European nailing fin windows – quick guide

Did you know that no one in Europe installs windows using nailing fin? This is a way completely unknown to the average window installer in Germany or Poland. The installation there takes place without the use of nails! Instead, the window frame is installed using anchors and dowels. Since windows in Europe are standardized for installation without nailing fin, is there any point in importing European windows to the US then? 

I suspect that (since you’re here), you’ve thought about using European windows in your construction project. Perhaps you don’t have experience with them, but instead have a lot of questions, and your main dilemmas are about the lack of nailing fin? From this article you will learn whether windows from Europe can have nailing fin, and you will learn some surprising facts related to this topic. So let’s get to the details.

From this article you will learn:

Do European windows have a nailing fin?

Most window manufacturers from Europe design solutions typically for the local installation method. This differs from American installation, therefore the design of European windows is different from American windows. In Europe, almost no one is familiar with windows with nailing fin, while it is the most popular type of window in the US.

The good news is that there are European window systems that have a flange that allows “American-style” installation. I’ll tell you about them later in the article. 

What is a nailing fin and what is it used for?

It is a fin (another name: flange, nailing flange) used to nail the windows to the building. It looks like a thin, flat strip made of PVC or aluminum that extends outward from the window frame. In American window installation, it is used to connect the window to the building’s window frame/window opening. It is also an American way of sealing to prevent water infiltration and air leakage.

European window with nailing fin

How much do European windows with nailing fin cost?

The final price of windows from Europe that have a nailing flange consists of 3 main factors:

  • the price of the window itself
  • the cost of attaching the flange
  • the cost of import (borne by you or by a local distributor of European windows)

We have prepared below a comparison of several window systems with nailing fin. On the other hand, if you are interested in the topic of importing windows from Europe to the US and would like to learn more about how much it costs and what it looks like, take a look at our blog on profitable import of European windows. You can also check out specific shipping prices by going to our US window delivery price list.

Price comparison of Aluplast Ideal 4000 with and without the nailing fin

price price per sq ft in dollars
min. frame and sash height
price per m²
Aluplast Ideal 4000
USD 17,35 per ft²
min. frame and sash height
109 mm
price per m²
USD 187 per m²
Aluplast Ideal 4000 Nailing Fin
Aluplast Ideal 4000 Nailing Fin window profile
USD 18,08 per ft²
min. frame and sash height
114 mm
price per m²
USD 195 per m²

For the additional nailing fin in the window and door system analyzed above, you pay about 4% more compared to the same system without nailing fin. The reference window used for the price comparison is a tilt and turn window, white in color, with 2 panes, with dimensions of 1230 x 1480 mm. 

The 4% surcharge for nailing fin in a European window loses its meaning completely if you consider the price difference between American and European windows. Windows from Europe (German quality), depending on the type, can be cheaper than windows from the US by 40% on average, without losing quality.

How to install windows from Europe in the US?

We know from numerous conversations with our U.S. customers that some of them face the dilemma of how to install European windows the American way. Window installation in Europe is done differently than in the US. In Europe no one uses nailing fin, while in the US it is standard.

Window installation Europe vs USA – key differences

measurement system in meters and centimetersimperial measurement system – feet and inches
window frame installation using anchors and screwsinstallation using nailing fin
European windows have a built-in system of drainage, thermal breaks or gaskets, which improve the thermal performance and resistance to raina large role in sealing plays nailing fin and proper protection with tape

Read more about European tilt and turn windows here

You want windows from Europe – but what next?

If your investor is interested in European windows, you can consider 2 types of windows: with or without nailing fin. You are not doomed to only one type, but you must take into consideration that European profiles with nailing fin are much less to choose from than those without.

During video consultations, we ask customers if they have experience with European windows. When necessary, we familiarize them with the installation by showing them a video. Most opt for the European way, without nailing fin. Also in the case of large sliding systems, customers successfully install them without nailing fin

explains Patryk Lakucewicz, Key Account Manager at debesto.

However, we understand that you may not want to give up the traditional US way of installing windows. – Sometimes a company is so used to the American way of installation that it does not consider the European way, says Kamil Karpinski, Senior Business Consultant at debesto. This is confirmed by Business Team Leader at debesto, Wojciech Stach. – Most window installers in the US have dealt with the typical nailing fin window installation, Wojciech notes.

If you’d like to learn more about European window installation without nailing fin, watch the video. There you will see an Aluprof aluminum window that is installed in an American home using the European method.

What if your installers are only used to American windows with a nailing fin?

Perhaps you have seen European windows at a friend’s house that were installed in a building without the special flange commonly used in the US. Would you like to try windows from Europe at your place, but can’t imagine installing windows without a fin, or are worried about whether your team can handle such a task? 

Fortunately, this can be reconciled thanks to European profiles with nailing fin. They are designed by manufacturers specifically with the US market in mind. That’s why you won’t feel the difference in installation, and you’ll still get German quality.

Do these windows meet US requirements?

Our US customers often ask whether windows from Europe with nailing fin are NFRC certified. This is a certification that determines, among other things, thermal performance parameters such as U-Factor. NFRC has, for example, the Aluplast Ideal 4000 window with nailing fin. Take a look at our blog article on European and American window parameters if you would like to learn more about how to read the specifications of a given profile.

Overview of windows from Europe with nailing fin

Windows with nailing fin are almost unknown in Europe. Fortunately, among the European systems offering nailing fin we can find several proposals. These include both vinyl and aluminum windows. Below you will find the most important information about European windows with nailing fin – information given on the example of a 1230 × 1480 mm tilt and turn reference window.

Aluplast Ideal 4000

  • price from: EUR 111
  • material: uPVC (vinyl)
  • fast production time
  • Uw 1,3 (U-Factor 0,23)
  • 2 panes
  • reduced frame height (lets in more light)
Aluplast Ideal 4000 Nailing Fin window profile

Aluprof MB-79N

  • price from: EUR 425
  • material: aluminum
  • bestseller among aluminum systems
  • Uw 1,3 (U-Factor 0,23)
  • max. glazing depth – 63 mm
  • 2 or 3 panes
Aluprof MB-79N profile

Aluprof MB-86N

  • price from: EUR 588
  • material: aluminum
  • dedicated to passive houses
  • winner of the ranking of aluminum windows in the “quality” category
  • Uw – from 0.84 (U-Factor 0.15)
  • several thermal variants
  • center seal
Aluprof MB-86N aluminum window profile

Aliplast Imperial

  • price: from 461 EUR
  • material: aluminum
  • Uw – 1.5 (U-Factor 0.26)
  • 2 panes
  • possibility of using concealed hinges
Aliplast Imperial window profile

Aliplast Superial

  • price: from EUR 601
  • material: aluminum
  • Uw – 1,05 (U-Factor 0,18)
  • 3 panes
  • high-quality Maco Multi-Matic hardware
Aliplast Superial window profile

Aliplast Max Light

  • price: from EUR 654
  • material: aluminum
  • Uw – from 0.84 (U-Factor 0.15)
  • 4 profile variants
  • concealed sash option
Aliplast Max Light Modern profile

When considering the use of windows from Europe in your project, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one type of window or installation method. It is up to you to decide which one you consider suitable for your investor’s building.

If you think you can handle installing windows the European way, you then have a very wide choice of aluminum, vinyl, wood or steel windows. For installation with nailing fin, you can use a much smaller number of profiles, but they are still German quality systems that will help you increase the profitability of your business.

about author

Bartek Michalak

I’m a co-owner of, a company specializing in helping construction professionals to profitably import windows from Poland. With a decade in the fenestration market, I excel at resolving customer issues and am adept at making complex window technology understandable for everyone. The expression of this is the website for which I’m responsible.

 I’m an enthusiast of analytical approaches and digitizing knowledge. In my personal life, I’m passionate about travel and continuous learning, currently diving into artificial intelligence and stock market investing.

Connect with me

recommended for you

cortizo cor vision window corner sample

7 reasons to order window corner samples

Find out if it's worth ordering a corner window sample and what benefits a simple window sample can bring to your company. If you're looking for a way to check the quality of a window, viewing a sample may be the solution.

read more

faq – who are we and what do we do?

At, we are experts in providing customized window solutions, including patio doors, blinds, entry, and garage doors, tailored to building professionals: developers, general contractors, architects, and construction project managers.   With over a decade of expertise in European windows, we specialize in assisting construction companies to import windows efficiently and profitably.   With debesto, you gain comprehensive, consultative partnerships designed to enhance your project’s success and minimize your business risk. Our customers appreciate most:
  • - cost-effectiveness
  • - deep business understanding
  • - secure on-site delivery
  • - timeliness
  • - exceptional communication and support
  • - incredibly smooth process
  Need more info? Check how to verify debestoRead what happens after booking a consultation

Delivery time

What is the lead time of an average order?

The total time from manufacture to delivery of the windows to the US port is on average 7-10 weeks depending on the destination port and delivery method that you can choose from debesto delivery price list.

Add to this the production time of the windows (from 2 to 8 weeks).

The maximum expected production time can be found on the pro forma invoice. We deliver 97% of all orders shipped worldwide according to the deadline we declare on the pro forma invoice. If we are late, we give you a 2% discount.

More questions about the delivery? Check Frequently Asked Questions about importing windows to the US

Warranty and safety

Do the products come with an international warranty?

Yes, products are covered by the debesto worldwide warranty, provided they are installed according to the professional standards and applicable regulations in the country of installation.

Are the windows insured during shipment?

Yes, all products are fully insured during transportation, covering the entire value of the products.

Any concerns about potential issues with windows from Poland? Discover 5 main reasons for complaints and ways to solve them

Want to know how much your business can gain by importing joinery from Poland?