If you’re considering investing in plantation shutters for your home, understanding the product will make the buying process go even smoother. Keep reading for everything you need to know about plantation shutters.
Plantation Shutter Parts: Tilts and Midrails
Standard and Hidden Tilt: The slats that open and close to allow light in are called louvers, and they operate by the movement of the tilt rod. The tilt operation can work as either a standard piece or hidden. A standard tilt has a bar that runs in a vertical position to the center of the shutter panel. This is attached to the shutter by staples. Moving it up or down makes the louvers open up or close. Some people prefer not to see the tilt rod. In that case, the hidden tilt option, with the tilt operation place in back and shifted to the side, will work well. This louver operation can be accomplished just by pressing on the louvers to open or close the blind, instead of using the tilt rod. This approach gives a very clean look to the shutters.
The Midrail: A midrail (or divider rail) is also an option. This rail runs horizontally, and lets the louvers on top open separately from those on the bottom. This is very helpful when the sun is shining in directly, as the top portion can be closed while the bottom stays open.
New Buyer Tips
When looking for plantation shutters, some people may try to tell you that they are the same as “traditional” shutters. They are not. Traditional shutters are seldom used in modern installations. Instead, most people prefer to let in lots of light and keep the outside view open.
When you go shopping for shutters, you should ask about the following:
- Tension adjustment screws. Without them, you may face issues with drooping louvers in the future.
- Mortised hinges have a better appearance than other types of hinges.
- The type of wood used. Pine wood tends to bleed sap and should be avoided.
- Rabbited edges to prevent light gaps in the center.
- Side-rails that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick, in order to avoid panel warping.
- Check your BBB and ask for references. Not all shutter companies are equally trustworthy.
This type of shutter is more of an architectural element than a functional window treatment in this bathroom. The louvers create horizontal lines that are soothing to the eye.
The Manufacturing Process for Plantation Shutters
The shutter manufacturing process is intricate and requires superior craftsmanship in order to create a beautiful product. Keep reading to learn about the steps that happen once you’ve made your decision:
- Final Measure: There may be some tuning needed as to the size of the shutters, which is why installers may be needed. Installers will start by final measuring the windows. The measurements will go down to the 32nd of an inch, to ensure the shutters fit perfectly.
- In Production/Specialty: After the final measurements are taken, production, including building and assembly, begins. After that they will be painted or go to the specialty department for modifications, including cut outs, arch tops, sunbursts or a hidden tilt.
- In Paint: After being built, the shutters will be finished by painters. Most clients choose paint that matches the house trim. We recommend Sherman Williams brand paint (SW), in the most common color of 7006, Extra White.
Installation for Plantation Shutters
- Pre-miter: Before installation, the installer will have already used a miter saw to miter the frame corners so they line up perfectly and hold the shutters in place just right.
- Louver Tension: Once shutters are in place the installer will instruct you as to how to adjust the louver tension with a Phillips Head screwdriver. This is necessary as the wood may loosen after installation. The shutters have tension screws in the panel on both sides. They can be tightened or loosened with a simple right or left turn of the screws on both sides of the panel.
Different Shutter Styles At A Glance
Shutters By Design makes any style of plantation shutter possible. If you are wondering what the possibilities are, we recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our mater installers so you can explore your options. Here are just some of the popular shutter innovations at a glance:
- Arched Top Shutters – Adds an arch on top of a window, a unique twist on top of a classic design.
- Café-Style Shutters – Half the window is covered with café-style shutters. This lets the light in, while still offering privacy.
- Clerestory Shutters – If windows are high above eye level, they’re called clerestory windows. In order to achieve a uniform look throughout your home, your clerestory shutters should also have plantation shutters installed.
- Contemporary Shutters – Shutters often have a traditional feel, but that’s not always the case. Having the shutter reach all the way up to the ceiling will give a window a modern feel.
- Door shutters– If a door has a glass panel, plantation shutters are a good choice. For a bathroom door, the shutter can be closed for privacy or opened to allow light through.
Traditional vs. Plantation – What’s The Difference
If you’re wondering about the difference between traditional shutters and plantation shutters, traditional shutters have smaller and narrower louvers. They are more often found in the New England states, though they are rarely installed today. Most homeowners prefer plantation shutters that allow more light to enter and that afford a better view of the outside.
Secure Your Shutters Today!
Plantation shutters can be the perfect way to enhance your home and with the Shutters By Design team, there are no limitations. If you can dream it, we can do it. Call us today or send us a message online to set up a consultation to discuss your vision for your home.