Plantation Shutters: Central Tilt Rod vs. Hidden Tilt Rod

Yasmeen 7/16/2020 10:12:12 AM Ask Yasmeen, Inspiration
Plantation shutters feature slats (also called louvers) that rotate open and closed to control the level of privacy and sunlight in the room. All shutters have a tilt rod connecting the slats to one another so that multiple slats move up and down together at the same time. 

Tilt Rod Options

Traditional plantation shutters feature a central tilt rod, which is a narrow bar that goes down the middle of each shutter panel, used to raise and lower the slats. 

Plantation shutters with a central tilt rod 

We also offer a hidden tilt rod, discretely placed at the back of the panel, tucked in near the hinges, so it is not visible from inside the room. You would turn the slats by hand to open and close them. 

Plantation shutters with a hidden tilt rod

So why choose one over the other? 

Tilt Rod Demonstration >>


Central Tilt Rod Pros and Cons

The central tilt rod is the most traditional style, featured on classic plantation shutters. The central tilt rod is perfect for the cottage style or colonial style home. There is no additional charge for a central tilt rod. 

Utilizing the central tilt rod to open and close your slats will minimize fingerprints on your slats by not having to turn them by hand. The central tilt rod can be a little more challenging to dust around when cleaning your shutters. It may invite a curious toddler to pull the slats open and closed more frequently resulting in more frequent maintenance required, though maintenance is very simple. 

Central tilt rod on the front of a shutter panel

If the shutters will be installed in a shower or wet or damp area, the staples that connect the tilt rod to your slats may be prone to rust, as they are metal. Again, these are easy to swap out if necessary. 

Central Tilt Rod Maintenance >>

Another thing to consider is the number of panels in your window. If you have multiple, narrow shutter panels, the central tilt rod can tend to look a bit busy and block a bit of the view out of your slats. If you have 3 panels folding to one side, the 2nd and 3rd panel that face one another when folded open will not lay completely flat when the central tilt rods butt up against one another. 


Hidden Tilt Rod Pros and Cons

The hidden tilt rod offers a more modern look, great for contemporary décor. This option keeps your view free and clear, and minimizes the amount of lines for a clean, sleek look. There is a 10% surcharge for a hidden tilt rod. 

Having a hidden tilt rod means rotating the slats open and closed by hand, which can result in more fingerprints on the shutter. However, this style is easier to clean with nothing in the way of wiping down the slats with a duster or cloth. 

 Hidden tilt rod on the back of a shutter panel

The hidden tilt rod is a thinner metal rod allowing it to be concealed on the back of the panel. Because of this, the factory may need to split the tilt rod for taller windows, to avoid having too many slats on one rod. 

The beauty of the split tilt rod feature is that you can move the upper and lower slats independently without adding a mid-rail. This allows you to keep the bottom closed for privacy, and the top open to let in light, without adding any solid divider rail. You can allow the factory to split the rod at their discretion or provide us with a custom location to split the hidden tilt rod for no additional charge.
For shutters in a shower or damp environment, the hidden tilt rod is most advisable to prevent rust associated with the staples on the central tilt rod. Though the hidden rod is also metal, if you keep the slats tightly closed, this will limit the exposure of the rod to any moisture. 

The hidden rod is connected with small screws or nails that are also easily replaced if maintenance is needed over time. 

Hidden Tilt Rod Maintenance >>

For windows with multiple shutter panels, the hidden tilt rod will keep the view as open as possible and allow the panels to fold flat against one another. 

Still unsure which tilt rod option to choose? Send in a photo of your window or give us a call to discuss the design with one of our shutter experts. Check out our online photo galleries for inspiration. 

Gallery >>


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This post was brought to you by Yasmeen, one of The Shutter Store USA's experienced shutter consultants. Contact our team today for advice on finding the right shutters for your windows. If you're still unsure what type of tilt rod to opt for, we're here to help every step of the way!