Bow windows exude a sense of sophistication and can be installed in various room styles, including Victorian, Colonial, and modern designs.
  • More Natural Light: The additional window panels of bow windows allow even more natural light to enter your home, brightening up every corner.
  • Stunning Aesthetics: The curved design of bow windows adds a touch of architectural beauty to both the interior and exterior of your home.
  • Increased Ventilation: Similar to bay windows, bow windows can have operable casement or double-hung panes for improved airflow.

Ideal Uses for Bow Windows

Bow windows are a fantastic choice for:

  • Home Offices: Create an inspiring workspace flooded with natural light to boost productivity.
  • Sunrooms: Make your sunroom a year-round oasis, offering a close connection to the outdoors.
  • Reading Nooks: Design a cosy reading corner filled with sunlight, perfect for your book collection.

The Key Differences Between Bay and Bow Windows

To make an informed choice between bay and bow windows, consider these key differences:

  • Shape: Bay windows have three panes set at angles, while bow windows feature four or more equal-sized panels in a curved projection.
  • Space: Bay windows create a larger, more defined nook, while bow windows offer a gentler curve with more window panels.
  • Architectural Style: Bay windows suit various architectural styles, while bow windows often complement traditional designs.
  • Cost: Bow windows are typically more expensive due to the additional window panels and curved structure.

Summary of Bow Window vs Bay Window

So, which style is best? In the world of windows, both bay and bow windows have unique advantages. 

Whether you opt for the grandeur of bay windows or the graceful curve of bow windows, your decision really depends on the style of your property and your budget.

As a leading double glazing installer in Leicestershire and the East Midlands, Phair Windows & Glass have installed bow and bay windows in hundreds of properties. Get in touch with our team today for a free quote!

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