Replacement Window Screens. Custom Made!

Screen Mesh Selection Guide

Devin Smith
screen mesh on porch

There are many different reasons why both residential and commercial customers order window screens for their windows. First and foremost, the number one reason is to let the FRESH AIR in! However, there are many features and options in choosing the best screen mesh for your window screen project. From price to durability, we will break down the most popular features and reasons why people select what they do.

  • Air Flow - the number one feature most look for in a screen mesh. Tighter weave mesh like solar and insect screen will not give you the same air flow volume as the standard fiberglass or aluminum screen. If maximum air flow is what you are looking for, choose a charcoal or grey fiberglass or traditional fiberglass.
  • Curb Appeal - what the window screen looks like compared to the outside color of your home or business along with type of window frame you have is important in the color and type of screen mesh you order. Although charcoal fiberglass is very popular right now, it is a darker screen mesh vs. a grey or standard brite aluminum. If curb appeal is important to you, it is highly suggested to purchase a sample or visit a big box retailer to look at the different colors of mesh that is offered.
  • Daytime Privacy - if you like to keep your windows open during the day but want maximum privacy, solar screen mesh will do the trick! The cheaper alternative would be the standard charcoal fiberglass.
  • Durability - the most durable screen mesh is the pet screen by far. From pet claws to birds, this is the strongest screen by far. Next in line would be the solar and insect screens.
  • Ease of Installation (DIY) - for the do-it-yourself window screen projects, the fiberglass screen mesh is the easiest to work with. Using standard spline, the fiberglass is like working with a strong fabric that is very flexible. Aluminum, on the other hand, is very hard to work with if you do not work with it all the time. Aluminum mesh tends to bend or crease and is very difficult working in the window screen frame channel with the spline.
  • Energy Savings - by far, the solar screen mesh wins out. Solar mesh blocks out up to 70% of direct sunlight. Other screen mesh manufacturers and suppliers offer "Super Solar Screen" and "SunScreen" projects that offer a varying array of solar benefits.
  • Insect Protection - insect screen mesh or sometimes called mosquito screen is the best based on the tight weave of the screen mesh to keep out insects as small as a gnat while still allowing consistent air flow.
  • Pet Resistance - of course, pet screen mesh is the best route to go. Pet screening almost feels like a solid plastic and will stand up against most dog or cat claws, scratching, and birds while still allowing fresh air in. Pet screen is best used when you do have a pet that likes to stay near or on your window frame. Although one of the more expensive screen mesh, you will not be disappointed with its performance and heavy-duty durability.
  • Fade/UV Resistance - all screens sold by WSP carries both a fade resistant and UV protection condition. The cheaper, off brand windows that come with a thin window screen do fade and tear, however, most replacement screen mesh on the market today will not fade within five (5) years.
  • Sun/Brightness Control - for maximum sun block, the pet screen blocks over 80% while the solar screen blocks closer to 70%.
  • Visibility/View - there are many "ultra-view" and "better vue" screen mesh products available but these are mainly for someone looking for almost an invisible screen mesh. Visibility is great with both the standard fiberglass and aluminum screen.
  • Price - from cheapest to most expensive: standard fiberglass ($), standard aluminum ($$), insect/mosquito ($$), solar ($$$), pet ($$$$)

Window Screen Pros will be glad to answer any questions you may have regarding selecting the best screen mesh for your application.