What is a Flat Bay Window Called?

There’s no doubt that bay windows are one of the most elegant window styles out there.  Like picture windows, bay windows are quite large.  Standard bay windows are typically angled, allowing the window unit to jut outward from the home.

bay windows

Flat Bay Window

A flat bay window is called a canted bay window, also known as a classic modern bay window.  A canted bay window features a flat front with matching angled sides.  You’d see flat bay windows usually on the first story of a home or commercial building.  Flat bay windows aren’t installed on second or third stories or floors.

Other Bay Window Styles

If you’re choosing between bay window styles, you’ll need to know what each one is called when ordering a new unit or working with a window contractor.  No matter what bay window style you choose, you can plan on getting a lot of natural light and plenty of wide, picturesque views.

Oriel Bay Window

Maybe you’ve never heard of an oriel bay window, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen them.  Oriel bay windows have been around for a long time, first reaching popularity during the English Renaissance.  Oriel bay windows are usually installed on the side of homes or buildings.

an oriel black bay window

Oriel bay windows are also installed so they float—meaning these windows don’t touch the ground.  Because they are floating windows, part of their style includes their structural support.  You’ll notice the supports of an oriel bay window includes a decorative bracket or corbel, usually comprised of materials like wood, stone, or masonry.

Box Bay Window

Box bay windows are very similar to flat bay windows.  The difference between these two bay styles is that instead of the sides of the window being angled, a box bay window’s flanking sides come together at the front at a 90-degree angle, thus creating a shape of a box.

Box bay windows give off a more modern aesthetic thanks to the flanking sides’ harsher 90-degree angles.  Flat bay windows are a more traditional look.  Whichever style you choose, both box and flat bay windows elevate the exterior look of your home, more so than those of common window styles like double- or single-hung windows.

box bay windows

Circle Bay Window

Finally, there’s the relatively uncommon circle bay window.  Circle bay windows have a distinct style that features the standard three sides of large glass panes, but with additional panes above the windows that set this bay window style apart from the others.  Unlike other bay windows, circle bay windows also have ornate details and intricate moldings.

Architectural Styles of Bay Windows

Bay windows have existed for centuries and there are many different architectural styles that they can take on.  From Victorian to Tudor, bay windows have seen many eras of design.


Tudor architecture boasted oriel bay windows with wood brackets that complemented the rest of the façade’s exposed timber.  Tudor homes also had casement windows in groupings of two or three.


Homes during the Victorian Era were known to sport both oriel bay windows with flourishing details, but most commonly, canted bay window (or flat bay windows) were the reigning window choice.  Homeowners during the Victorian Era excitedly installed canted bay windows after building codes changed, allowing them to extend their homes beyond the original walls.


The clean lines and minimalist details of mid-century architecture favored bay windows that consisted of picture windows flanked by casement windows.  Mid-century homes would have bay windows that emphasized the linear aesthetics popular in the day.


Leaping off the clean lines and minimalism, modern bay windows also have small frames to leave plenty of room for the large glass panes.  Modern bay windows are usually unadorned by treatments or ornate moldings, leaning towards favoring natural light with the large panes as the central feature.

Bay Window Construction

Bay windows aren’t one single window.  All of these bay window styles—box, flat, circle, and oriel—consist of three panes of window, one large central pane and two angled side panes.

Homeowners have options in configuring their bay windows.  Some people choose to have a bay window with double-hung windows or casement windows on either side, allowing for a functioning window that opens and closes with a crank or moving the sashes.  Others will utilize picture windows instead, which are fixed and cannot be opened or closed; yet these windows still allow for plenty of natural light.

Bay windows come in many configurations and architectural styles.  Flat bay windows, or canted bay windows, are among the most popular choice.  Although bay windows are more expensive than other window choices because of the large panes and decorative features, these windows let in plenty of natural light and architectural variety that make their price well worth it.

Feldco Windows, Siding, Doors and Roofing is a home improvement company that’s been delighting customers since 1976. With over 500,000 homeowners, Feldco cares about each and every customer.

Let Feldco help you create the vision of your dream home. Start your home improvement project now and get a free quote.

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