When fitting plantation shutters
, you can install them as either an inside or outside mount.
Inside mount fits inside the recessed depth of a window opening.
Outside mount attaches to the wall or trim surrounding a window opening, keeping the inside of the recess completely clear.
While many people expect inside mounts to be easier and more aesthetically pleasing, this is not always the case. There are several benefits to an outside mount:
- Extend depth
- Hide imperfections or gaps
- Keep tilt-in function
- Avoid obstructions
- Great for casement windows or patio doors
- Cover French Doors
- Minimize light blockage
Let’s look at each of these benefits a little more in-depth.
Outside mount is perfect for windows with limited or no recess depth. The outside mount shutter frame pushes the shutter panels out into the room past the window opening. This gives more clearance for the slats to fully rotate open and closed without hitting the glass. Our frames come in varying sizes and depths so you can select one to accommodate your preferred slat size.
The teal frame in this picture is an outside mount, pushing the shutter away from the glass to allow enough clearance for the slats to operate.
Hide imperfections or gaps
When you measure your window opening in multiple spots, you may find that it is not perfectly square/level. This is quite common, but depending on how much variance you have, it can make inside mount shutter installation trickier.
To avoid having to shim/caulk large gaps, you can use an outside mount frame which will hide the variance in the window opening.
Maybe you want to cover an old trim or replace it with a decorative shutter frame. Outside mount is perfect for this since you can measure for the frame to cover the desired area.
An outside mount frame can be used to fully or partially cover existing window trim or hide any variance/ imperfection in a window opening.
Keep tilt-in function
If your windows tilt in for cleaning, inside mount frames will likely block that tilt-in function. If you do not want to lose that function, consider an outside mount.
Since outside mount shutters fit entirely outside of the window recess, you can simply open the shutter panels to access and tilt the windows in for cleaning.
An inside mount frame can block your window from tilting in for cleaning.
An outside mount frame keeps the inside of the window opening clear, allowing you to use the tilt-in function.
Some windows have a deep recess, but have obstructions such as crank handles, alarm sensors, or locks that can get in the way of an inside mount installation. In these cases, an outside mount is the perfect solution.
Outside mount is usually recommended for casement windows and patio doors. Even if the cranks and locks are deeply recessed in your casement window, an inside mount frame can prevent you from turning the crank or raising the lever to unlock the window.
Sliding glass door handles usually prevent an inside mount for patio door shutters, but you can use an outside mount frame around the left, right, and top sides (keeping the bottom clear so you can step outside).
Use an outside mount to avoid any obstructions like handles or locks.
Cover French Doors
French doors have little to no recess – usually the glass is flush with the door itself. For French Doors, we always recommend an outside mount. We also offer a French door cut-out
to accommodate doors with hardware that sits close to the glass.
Minimize light blockage
For windows that are very short or very narrow, an inside mount shutter can cover too much of the opening. Think about the space the frame takes up, plus the solid top and bottom rails, and solid vertical stiles on each panel. (Learn more about these terms in our glossary
For small windows, an outside mount extends the size of the shutter, so it covers a wider area. This can increase the number of slats, or width of each slat, allowing more light through when the slats are open.
Since outside mount shutters are measured to fit outside of the window opening, the slats reveal more light than an inside mount shutter would.
On top of the benefits we just discussed, outside mount is more forgiving in terms of how accurate your measurements need to be for a successful install. With custom made-to-measure shutters, this may be the greatest benefit of all. The key is to provide us with the outside finished dimensions, per our outside mount measuring guides.
See how to install outside mount shutters in our video below
If you are unsure whether inside mount or outside mount is best for your window opening, check out the Design & Measuring sections of our video guides. Send us a picture to get advice from our shutter experts. We are here to help!
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 your shutters. We're here to help!