Complete Guide to European Tilt-and-turn Windows

banner european tilt and turn windows

If you are on this page, you are probably wondering what’s the deal with all those “European windows” that seem to be the talk of the town lately. Are they any good? Should you even consider using them for your next window upgrade? But what “European” windows are really? To find the answer, let’s dive into the fascinating world of European tilt-and-turn profiles and uncover what sets them apart from their American competitors.

After reading this article, you will know:

  • which windows are commonly referred to as “European windows”
  • how do the tilt-and-turn windows function
  • what is their origin
  • advantages and disadvantages of European tilt-and-turn windows
  • the average price of tilt-and-turn windows in Europe and the availability and cost of such profiles in the US
  • installation nuances

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our FAQ at the end, to get answers to more specific questions.

What is a tilt-and-turn window?

European tilt-and-turn is a type of window design that allows for two distinct opening positions: tilting or turning inwards. 

  • The tilt function enables the top portion of the window to tilt inwards at the top, providing gentle ventilation.
  • The turn variant allows the window to swing open (inward), similar to a casement window.
tilt and turn windows two ways of opening

Does the term “European windows” refer only to tilt-and-turn profiles?

Contrary to the common perception, European windows can relate to every type of window that is produced on this continent. You can read more about Euro style windows here.

So how do the tilt-and-turn windows work?

The secret lies in its one-of-a-kind handle mechanism, that simplifies the operation, allowing users to easily switch between the tilt and turn functions with a single movement.

A single handle – three possibilities

Tilted

When the handle is turned horizontally, it engages the tilt function of the window. This allows the top portion of the window to tilt inwards from the top, creating a small opening at the top while keeping the bottom securely closed. There is also a “microventilation” variant, where the sash tilts inwards by approximately ¼ inch, allowing for a controlled and gradual airflow. 

european tilt and turn windows tilted

Turned/Opened

On the other hand, when the handle is turned 180 degrees vertically, it activates the turn function of the window. This enables the entire window sash to swing open inward.  

european tilt and turn windows open

Closed

The window can also be completely closed when the handle is down. Your customer can rest assured, as steel locking pins will make sure the window stays closed tightly.

european tilt and turn windows closed

Why, when and where did they come from?

  • The first tilt-and-turn fittings for windows were designed in Germany in the 1950s.
  • They were created to address the rising demand for enhanced functionality, energy efficiency, and ease of maintenance. Tilt-and-turns emerged as a solution to replace the older design, where two separate windows with individual panes were mounted one in front of the other and opened independently.

Pros and cons of European tilt-and-turn windows

Cons:

Choosing the right location

Proper placement and installation of tilt-and-turn windows require careful consideration to avoid potential hazards. Since these windows open inwards, it’s important to position them in a way that doesn’t obstruct your daily operations.

Style Compatibility

Tilt-and-turn windows usually have a modern and sleek appearance, which may not complement certain architectural styles or design preferences.

Cultural biases

Some clients may not be very keen on trying windows that are not yet widely spread in the USA as single-hung, double-hung, and casement windows have historically been more prevalent here.

Cost – dispelling the myth

On various sites, you can find information that tilt-and-turn windows tend to be more expensive than casements and single/double hungs, which is only half true. If you buy them straight from the US, this can be the case, whereas in Europe tilt-and-turn windows are actually cheaper than e.g. casements.  Check out the next part of the article for a more thorough explanation

Pros:

Ventilation

A wide range of ventilation is one of the most prominent and evident advantages that tilt-and-turn windows offer. From tilting that allows for top ventilation, facilitating the quick escape of hot air while minimizing the entry of strong breezes, to the turn function that enables maximum airflow, providing ample aeration throughout the room.

Durability

European tilt-and-turn windows are known for their long-lasting performance. How did the European fenestration industry achieve this? The answer is simple – by using materials of the right quality and conducting precise engineering. Whether it’s aluminum, wood, or even uPVC, each material provides users with decades of usability.

Energy Efficiency

Tilt-and-turn windows are renowned for their exceptional thermal insulation properties, and they often come with triple glazing as a standard feature. These profiles are designed to meet stringent European standards and regulations for energy efficiency. As an example, in Poland, windows are required to have a U-Value of 0.16 or lower.

Soundproofing

Just like with thermal efficiency, European tilt-and-turn windows are known for their sufficient soundproofing capabilities. The soundproofing effectiveness can of course vary depending on factors such as the number of glass panes, the thickness of the glass, and the overall construction quality, but tilt-and-turn windows generally offer good sound insulation. 

Improved Safety

Tilt-and-turn windows are a splendid choice for clients with pets or children, as they provide an added layer of safety. The tilt position of these windows acts as a protective barrier, preventing the possibility of fingers or paws getting trapped or them accidentally climbing out.

Easy Operation

The single handle of tilt-and-turn windows makes them easy to operate, enabling seamless switching between different window positions with a simple, quick movement.

Easy to clean

Tilt-and-turn windows are designed with ease of cleaning in mind, making them relatively straightforward to maintain. By simply tilting the window inwards, the user can reach both sides of the glass without the need to go outside or use additional tools – no more professional window cleaning services or climbing ladders. Thus, the regular task of seasonal window cleaning transforms into routine maintenance.

Space Optimization

Tilt-and-turn windows can be a great solution for spaces where outward-opening windows may not be practical. Since they open inwards, they don’t encroach on outdoor areas such as balconies, patios, or walkways.

Accessibility

Tilt-and-turn windows are convenient for people with limited mobility or physical disabilities. The operation of the windows requires minimal effort, and they can be easily opened or closed with a simple twist of the handle. 

Variety

If you choose aluminum or wood-aluminum profiles, you have almost unlimited options for combining different glazing, and frame options with various handles and colors. As for colors, such tilt-and-turns can be powder-coated in a wide range of shades, providing numerous choices to pick from.

What are the differences in installation for European tilt-and-turn windows?

As an installer, you are probably hesitant to try to mount a European tilt-and-turn window since they lack a nailing flange, which is not necessarily true – here’s our article about European windows with nailing fins. But even without those flanges, the process is not very complicated – check out the instructions below and see for yourself.

window nailing fins

Installation of European windows in a nutshell

European installation includes dowels or mounting anchors instead. The method of installation should be specified in the instructions supplied with the windows by the manufacturer. Before starting the installation, you remove the sashes from the frame, it is because European windows are significantly heavier than American profiles. 

european tilt and turn windows closed
  • If you use mounting anchors, you install them to the frame prior to inserting the frame into the opening. The frame is set on support blocks and fixed with mounting wedges. After the window is carefully aligned vertically and horizontally, the frame is finally fixed to the wall. 
  • In an installation with dowels, they attach the frame directly to the wall. This method is recommended in buildings where high stability is required. First, a hole is drilled in the wall and the dowels are inserted inside them, pressed firmly so that they are well embedded in the wall. Then the window frame is placed in the opening. Use a drill-driver to screw the window frame to the dowels. 
window dowels vs mounting anchors

How much do tilt-and-turn windows cost in Europe? Example prices

In the beginning, let’s establish that the price will obviously vary based on the window’s: 

  • color
  • material used
  • size (height and width)
  • the complexity of the construction
  • type of glazing
  • the number of panels along with their configuration 
  • its manufacturer
Remember that when you buy European tilt-and-turn windows, you’ll get a product of the highest quality that adheres to strict European norms and is based on the newest, e.g. German technologies and made from first-class materials.

uPVC

Starting from the uPVC profiles, the smallest, cheapest white double-glazed 20 × 20’’ window costs $95. 

pvc price european tilt-and-turn windows poland

Want something bigger? No problem, a white double-glazed 51×75’’ variant is $261.

pvc price european tilt-and-turn windows poland

Want a quick quote for other uPVC windows? Check out our price calculator

Aluminum with thermal break

When it comes to aluminum tilt-and-turns, a white 18×20’’ triple-glazed window based on Aluprof MB-70 costs $287, while the price of a 47×47’’ option is $450.

aluminum price european tilt-and-turn windows poland

Want a quick quote for other aluminum windows? Check out our price calculator

You can also read more about European aluminum windows here.

Wood

The cheapest wooden triple-glazed 2.68 in pine tilt-and-turn 18 × 20’’ costs $218. The price of a more high-end 3.62 in oak triple-glazed 98 × 71’’ variant is $920.

wood price european tilt-and-turn windows poland

Want a quick quote for other wood windows? Check out our price calculator

Can you buy European tilt-and-turn windows in the USA? What is their price?

While it is feasible to purchase European tilt-and-turn windows in the US, it is generally not a financially advantageous decision. These systems are often imported directly from Europe, resulting in higher prices. You can read how to import windows to the US by yourself (to avoid extra margins from US local vendors).

There are also American profiles available that attempt to replicate the “European style”, however, they tend to lack the same level of quality found in authentic European windows. 

Opting for these alternatives may lead to significant overpaying for a product that does not match the superior standards of systems produced in Europe.

Note, that it’s sometimes not outrightly said whether the windows were made in the US or imported from Europe, leaving things ambiguous.

Want to know more about the differences in quality between European and American windows?

Enough blabbering, here is the more concrete evidence that tilt-and-turn windows tend to be more expensive in the US

uPVC

Tilt and Turn Window Storebasic white uPVC tilt-and-turn 24× 48” – $240
Iluminare Windows and Doorsbasic double-glazed uPVC tilt-and-turn 24×48” – $343an 84×84” variant – $2103
DenCo a white double-glazed uPVC 24×36” – $469a 35×54” model – $629
BrogaWindowsa white double-glazed uPVC 24×36” – $469an 84×84” variant – $2103

Aluminum (without thermal break)

Iluminare Windows and Doorsa white double-glazed aluminum 24×48” window – $1200an 84×84” variant – $7345
BrogaWindowsa white double-glazed 24×48” window – $1015a white triple-glazed 24×48” window – $1032 
a white double-glazed 40×48” – $1270a white triple-glazed 40×48” – $1304

Are you now wondering how can you save on importing windows straight from Europe? Check out our handy import guide and let your business bloom.

Conclusion

European tilt-and-turn windows can indeed suit the needs of American users, providing several advantages over traditional window designs. Tilt-and-turn windows offer versatility, enhanced functionality, improved security, and excellent energy efficiency at a sensible cost. Their unique design allows for easy cleaning, controlled ventilation, and multiple opening options. Although the installation process may seem like it requires specific installation expertise, it is not that complicated, and the installer can quickly grasp how the mounting goes. 

FAQ

  • How is tilt-and-turn window servicing done in the US? Will there be problems with repairing such windows locally?

Yes, they are American companies that specialize in fixing tilt-and-turn windows. Additionally, European parts are usually available in the US, so the user can service those windows themselves.

On the brighter side, the repairs of the tilt-and-turn windows tend to be rather simple, so there is a possibility that your local window servicer can handle this task and order suitable components straight from Europe.

  • Can tilt-and-turn windows be installed in existing homes, or are they only for new construction?

Tilt-and-turn windows can be installed in both existing homes and new construction projects. They are a versatile option that can be retrofitted into existing openings or incorporated into new window installations.

  • Can tilt-and-turn windows be used in commercial buildings, such as offices or storefronts?

By all means yes, while they are often associated with residential applications, tilt-and-turn windows offer several advantages that make them suitable for commercial use as well.

  • Is it possible to install mosquito/insect screens on tilt-and-turn windows?

Yes, it is possible. Such screens are typically installed on the exterior side of the window and can be easily opened or removed when required.

Another option for installing insect screens on tilt-and-turn windows is to use fixed screens that are mounted flush on the exterior of the window frame. These screens are permanently attached and remain in place at all times.

  • Do tilt-and-turn windows have screens?

In standard, tilt-and-turn windows don’t have insect screens, you have to order them separately. 

  • Do tilt-and-turn windows come with any warranty or guarantees?

In debesto, all windows come with a 30 or 42 months guarantee.

  • Can tilt-and-turn windows open outward?

No, the hinges of tilt-and-turn windows are designed to open inwards only.

  • What materials are used to make tilt-and-turn windows? 

In Europe: uPVC, wood and high-quality aluminum.

  • Are tilt-and-turn windows available in a variety of colors and finishes?

Yes, if you need an especially wide range of options, consider aluminum windows who have a rich choice of colors, as they can be covered with all RAL colors. Aluminum structures can also be two-toned: different color and finish on the inside and outside. 

Wooden windows also have many variations when it comes to colors and finishes.

  • Can tilt-and-turn windows be customized with additional security features, such as reinforced glass or multipoint locking systems?

Yes. For instance, you can opt for laminated or tempered glass, and upgrade the window’s hardware components, such as hinges, handles, and locks, with high-quality and secure options. 

  • Can tilt-and-turn windows be operated with minimal effort by elderly individuals or those with limited strength?

Definitely, the hardware, such as hinges and handles, is engineered to ensure easy manipulation of the window sash, requiring little force to operate. The handles are typically located at a convenient height, making it easier for elderly individuals or those with limited mobility to reach the windows.

  • Is it easy to break in through tilt-and-turn windows?

While no window is completely impervious to break-ins, tilt-and-turn windows offer some advantages that make it more difficult for potential intruders to gain access. In general, tilt and turn profiles feature multiple locking points, making them more secure than single-point locking systems commonly found in other window types. 

When the window is in the tilt position, it allows for ventilation while maintaining a restricted opening size, which can deter unauthorized entry. However, when the window is fully closed and locked in the turn position, it provides a high level of security similar to that of a fixed window.

  • Can water pour into the apartment through tilt-and-turn windows when it rains?

When properly installed and sealed, tilt-and-turn windows should not allow water to pour inside during rain. Tilt-and-turn profiles typically have gaskets and seals that create a tight seal when the window is closed and locked.

However, if the window is in a tilt position, the user has to be careful and see whether the rain is pouring in the window’s direction or not. If it’s falling evenly or in the opposite direction, water won’t access the room. 

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