How do Shutters Work? Shutter Parts Explained

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Shutters Glossary

Shutter Parts - Simply Explained

The Shutter Store takes the fear out of buying shutters – our customers consistently tell us how they value our ‘no nonsense’ approach to buying shutters. At every stage of the process we try to make designing, ordering shutters and installing your shutters an easy and enjoyable process. As such, it’s important to understand all the different constituent parts that go to make up your shutters.

The shutter glossary below explains clearly the different parts that make up your shutters. It’s a god place to start, before you embark upon your shutters ordering process but if you get confused at any time when ordering your shutters just refer back to the shutter terms listed below.

Remember – if at any time when shopping on our shutters website, you are confused, we are here to help. Be sure to call us or email us with any questions you may have about your plantation shutters.

The Shutter Panel – The shutter panel is the main part of the shutter installation. The panel is the rectangular section that is hinged to open up. It contains moveable horizontal pieces of wood (called louvers or slats). (The Shutter Store also sells solid shutters where the panels have no moveable slats, but instead are completely solid.) All panels are custom made to the exact dimensions of your window and your preferred design.

Shutter Frames Most shutters are ordered with a shutter frame. The shutter panels are mounted inside this frame. The frame is mounted onto the window (or inside the window recess) and creates a perfectly ‘right angled’ shape for the shutter panels to mounted. The shutter frame can be 2,3 or 4 sided.

The Shutters Stile The shutter panels comprises the rails, louvers and stiles. The Shutter stiles are the upright, vertical sections of solid wood. The shutter louvers rotate between the shutter stiles. The Shutter Store allows you to choose different sizes of stile to suit you design requirements.

Shutters diagram
Shutter regular rod diagram

Shutter Louvers - Louvers are horizontal pieces of wood which form the major constituent part of the shutter panel. Shutter louvers tilt through almost a 360 degree rotation with the effect that you can darken the room substantially, tilt to louvers to gain privacy / control light into the room or angle the shutter louvers to 90 degrees to have a clear view out, between the louvers. Shutters louvers are also known as shutter blades and shutter slats. The Shutter Store gives you the choice of ordering shutters with 1 7/8”, 2 1/2”, 3 1/2” and 4 1/2” louvers.

Shutter Top and Bottom Rails The shutters rails are the solid sections of the shutter panel at the top and bottom of the panel, giving the shutter panel it’s form, structure and stability. The size of the shutters top and bottom rail is designed to be in proportion to the overall size of the shutter - designed to be discreet to complement the overall design, while not compromising the strength and stability of the shutter panel.

Shutter Divide / Mid Rail - Running horizontally within the shutter panel, the shutter divide rail (also known as the shutter mid rail) is required on panels over a certain height (62”) to give strength to the panel construction. It is also a good feature in the panel design to give separate control of the shutter louvers on the upper and lower portions of the panel. For more information, read our shutter design guide for more shutters design advice.

Shutter Tilt Rod (Push Rod) The tilt rod is the horizontal piece of wood or metal which links the shutters louvers together and allows all louvers linked by that particular rod to open and close in unison. The shutters tilt rod can be ordered on the front of the panel, running down the center of the slats, on the front of the panel, offset to the side or completely hidden at the rear of the shutters.

Shutter Split Rod
Refers to a design where the louvers tilt rod is divided at a specified point. This allows the louvers to tilt independently on the upper and lower sections of the panel.

Shutter Open Sky Rod
The open sky rod is the term given to shutters which have the louver rod hidden at the rear of the shutter panel. To open and close slats with open sky rods you simply hold any one of the louvers and all louvers attached with that rod will open in unison. Open Sky Shutters are popular if you want a cleaner, simpler line on your shutters. For more information, read the shutters design tips section of our site.

Shutters Mouse Hole Plantation shutters which have a regular louver tilt rod on the front of the panels have a small indentation on the top and bottom rails where the tilt rod rests when the slats are closed flat.

Click here to take a look at our plantation shutters store, it all makes sense when you see the shutters in front of you in our simple to use system.

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