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Casement or Sliding Windows: Which to Choose?

31 October 2022

The type of opening is one of the variables that must be considered when choosing a window. There are different openings, which can be divided into two broad categories: casement windows or sliding windows?

Installing new windows in a home involves an important choice, as they represent a small investment for the future. The common need is to want windows that are durable and long-lasting, that are easy to maintain and that help maintain high energy efficiency, positively influencing the heating and cooling costs of the home.

When the time comes to choose a window , one thinks about design, choice of glass and material. On this last point, we suggest a closer look at the difference between aluminium and PVC. The type of opening of a window frame is equally important as it has a great impact on practicality, safety and living comfort.

Casement windows or sliding windows?

To simplify, windows can be classified into two macro-categories with regard to their opening:

  • Hinged windows, with a sash rotation movement;
  • Sliding windows, with a sliding movement of the sashes.

Casement windows

Casement windows are windows consisting of a frame and one or more sashes that open by pivoting around hinges. It is the most commonly used type of window because it has many advantages, including ease of cleaning and easy air exchange.

There are different types of casement opening. One of the most popular is the tilt&turn opening, thanks to which, by simply turning the handle at different angles, it is possible to open the sash completely, or only partially on its upper side.

METRA Building’s balcony doors and casement doors combine the robustness of the aluminium structure with the implementation of the most advanced technologies. Prepared for home automation, they feature different finishes and opening types. They are made entirely of aluminium because it is a material that has many advantages: lightness, robustness, aesthetics, brightness, and a lifespan2 even double that of PVC frames.

Sliding windows

Sliding sashes are windows consisting of a frame and one or more sashes that slide horizontally along parallel tracks on the lower frame.
This window can be concealed in the wall, but often simply one of the sashes overlaps the other, halving the space occupied.
Sliding can be via simple sliding carriages or via a ‘lift and slide’ mechanism. In this case, rotation of the handle causes a slight raising of the sash, which slides on guides complete with gasket.

METRA Building’s balcony doors and casement doors have a very solid structure that slides on two or three tracks, with very high-level mechanics, they guarantee considerable brightness and are also ready for home automation for a designer home. Thanks to the choice of aluminium as the material of construction, they can be customised in an unlimited variety of finishes.

Which to choose between casement and sliding windows?

Both types of opening have characteristics that are quite variable and should be considered on the basis of one’s own needs.

Thermal and acoustic insulation

Both casement and sliding windows perform very well in terms of thermal insulation and soundproofing. The single casement window is perhaps the most efficient in this respect.

Burglar-proof security

Casement and sliding windows provide a considerable sense of security in the home. It does not depend so much on the type of opening as on the choice of glass4 and the material used to make the frame, which, especially when made of aluminium, contributes to making the window impenetrable.

Window dimensions

Classic casement windows can consist of one, two or even several sashes that open by turning on their hinges, thus creating windows that can reach considerable sizes.
If this is not the case, it is better to opt for sliding windows, the glazed surface of which can also be large. The aluminium frame is particularly robust and supports large glazing thanks to its high robustness, despite the fact that it is a ductile and light material.

Space requirements

By turning on their hinges, casement window sashes open either to the outside or to the inside of the house. In both cases, this type of opening can be disadvantageous in terms of bulk. In the case of outward opening, which is in any case rather rare, there would be no possibility of installing shutters, blinds or other shading elements.

Moreover, this solution would be very impractical in the case of houses facing the street on the ground floor. The more common inward opening generates a cluttered interior, stealing space from the room and preventing the placement of furniture elements near the window. However, this is a minimal footprint, which can be further reduced by installing sashes that open 180°.

This is not the case with sliding windows. They open on their own axis. Obviously, the footprint caused by the sliding tracks must be considered, but this is minimal, especially with a slim material such as aluminium. In general, it can be said that sliding windows are more suitable for smaller rooms, where the lack of space occupied by the sashes could make the difference in space management and optimisation.

Room ventilation

Although in different ways, all types of casement windows open to ensure effective air exchange within rooms. They allow the sash(es) to open fully for rapid ventilation of the room. In contrast, a bottom-hung window opens only about 10-15 centimetres, but this allows it to open, and thus the air exchange, even in bad weather.
The ideal combination of both openings is the tilt-and-turn window, which can be used to adjust ventilation according to one’s needs.

The sliding window also naturally allows excellent ventilation. However, unless it is a window whose sashes disappear completely into the wall, it must be considered that at least one sash will remain closed (the open one will overlap it), thus presenting an average opening width of half that of the casement window.

Cleaning convenience

The bottom-hung window, a type of casement window, allows for proper cleaning of the glass and the frame thanks to the possibility of enabling full 180° opening.
Sliding windows are easy to clean from the outside as they face streets, balconies, or outdoor spaces.

Design and brightness

Both sliding and casement windows lend themselves very well to any architectural and aesthetic style, although perhaps the latter are better suited to more classical houses and the former to more modern ones5. In terms of brightness, sliding windows are generally larger, allowing more sunlight to enter the rooms.

Speaking of design and brightness, the choice of aluminium makes both solutions perfect for any style. With its clean design and ease of customisation, it guarantees increased brightness and a wealth of style and personality.

Using professionals to choose between sliding and casement windows

At the beginning of the article, we talked about the choice of windows and doors as a long-term investment to make one’s home functional and aesthetically pleasing. It is a choice that must be well thought out, because there are so many variables that come into play.
Beyond the choice of glass and materials, it is important to opt for the right window opening in the various rooms of the house, each of which may have very different requirements. In this case, the advice is to rely on the experts in the sector, who can offer advice on what best meets the needs.

METRA Building is a highly experienced Italian company that manufactures casement and sliding windows able to offer different types using the most advanced technology available.

All METRA Building windows are made of aluminium, the material with the greatest advantages for window, and can be finished to meet any aesthetic requirement.