Plantation shutters are one of those products that have been around longer than any of us have been alive. They have always been used for internal window coverings, however, historically they are probably better remembered as external window coverings particularly in European countries with extreme temperatures due to their installation factors. In more recent times, plantation shutters have become one of the most sought-after window furnishings on the market. This is due to their versatility in that you can control light and privacy, the insulation and sound reduction properties, and the fact that they look great on most windows. One of my favourite things about plantation shutters, which most people don’t consider, is the fact that they don’t blow around like a lot of blinds will when the window is open and there is some breeze coming through.
Plantation shutters come in a number of different materials and most companies out there will tell you that the one they are selling is the best. To a degree, this is correct, depending on the situation the shutters are being used for, what your budget is and what your expectations of the product are. Some of the materials you may come across include, but are not limited to; Basswood, Cedar, MDF, PVC, ABS, Poly resin and aluminium. All of these products have their own sets of pros and cons. They also come in varying degrees of quality within each material and the quality of the finished product will vary depending on what componentry is used.
Different brands will have different names for the various types of tilt system, however, most of them fall into three categories. The more traditional of these styles is where you have a solid tilt rod running down the centre of the louvres, so when you wish to tilt the louvres you simply move the tilt rod up and down to get your desired angle. This can also be set to one side of the louvres if you prefer.
Clearview tilt rods are probably the most common version on today’s shutters. These are usually fairly slim line aluminium or metal rods that run down the back of the louvres and hidden away to one side. The idea with this system is to turn one louvre while the others turning in synchronisation. These can also be on the front of the louvres used similarly to their heavier counterpart mentioned in the previous paragraph.
The invisible tilt system is when a gear system has been installed up and down the inside of the stiles, (side frame of the panels), which means there is no visible external tilt rod. As with the clearview tilt rod, the idea the idea is to turn one louvre with all the others turning at the same time.
Do you have an odd shaped window that you can’t figure out what furnishings to use? Whether it’s an arched window, angled window, round window or any number of other shapes, plantation shutters could be the answer for you.
Plantation shutters can be configured and a number of different ways to suit your needs. Some of these include hinged (think of them like cupboard doors), hinged bifold, bifold‘s on tracks, sliding on tracks or fixed panels. The method, material and componentry used will have a direct effect on the limitations, such as width of the panels, that can be used on any particular window. Some considerations to take into account here are what is going to be most practical for your situation, (what are you trying to achieve? Light/privacy?), how much space is available and what are the atmospheric conditions? (wet area, living area, outdoors area?)