Tilt and Turn Windows: What are They and Are They a Good Investment?

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 04/08/24 •  8 min read

With people taking charge of their own custom home building and renovations more window styles are now becoming popular and widely available. One type of windows that have long been a feature in homes across Europe and are now becoming increasingly popular elsewhere is tilt and turn windows.

What is a Tilt and Turn Window?

So, what is a tilt and turn window anyway? Tilt and turn windows are windows that open two ways. They can either tilt inwards at the top, as with hoppers, or open inwards from hinges on the side. When tilted, they provide draft-free ventilation and rain protection. When in the turn position, Tilt and turn windows work like casement windows, swinging their full glass area open.

Super secure and easy to maintain, there’s a lot to love about tilt and turns!

Their two-way turning is a pretty nifty feat of engineering, but despite this mechanical wizardry, tilt and turn windows still look sleek, with many styles offering hidden hinges and sashes.  This means their aesthetic can work very well in the modern home.

Tilt and turns also come in a range of sizes and dimensions to fit any space.  An excellent choice for small rooms such as bathrooms, this style of window allows you to ventilate even when you’re tight on space.

Modern tilt and turn windows really are built to last, with durable materials such as UPVC reducing the homeowners’ need to maintain their windows. Their manufacture means that they are extremely energy efficient and when you combine this with their attractive appearance, installation of tilt and turns can add value to your home.

What Is the Purpose of Tilt and Turn Windows?

The purpose of tilt and turn windows is to provide a two-way opening. The tilt position provides draft-free ventilation, rain protection and improved home security. The turn position provides all the advantages and benefits of a fully open window as it allows the full window pane to swing open.

If home security is high on your list of priorities, it may not be obvious, but a tilt and turn window may be a good choice.  The tilt position tilts the window inwards, allowing air to enter the property while the bottom half of the window remains securely closed.  The gap produced by tilting these windows is far too small for an intruder to enter through, but it still provides excellent ventilation.

If you’re someone who loves to fully open a window, that option is available too, in the turn position. When “urned you have access to the external side of the window panel, making for wonderfully simple cleaning. Tilt and turn windows therefore eliminate the need for a ladder when it comes to cleaning your upstairs windows, making them a great option for those with mobility issues and for people who live in a multistorey building.

Which Is Better: Tilt and Turn or Casement Windows?

Tilt and turn window frames are chunkier than those of casement windows, but they offer greater versatility and security. Casement windows only open outwards, whilst tilt and turns can be vented or swung inwards.  This inward opening has benefits when it comes to cleaning, but it can be problematic in terms of your interior decor placement.

Some homeowners will enjoy the classic casement window, and the outward swing allows for good ventilation.  Their outward opening doesn’t disturb any items you have on your window sills or bump into any furniture.  The risk with casement windows is that they can allow for easier access to your property from the outside.  If you opt for casement windows, check the terms of your home insurance policy to see what additional security measures you may need. 

Tilt and turn also offer excellent ventilation and when vented there are no intruder safety concerns.  However,  to allow lots of air in you will need to swing them inwards and because of this inward movement,  you need to think about where you place this type of window in your home – to allow for this swing.  If you like to line your window sills with ornaments, inward opening windows aren’t ideal!

Tilt and Turn windows on either side of picture window

Are Tilt and Turn Windows Energy Efficient?

Tilt and turn windows are extremely energy efficient thanks to good air seals and a durable design which prevents both draughts and leaks.  Homeowners find that this type of window encourages an ambient temperature in the home, allowing warming sunlight in during the day, whilst keeping the cooler air out overnight.

We’re all trying hard to be more energy-efficient and this not only helps the planet, it also helps our energy bills!  The Canadian Government states that inefficient windows can be a significant source of heat loss from the home.  Good quality tilt and turn windows will insulate your property, keeping the warm air inside your home during the cold months, as well as keeping the winter chill at bay. In the warmer months, save money cooling your home by using either of the two opening positions.

Double and even triple glazed UPVC, aluminum and timber tilt and turn windows can make a significant impact on the thermal efficiency of a home.  The ER (energy rating) of some of the widely available tilt and turn windows meet the figure of 34 or above and this allows them to achieve Energy Star certification, making them eligible for a Greener Home Grant.

Are Tilt and Turn Windows More Expensive?

Like for like, tilt and turn windows are more expensive than casement windows. It is the engineering involved in these dual opening windows that can make them more expensive.  However, if you shop around, there are some models which cost only slightly more than a casement window of the same size and material.

Tilt and turn windows are thicker than other window types, in fact their profile walls can be 1.5 times thicker!  Along with double or even triple glazing, steel core tubing and the mechanisms that allow opening and two points, the manufacture of this type of window can be more costly. You’re paying more for a good quality window but keep in mind that good quality windows won’t need to be replaced as soon as less durable options.

The energy efficiency of tilt and turns not only offers potential annual energy bill savings and the opportunity to apply for green grants to contribute to their cost, they also add value to your home. When you start “window shopping”, you’ll notice many manufacturers offer generous warranty periods on their tilt and turn windows, attributable to their notable high-quality design. The higher initial cost may be countered by energy savings and an improved home value.

How Big Can Tilt and Turn Windows Be?

Tilt and turn windows come in a variety of sizes and though standard dimensions are popular, you can purchase much larger models such as 5 feet by 8 feet.  Famed for their suitability for smaller spaces, the availability of more generous dimensions means that tilt and turns can also be the perfect choice for more expansive spaces.

Many people don’t realize that tilt and turns can be hung as double french units as well as single panels and this means you can create an impactful look, especially with the larger frames.  If you love the idea of big windows in a room, keep in mind that tilt and turns have thicker frames and some prefer the sleeker appearance of a casement or picture window when trying to achieve this aesthetic.

Something you’ll need to take into consideration is the clearance you’ll need for the inward opening.  Larger windows will need considerable space to allow them to open fully for ventilation or clearing, and therefore these are best suited to rooms of generous proportions. You’ll also need to make sure that you and other members of your family can still easily operate the larger windows as the handle is generally halfway up one side of the frame.

Conclusion: Are Tilt and Turn Windows for You?

Tilt and turn windows are really unbeatable when it comes to versatility and safety.  Not only can they offer you a practical ventilation solution in small rooms, striking natural light in larger spaces, and ease of cleaning in multi-storey properties, but they also are energy-efficient and require very limited maintenance.  Built to last, these windows are the antithesis of style over substance. 

If you’re still not sure if a tilt and turn window is right for your space, click here to see our list of the 13 most popular window styles for your home.

thewriteDuffy

At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.