May 05 , 2022

What are the Differences between American and European Style Tilt and Turn Windows?


What are the Differences between American and European Style Tilt and Turn Windows?

Casement windows are the most energy-efficient when compared with other operable window types, like double-hung or sliding windows. They, either open with a crank or swing to open, seal four sides tightly to the door frame. Also, they don’t rely on a track to slide open, so there is almost no air to flow once these windows are closed. Casement windows are capable to open to the full, allowing for obstructed views and a great amount of ventilation.

Casement windows swing open inside or outside in a horizontal direction. Among those types, two typical casement windows are American-style casement windows ( crank casement) and European-style tilt turn windows (tilt turn windows). Here are some side-by-side comparisons between those two window types.

Design Style

Crank casement windows are usually made of solid wood or a wood-clad aluminum frame with various styles of grilles, making them look peaceful and naturally beautiful. As for the screen, crank casement windows have their screens in front of the sashes. As for the sizes, crank casement windows are usually much taller than wider. Crank casement windows are designed in rustic style, which makes them good for classic buildings.

Tilt turn windows swing open completely into the home and swing back to close, like small doors. They usually are made of aluminum profile or wood-clad aluminum profile and have no grilles, which look clean and concise. Tilt turn windows have screens behind their sashes. As for the sizes, tilt turn windows are normally a little taller than wider or in square shapes. These windows look modern and good for modern-style housing.

Operation Mechanism

You hold the crank to rotate it in one direction and to open the crank casement windows to the full at 90 degrees, allowing for great ventilation and directly inviting warm sunshine. You rotate the crank back to the very beginning, then pull down the latch level to bring the sash closely to the frame. Crank casement windows use a crank to rotate and open outward and have screens in front of the sashes. As the crank is on the bottom part of the frame, kids and adults in wheelchairs can easily reach it, and crank casement windows are easy to operate for everyone. Kids won’t knock on the sash as it opens outward.

Tilt turn windows have two ways of opening with a handle. When you pull the handle, it swings horizontally open, like a door, and you swing in the opposite direction to close it. The second direction of swing is from the top. You turn the handle upward, and let the sash tilt down a few angles from the top, like a hopper. Therefore, a tilt turn window is more than a casement window but a multi-function window, and they are operated in one single handle in a single window. With two functions, many possibilities can be brought into your houses. When you want maximum ventilation and enjoy a good view outside, you can swing it open. When you want gentle ventilation or it’s rainy outside, you can open it from the top. Tilt turn windows are designed to be concise and practical. Unlike crank casement, the handle is in the middle of tilt turn windows, so it’s hard for children or adults in wheelchairs to reach. And you also need to be careful that kids might knock on sashes when it swings open into the home; it’s fine when it tits from the top.

Energy efficiency

Both crank casement and tilt turn windows are very energy efficient, and they seal very close to the window frame. When made with the same window frame and same glazing specifications, there are not many differences in energy efficiency between those two window types. Maybe there are a few differences that don’t deserve much attention.


The crank casement is secure with a rotation and a latch level to seal the sash close to the frame. As crank casement windows open outward, when it’s not on the first floor, you will need high-quality hardware to greatly support the sashes, leaving no choice like the sashes falling to cause any damage. As tilt-turn windows have more hinges on the side, so they are less likely to be opened from outside when locked. In this way, tilt turn windows are more secure than casement windows. What’s more, the sashes open inward, not outward, it won’t cause any accident like windows falling down the ground from the sashes and this is quite important in high buildings.

Interior Decoration

If you have some plants or other decoration on the window sills or have curtains, that will make no difference to crank casement windows ad they open outward. You can leave those where they are anytime. But they will have some differences for tilt turn windows. When you swing the tilt turn window open, you need to remove the decoration on the window will or close your curtain, so the sash won’t accidentally break them. For tilt-turn windows, it’s better to keep the sill empty and be careful with the interior decorations when you open them.


You need to regularly paint your wooden crank casement windows to maintain the beautiful wooden color. But you don’t need to paint your aluminum tilt turn windows, but just regular cleaning. As the crank casement opens outward, when your casement window is over 1 floor, it’s not that easy to clean the exterior sides of the sash, except cleaned by the rainwater. You will need a ladder to help you clean, but that can also be risky if the windows are still higher.

However, you can easily clean your tilt-turn windows on both sides of the sashes as they swing inside the house, making all the cleaning safe and an easy job. In this way, if the windows are installed on lower floors, say the first or second floor, it doesn’t make it much more difficult to clean either of them. When the floors get higher, it seems that tilt-turn windows take more advantage of safe cleaning.

Installation Method

Crank casement windows are usually manufactured with a nailing fin or nailing flange. With it, you can install the crank casement windows easily and require less installation cost. Tilt turn windows can also be produced with nailing fins. It’s a thing for easy installation, not some techniques that are hard to manufacture. Most window companies can have a nailing fin around the window frames when manufactured if required.

Are Tilt Turn Windows Better than Crank Casement Windows?

There is no simple answer to it. Whether a window is better than others or not, depends on many factors. One of them is your house style. If your house is on the lower floor, both crank casement windows and tilt turn windows are good for you. If on a higher floor, tilt turn windows are better options. Then are your preferences. There is no reason or no need to explain preference. What’s more, cost does matter. Budget is a good factor in whatever you buy. Make sure the cost can meet your budget for this project when considering everything. Always keep it within budget.

What are the Differences between American and European Style Tilt and Turn Windows?

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