Used as a connecting element between indoors and outdoors they allow French doors to be fitted with large format glazing thus opening up the interior space to the surrounding world. International architects discovered the large-format window early on and have long been integrating spacious window frontages to provide a central design element for detached premises. The balcony or the patio door is the window profile which is most frequently selected and this is equipped with the modern tilt-and-turn fittings in the majority of situations. The French door with tilt-and-turn technology is ideally suited as the glazing of choice when stepping out onto one’s balcony or patio.
Tilt-and-turn fittings allow single-handed operation of balcony or patio doors. The fittings are operated by means of a handle or lever which can be set into a number of positions: turn, tilt and lock positions. To turn or to open the window the handle is set into a horizontal position and turned downwards to close and lock.
However, by turning the handle upwards the window allows itself to be tilted. Using tilt-and-turn fittings any balcony or patio door can be tilted to allow airing but the French door can also be completely opened or closed. The tried and trusted tilt-and-turn technology is that which is most used in building projects as well as in residential structures as window fitting.
The tilt-and-turn technology is ideally suited for all types of window material qualities such as aluminium, wood or uPVC. Among the particular features of the modern tilt-and-turn fitting is is the flush installation:
These fittings are only just visible when the French door is open or tilted. A part of the construction is actually embedded into the window profile or in the profile beading within the door itself. Except for the design construction für allowing it to bear larger forces the tilt-and-turn fittings of a French door are not a great deal different to those used in conventional windows.
French doors equipped with tilt-and-turn mechanisms are available in single, double and triple sash forms.
The usual glazing recommended for detached and semi-detached properties or for special project buildings can be provided for the different material qualities on offer: aluminium with wood, wood and uPVC. One of the most popular materials for windows and French doors is certainly uPVC with its easy-to-clean surfaces.
Most French doors for balcony and patio installed today with turn-and-tilt technology consist of rigid profiles of several chambers and multiple glazing to produce ideal thermal insulation. It should be mentioned that uPVC French windows are also extremely well suited for inclusion in so-called passive houses.
The uPVC balcony or patio door with tilt-and-turn fittings is becoming the standard model for modern residential building and represents an economic as well as a low-maintenance glazing.
The current trend is towards the French door of wood construction, which has shown to be reliable in exclusive facade designs. The composite aluminium and wooden profile version has a wooden window on the inside which is protected against the elements by a shell of aluminium on the outside. In contrast to wooden doors the composite doors of wood and aluminium require no regular surface treatment on the outside.
Modern French doors leave nothing to be desired when it comes to overall energy efficiency: window profiles with up to six separate chambers mean that, depending on actual model, effective thermal insulation is possible to values of Uw = 0.71 W. Especially efficient profiles are characterised by their filling consisting of thermal foam.
One of the advantages of the French door equipped with tilt-and-turn fittings is without doubt the easy handling. Today, many sliding French doors are also fitted with a tilt mechanism. For window frontages of conventional size the tilt-and-turn French door represents a low-cost solution which is also one of the most popular.