Drywall Window Returns vs. Wood: Pros, Cons, & Differences

Do you want classic wood trimming or drywall window returns? This query has possibly popped in your head more than after if you’re arranging on masking the casings, sills, and headers of your windows. Some experts declare that wood is an all-time vintage, and drywall simply cannot at any time contend with it. Other people imagine wood is just a waste of funds, and drywall window returns look a lot much better. The reality, as often, is somewhere in the middle: the two options have their strengths and weaknesses.

And in this guide, we’ll discuss about each drywall returns and wood trims in excellent detail. We’ll go above sturdiness, simplicity of use, overall flexibility, pricing, and other key factors that need to assist you make the correct option. Don’t fret: we won’t get into any complex information. Even if this is your first time operating on window jambs, you are going to get the dangle of it!

Drywall Window Returns

In 2022, drywall returns are extremely popular for home windows in US residences. They are an outstanding option to the “good old” wooden trims that have been dominating the market place for numerous many years. Back again in the day, drywall wasn’t a go-to choice for doorway/window corners, but these days, it’s really common. On best of that, drywall window returns have one particular massive professional: substantial workability and overall flexibility.

So, if this is your extremely 1st renovation undertaking, you may want to go with drywall. Straightforward in style, it has a extremely clean, “universal” seem that goes with a lot of up to date patterns and designs. It operates in bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. Much more importantly, drywall is cheaper than wooden, and that helps make it an excellent choice if you are on a considerably limited price range.


Drywall is not the most durable materials on the earth. It tends to crack over time, and there’s quite small one particular can do about that. On the brilliant aspect, drywall is fireplace-resistant. It’s also strong against humidity/dampness and mildew. Therefore, if you reside in a sizzling and humid location, do consider likely with drywall window returns for your residence.

Workability/Ease of Use

Drywall is a single of the most versatile resources for a homeowner. It doesn’t require professional skills to work with. Based on the thickness, the sheets may be a little bit heavy, but should not be too tough to manage manually. The most critical point when operating with drywall is to make certain you put in all the individual parts properly. If not, the joints will be visible, and that’s not a quite very good appear. Also, after reducing it, really do not forget to use a rash to clear the tough edges.

An additional issue to keep in head: drywall window returns don’t stain very easily. You could, of system, consider various finishes on it, but this is even now a con. Moreover, you’ll require to consistently clear the returns. Normally, they’ll get dusty in the blink of an eye, and that dust will change into dust and grime.

What’s The Best Use for Drywall Returns?

Drywall returns utilised to be connected with some thing inexpensive and unreliable. These days, they’re a well-liked selection not only for center-class houses but high quality residences as well. As described, drywall is really sturdy in opposition to hearth, features above-average resistance to humidity/dampness, and will come at a affordable price. Sure, in several methods, drywall returns are a universal remedy, one that fits windows of all styles and dimensions.

  • Flexible; very easy to work with
  • Feature a clean, universal look
  • Much cheaper than wood
  • Highly resistant to fire
  • Doesn’t work well with stain
  • Tend to get dusty

Wood Trim

The term “trimming” is utilised to explain any kind of attractive piece that addresses edges and gaps. This applies to doorways, partitions, ceilings, and partitions, to name a couple of. In our situation, we’re conversing about window sills, casings, headers, and jambs. With out suitable trimming, windows will appear rough and unfinished, as the wooden conceals the gaps between partitions and home windows. In addition, with trimming, you can set the correct tone for the total place and enrich it.


Wooden is amongst the most sturdy and prolonged-long lasting natural materials out there. That can make it a ideal decision as a extended-time expenditure for your house. Humidity can be an issue, though, which is why you need to in no way commit to any wood type till you examine its characteristics and resistance to environmental factors. We’ll discuss much more about this further down the evaluation. Overall, wooden is a go-to material for window casings and sills (specially aprons and stools).

Workability/Ease of Use

In contrast to drywall, wood calls for a little bit a lot more sleight of arms to operate with. But, if you’re excellent with some basic “garage” equipment, you will be capable to shape it to your liking. A single of the ideal issues about wood—it does a fantastic job of hiding imperfections. If which is the scenario with your windows, wooden trim will probably be the much better choose. Final but not least, it is effortless to keep and matches diverse hues/finishes.

What’s The Best Use for Wood Trim?

Conventional residences with an outdated-faculty design—that’s where wood trim matches the most. If you’re not preparing on transferring out from your current property any time before long, wooden will be a risk-free guess. If not, then it probably will not be well worth it since, properly, wood is more costly than drywall (and several other components). On the brilliant aspect, the fans of experimenting with distinct paint and stains will value how effortless it is to implement new finishes on all-natural wooden.

  • Very durable and long-lasting
  • Compatible with different finishes
  • Has a premium, eye-catching look
  • Does a great job of hiding imperfections
  • Slightly on the expensive side
  • Susceptible to humidity

Drywall vs. Wood: What to Look For

Drywall Window Returns

When it arrives to drywall, there aren’t that a lot of variants to decide from. The most essential issue that you will have to decide on is the thickness, with ¼-inch planks being the most well-liked selection. These are simple to carry about and condition to your liking. But, for partitions, floors, and home windows, you need to most likely go with ½ inches for much better fitment and for a longer time service. And one a lot more thing: standard, environmentally friendly drywall is extremely resistant to moisture.

Even so, if you want it to also resist mildew and mildew, go with purple drywall. It is more pricey but will be really worth it in the prolonged run. Other drywall varieties are more soundproof or fireplace-resistant, but, in common, the common green drywall handles audio and hearth quite nicely. Apart from, it is truly cheap and broadly available.

Wood Trim

With wood, you have heaps of distinct choices. Wooden trim can be pine (fairly affordable), cherry, walnut (expensive), or anything like birch or beech, to identify a number of. When choosing amongst diverse supplies, select the ones that stain nicely. Cherry and walnut are excellent at this, but oak is the evident chief. Due to the huge pores, it stains very easily and looks excellent. Furthermore, you need to have to go with a wood that is resistant to humidity and decay.

For that, we advocate teak. Sure, it is extensively recognized as the most dampness-resistant wooden kind on world Earth. Many thanks to its organic oiliness, it effortlessly withstands humidity. Cypress is also a wonderful choice in this regard, together with mahogany and white oak. Which is rather considerably all you require to take into account prior to picking a wood species for trimming.

Is Wood Trimming More Expensive?

The brief reply is sure, it is. Wooden is one particular of the most costly resources on our world, and it is undoubtedly pricier than drywall. But how massive is the difference, although? Is it significant adequate to phone wood unreasonably pricey? Well, the actual value for a drywall window return and a wooden trim will significantly count on regional content/labor price (if you’re organizing on hiring a pro for the installation). On average, wood is 20-thirty% far more high-priced. That equals $twenty-twenty five saved on each and every window.

On leading of that, likely with drywall will preserve you an hour of labor. So, does that make drywall better? As talked about, wood components last more time and call for nominal upkeep. However, if you reside in an very humid area, that might not be the circumstance. Wood is less resistant to environmental factors than drywall (unless it is teak, of training course). This can be simply fastened, although, if you treat the wooden casings with the proper chemical substances, like a wood preserver that you can get at any regional property improvement store.

Drywall Window Returns vs. Wood: Pros, Cons, & Differences
Image Credit: evasaves1, Shutterstock

Can You Combine Drywall with Wood?

Sure, you most definitely can. Whilst this doesn’t come about extremely often, many builders do mix these two options to achieve the very best final results. For instance, you can use wood trimming for the windowsill and the stool but protect the casings and the top (the headers) with drywall. It all will come down to your budget and what you want the home windows to appear like. Now, because the stool and the sill are the most “in-your-face” elements, it may possibly be a very good notion to use wood for that and complete the rest with drywall.

Make sure you do hold in thoughts that you’ll most likely have to paint the drywall returns to match the wooden. In most circumstances, carpenters use enamel paint. It’s great at imitating that all-natural wood shade and holds on really well on drywall. Sadly, drywall doesn’t stain nicely, which indicates your coating choices are relatively constrained.

Which Is the Right Option for You?

This depends on what you’re in the industry for. If you want the home windows to have a timeless seem and for the casings to final for a extended time, wood trim will be the appropriate option. It will value you extra, however. Additionally, in a sizzling and humid environment, wooden jambs have a tendency to deteriorate more quickly than normal. With drywall window returns, you’ll get a adaptable and universally compatible option.

It is considerably easier to operate with (even a beginner will be ready to take care of it) and you won’t have to worry about normal elements. Oh, and if you’re planning on setting up drapes, we’d suggest drywall returns. The purpose: the modern, extravagant wooden trim will simply disappear guiding the material. Appropriate now, the “market share” of drywall and wooden is approximately fifty%. Yet, in professional structures, and especially high rises, ninety five-99% of windows have drywall returns.

When to go with Drywall Window Returns When to go with Wood Trim
You’re on a limited budget You want to try different finishes/paints
Flexibility/ease of use is a top priority You’re ready to pay extra for premium looks
 You live in a hot and humid area Durability/longevity is a must
The room has a modern, trendy design The room features a retro, classic style


If you’re constructing a home from the ground up or renovating the home windows and want a new new seem, you can go both with drywall returns or wooden trim. The two have their positive aspects and disadvantages. Wooden trim is the much more high-priced option, but it also looks excellent and lasts lengthier. Drywall return, in change, will take less effort to use/install and will come at a far more affordable price.

Pay out additional attention to the execs and disadvantages, and really do not dedicate to any of the choices except if you are 100% certain about it. Drywall window returns and wooden casing match various assignments, so, in some ways, your decision will be dictated by the type/style of the property. Keep tuned for much more guides, and we’ll see you subsequent time!

Featured Picture Credit: Viktoriia Kotliarchuk,Shutterstock