Window Sill Materials

closeup of a window sill

Whether you are fixing up an old window, modifying an existing one, or installing a new one altogether, you may want to install a new window sill to go along with it. Window sills can be used for a wide variety of things. They can be decorated on their own, or be used to store other decorations, especially ones like plants that benefit from being kept in the sun. However, before you build a window sill, you will have to decide what to make it out of. This decision is more complicated than it seems, because there are a wide variety of window sill materials available. All of them are good choices, though some are better than others, depending on the individual needs and wants of the owner. What follows is an overview of the various window sill materials, which should help you understand the advantages and disadvantages they bring.


Wood is the most obvious choice of material to build a window sill out of. It is a classic for a reason. It can be painted to match the rest of the decoration, and is relatively inexpensive. However, this classic material comes with a few down sides. Wood is quite vulnerable to water damage. This may not seem like a big problem, but plants that require a lot of moisture could cause your wooden window sill to be exposed to a lot of moisture over time. It is also prone to damage from repeated direct exposure to sunlight—which it will probably get plenty of.

These problems can be mitigated to a certain degree with paint, but paint causes its own problems. It can chip, requiring maintenance, and even if no accidents occur it will fade over time if exposed to the sun, which is unavoidable.


There are many kinds of stone that can be used as material for window sills. Granite, limestone, marble, and slate are all possible options. Stone has a great many advantages that make it a great choice to build a window sill out of. Stone is very moisture resistant and also resists damage from sunlight very well. Stone can be very easy to clean, and stone window sills require relatively little maintenance.

However, stone can be very expensive when compared to other possible building materials.


Vinyl is a a relatively new option as a material for window sill construction. However, it is perfectly viable and has many advantages. Vinyl is very easy to clean and requires almost no maintenance in the long term. It is also very resistant to all types of damage, particularly damage from moisture.

However, vinyl may be difficult to match to the decorations you already have in place.


Tile is definitely a viable option when considering materials for a window sill. Tile can be made out of glass or ceramic, but whatever it is made out of, its benefits are similar. Tile is moisture and sunlight resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. Additionally, tile is relatively inexpensive, making it a strong competitor to stone window sills.