$0 Down, 0% Interest, 0 Payments for 12 Months. Available until May 31.

Exterior view of a TruStile black Traditional Style front door.

What is a Transom Window?

Transom Window Definition 

A transom window typically appears above a door frame and provide additional natural light into an entry way or room.  

Transom windows get their name because they are located above a door or window transom. A transom is a beam that separates the top of a door or window from the wall.  

Builders historically installed transom windows in homes to allow air to flow through the house with the doors closed. They appeared predominantly in row houses that didn’t have many windows. Transom windows used to have a mechanism to open and close the window, but now most transom windows serve purely decorative functions and do not open.

Transom Window Styles and Types of Transom Windows 

Transom windows typically appear above front doors but they can also appear in bathrooms, inside homes, and above garage doors.  

Transom windows usually appear rectangular in shape, though they can come as arch and radius tops. Marvin Replacement proudly offers TruStile®, a Marvin® brand, front doors with a multitude of transom options.  

Some homes even feature interior transom windows, which can continue a nostalgic motif throughout the house.  

Direct-Set Transoms 

Direct-set transom windows are set directly into the transom frame. Direct-set transom windows cannot be opened, serve primarily as an additional way to add natural light to a home, and add decorative appeal.  

In-Sash Square Transoms 

In-sash square transoms differ from direct-set transom windows because they get glazed into a separate sash, which gets secured to a frame. In-sash transom windows can open and close, if designed that way, though the popularity of operable transom windows can ebb and flow.  

Arch- and Radius-Top Transoms 

TruStile offers arch-top transom windows that feature a slight curve and radius-top transom windows that have more of a semi-circle curve. Arch-top and radius-top transom windows can fit well in homes with older architectural styles, like Gothic styles, because they used to serve a functional purpose of helping allow air into a home.  

Fixed Type Transom Windows 

Fixed transoms windows remain inoperable but add appeal to a home. Depending on the style of home, a fixed transom window can enhance a home’s style by creating the appearance of a bigger entry way. Rectangular transom windows can fit in well with Craftsman homes and curved transom windows can pair well with Victorian homes. Transoms can also work well with extra wide doors for symmetry.   

Transom Window Pros 

  • Transom windows fit in nicely in tall, narrow entryways because they can fill in otherwise unused space above a door to provide more natural light.  

  • Transom windows can add elegance to a home, especially with curved transom windows. 

  • Transom windows can help with energy use because they can help light a space and allow you to keep lights off in the area more often.  

Transom Window Cons 

  • Since transom windows sit above a door, cleaning them can be a little tougher than other windows. You can review our window cleaning tips to get your windows sparkling clean. 

  • Transom windows might not go well in certain entryways. Transom windows require sufficient space above your door. Transoms often don’t pair well with ranch or rambler style homes. 

  • Historically used to help provide ventilation, modern transom windows remain fixed typically and only provide additional natural light.   

View Transom Window Options

Learn more about TruStile's front door transom window options

Share This Article

Back to All Articles

You May Also Like

Interior family room image featuring a Round Top Window and Casement Windows in Stone White interior finish with White hardware.

The Right Product for You

When you were in the office you dreamed of a window view. Now that you’re working from your home, you have it. But how much natural light illuminates your home office?

Learn More  
A patio with a Marvin patio door.

How Marvin Replacement patio doors can unlock indoor-outdoor living

What makes indoor/outdoor living attractive? The features and amenities. What should your indoor/outdoor living area include? Check out some of these indoor outdoor living must-have items.

Learn More  
Exterior porch image featuring a unidirectional Infinity Bi-Fold Door partially open in Pebble Gray finish with Satin Nickel Northfield hardware and a Beige sill.

When to Replace Patio Doors

Deciding whether to repair a patio door or replace it typically comes down to the extent of the damage. But if the patio door has more extensive damage, like broken glass or warping, replacement is the better way to go.

Learn More