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What type of frame should I choose for my shutters?

Yasmeen 8/14/2020 9:40:02 AM Buying and Fitting Shutters
Whether inside mount or outside mount, using a frame to mount your shutters makes for an easier install and will keep your panels aligned and supported for the long haul.

With many sizes and styles of frames available, there is sure to be one perfect for your windows. Here are a few points to consider when choosing plantation shutter frame types.

        Why are Frames Important?

Inside Mount


An L-Frame is the simplest profile and will not draw attention away from your shutters. An L-Frame is a square frame that fits completely inside the recess of your window opening.
You can mount it pushed back toward the glass, or flush with the edge of the wall.


You can even pull it out past the edge of the wall to extend the depth of your windows.

L-Frame Shutter Mount

L-Frames are great for windows with existing trim, or windows that do not have enough depth for your desired slat size.

Check out page 9 of our measuring guide to see the depth requirement for each slat size, and refer to the frame templates below that to see which frame will give you the depth needed, if your windows are not already deep enough.

  Inside Mount Measuring Guide >>


Z-Frames mount inside the recess of the window opening, but always sit flush with the edge of the fall and have a decorative overlapping trim that surrounds the opening.

This creates the look of a decorative trim or molding for windows that do not already have an existing trim. The bottom frame piece can be cut flat to accommodate a protruding windowsill at the bottom.

Sill cut for bottom frame instead of a 3-sided frame shutter, for extra support

Z-Frames will hide any gaps or imperfections due to variance within your window opening. Most windows are not perfectly square/level. So, if you find a lot of variance when measuring 3 spots for the width and height of each window, a Z-Frame will be a good choice and create a perfect look.


Our measuring guide will detail the width of the overlapping trim and design of each Z-Frame, as each material offers its own unique frames.

What is a Z-Frame? >>

Outside Mount


Outside mount L-Frames are the same style as the inside mount L-Frames, but the holes will be pre-drilled for the shutter to mount directly onto the wall or existing trim surrounding the window opening, not inside of a window recess.

The main difference will be in how you measure – be sure your measurements include the width of your selected frame. Refer to our frame templates in the outside mount measuring guide to ensure accurate measurements.

3-side inverted frame for an outside mount café style shutter

L-Frames are advisable for outside mount on windows that have existing decorative trim, or limited surface area available for mounting. You can also choose a depth of L-Frame that will accommodate your preferred slat size. The depth requirement chart is on page 10 of our outside mount guide.

   Outside Mount Measuring Guide >>

Deco Frame

A Deco Frame also mounts on the wall surrounding the window opening, extending the depth slightly, and acting in place of a decorative trim/molding.


We offer a variety of sizes of Deco Frame based on your personal preference and depending on if you are ordering wood or vinyl shutters.


You can cut out the frame templates from our measuring guide, printed to-scale, to help you visualize how the frame will look surrounding your window, and to help you take accurate measurements of the finished size including the frame.

              Choose Your Outside Mount Frame >>

Bullnose Drywall

For windows with rounded corners, you can still utilize either an inside mount or outside mount, depending on the recess depth of the window opening.

L-Frames will keep your bullnose edges uncovered and visible, or Z-Frames can hide the rounded edge, depending on your personal preference.

Check out our detailed blog post specific to bullnose windows for more information.

          How to Treat Windows with Bullnose Corners >>

Some windows will accommodate almost any style of frame, at which point it will come down to your personal preference. Other windows may be tricky, but rest assured we have seen our fair share of odd windows, and there is always a solution!

If ever in doubt on which frame is best for your windows, give us a call. Or better yet, email us a picture of your window! Our shutter experts are here to help ensure a successful journey from start to finish.

              Start Shopping >>


This post was brought to you by Yasmeen, one of The Shutter Store USA's experienced shutter consultants. Get in touch today for advice on finding the right shutter frames for your windows. Our friendly team of shutter experts are a call, chat or email away! Upload a picture of your windows with your order or send it in to our support team for help designing your perfect shutters. We are here to help!