Most Singaporeans grew up in houses using traditional window grills, which are safe and secure. However, these big wrought iron, metals or even aluminium grills tend to be distracting and can make spaces look dull and unimpressive.
Today, both safety and aesthetics are major concerns when shopping for window grills. This explains why invisible window grills have become a popular choice for many new BTO homeowners. You’d most definitely prefer something that not only safeguards but does not look like prison grills. And invisible grills simply fit that criterion.
However, do invisible window grills deserve their hype? Decide for yourself after looking at their pros and cons.
Benefits of Invisible Window Grills
1. Offer no obstruction or distraction
The biggest selling point of invisible window grills is the fact that they are hardly visible (from a distance) after installation. If you’ve got beautiful scenery, you probably do not want the view to be obstructed by thick grills. Invisible grills offer the clearest view of your surroundings. Since they are a modern creation, they harmonize perfectly with any contemporary home style.
2. Give you the illusion of a more spacious-looking space
Unlike traditional grills that can make you feel boxed in, invisible window grills create a more spacious vibe. They also allow maximum sunlight into the room.
3. Not as susceptible to rusting and corrosion
invisible window grills are made from stainless steel, encased in either plastic or rubber for extra protection. Stainless steel is not as susceptible to rusting like other metals or alloys and is known for being corrosion resistant.
Pro-tip: Common stainless steel grades for invisible grills include 410, 304 and 316. The first two do rust after being exposed to the elements for some time, while 316 won’t. So make sure you’re getting invisible grills made from 316 stainless steel!
4. Tougher than they look
invisible window grills offer all the advantages of metal and wrought iron grills. A 2-mm thickness can hold a maximum weight of about 180kg. The thin mesh wires that run across the grill are made of extremely strong wrought iron and aluminium that can withstand a massive 250 pound-force.
The wires are built with incredible elasticity and high tension to provide optimum safety and sturdiness. This means that they can take a whole lot of hitting, tension and bending without actually breaking. They also cannot be cut using ordinary scissors.
The aluminium is also an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. They will survive harsh fires without bending or breaking.
5. A variety of installation options to suit your different needs
The great thing about invisible window grills is they are customisable. They can be installed with various gap widths. Singapore’s CSA Group recommends 2 inches for homes with pets and 3 to 4 inches for homes with young children. For safety, it is not advisable to go beyond a 4-inch gap.
You can also choose to arrange the wires vertically or horizontally.
Pro tip: Install them vertically on your balcony or long and narrow windows. If you have wider or broader openings, go horizontal.
Drawbacks of Invisible Window Grills
1. May lead to accidents
Since they are not exactly prominent, it may be easy for new children in your home and pets to get hurt. They might knock into the window at a high speed thinking it is a clear way with no obstacle. Unfortunately, since these grills are very strong, they can be knocked down, leading to injuries.
2. Can be cut by wirecutter
While it is true that invisible window grills are strong, they can be cut by a wirecutter. Thus, it is not ideal to install them on windows along the corridors.
If you choose to do so, it is advisable to install an alarm system to the grills so that any breach of security from the outside of the grills will trigger the alarm.
3. Not all grills are moveable after installation
Fixed invisible grills cannot be moved after the installation as they are mounted onto the wall using cables. This will pose a problem when you want to clean the windows. Hence, they are seemingly best used for balconies without existing window structures.
Casement (or sliding) invisible grills can be installed on a casement window (or a sliding window), which allows you to open your windows normally without any restriction. However, since they require additional structures, they will make your windows appear bulkier like the above picture.
Traditional window grills are certainly much safer for windows facing the corridor. They also make it easier for you to clean the windows.
However, for places like balcony which will be free from intruders, you can consider installing invisible grills as they offer you much better views than aluminium and wrought iron grills.
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