What are the parts of a plantation shutter?

plantation shutter parts

By Jason Su | Updated: April 26, 2023

Plantation shutters have been a popular choice for window coverings for decades due to their timeless style and versatility.

They not only provide privacy and light control, but also add value to your home.

Plantation shutters come in different sizes, styles, and materials.

No matter what types, plantation shutters are typically made up of several different parts (Louver, Frame, Stile, Rail, Tilt rod, T post) and the necessary accessories that work together to create a smooth and reliable operation.

In this article, we will discuss the various parts of a plantation shutter and their functions.

(You can quickly understand the parts of a plantation shutter by watching the following five-minute video)

the parts of plantation shutters exploded view

Louver

Louvers, be known as blades or slats, are the main part of the plantation shutters. They are the panel components that rotate to offer control over the light and view.

Louvers of plantation shutters

The blades of plantation shutters are designed to be wider than those of traditional shutters, typically ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 inches in width. The wider blades offer more flexibility in terms of light and privacy control and give the shutters a modern and sophisticated look.

Shutters view with 2.5" louver
2.5" louver
Shutters view with 3.0" louver
3.0" louver
Shutters view 3.5 louver
3.5" louver
Shutters view with 4.5" louver
4.5" louver

The blades are designed to rotate open or closed to control the amount of light and airflow that enters a room, as well as to adjust the direction of light and privacy.

One of the key benefits of plantation shutters is their versatility, as the blades can be adjusted to allow for maximum natural light, complete privacy, or anything in between. The blades can also be tilted to control the direction of light and reduce glare or to allow for ventilation while maintaining privacy.

Overall, louvers are the spirit of plantation shutters, providing both practical and aesthetic benefits to homeowners looking to add a touch of elegance and functionality to their windows.

Frame

The frame of plantation shutters refers to the outer border or edge that surrounds the panels of the shutter. It provides structural support and attaches the shutter to the window frame or opening.

Frame of plantation shutters

The frame of plantation shutters can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, or metal, and may come in different styles and shapes depending on the manufacturer and the design of the shutter. The most common types of frames are L-shaped and Z-shaped frames.

L-shaped frames have a flat edge that sits against the window frame, while the other edge wraps around the outside of the shutter panel. Z-shaped frames have a similar design, but with a slightly different shape that provides more depth for the panel to fit into.

poly shutter components - 2.5" Monterey Z Frame for window shutters
3.0" Crown Z
poly shutter components - Classic Z Frame
Classic Z
poly shutter components - Deco Z Frame for interior shutters
Deco
poly shutter components - 1.5" Small Z Frame
Small Z
poly shutter components - Monterey Z Frame
Monterey Z
poly shutter components - Deco L Frame
Deco L
poly shutter components - Straightness Z Frame
Straightness
poly shutter components - 2.0" Ogee L frame
Ogee L
poly shutter components - Large bullnose Z Frame
Bullnose Z
poly shutter components - Beaded L Frame
Beaded L
poly shutter components - Colonial Z Frame
Colonial Z
poly shutter components - Face Fit L Frame
Face Fit L

The frame of plantation shutters can also come with additional features, such as a hidden tilt rod or hidden hinges, which provide a cleaner and more streamlined look. Ultimately, the choice of frame will depend on the design and style of the shutter, as well as the preferences of the homeowner.

Stile

Stile are the vertical sections of a plantation shutter panel that runs along the right and left sides. They are connected together with top rails, bottom rails and sometimes middle rails or divider rails.

Stiles of plantation shutters

They hold the nylon bushing or louver pin that the louver rotates on. Stiles come in a variety of materials likes wood, poly and aluminum.

Stile types: butt stile, rabbeted stile, or astragal stile.

  • Butt stile, also known as suqare stile, is a type of stile that is simply cut square and flush with the edge of the shutter. It is the most basic and straight forward type of stile.
  • Rabbeted stile has a groove cut into the edge of the stile to allow the shutter panels to overlap and fit into the groove.
  • Astragal stile or D-mould, has a molding or strip on it and overlaps a butt stile in the center to cover the gap between the two panel when they are closed.

In addition to providing structural support, the stiles also feature decorative elements or detailing, such as beaded or flat designs.

Fauxwood Shutter components - 2" Solid Beaded Square Stile for pvc plantation shutters from plantation shutter materials factory and supplier
Butt Stile
Poly 2" Solid Beaded Rabbet Stile for pvc shutters from plantation shutter materials factory and supplier
Rabbtted Stile
Celuka synthetic 2" Solid Beaded Astragal Stile for poly shutters from plantation shutter materials factory and supplier
Astragal Stile

The shape and design of the stile can also affect the overall appearance of the shutters and complement the architectural style of the building.

Rail

Rails are the horizontal part of the shutter panel that connects the stiles (vertical parts of the frame).

Every panel has a top rail and a bottom rail, or middle rail(s) / divider rail(s) if the panel is too high, depending on the type and design of the plantation shutter.

Rail of plantation shutters

The rail plays an important role in the functionality of the plantation shutter. It allows the louvers to be rotated and adjusted to control the amount of light and privacy. The size and shape of the rail can also affect the overall aesthetic of the shutter, and can be customized to match the design of the room or window.

The design of the rail determines the closure of the blades, depending on the degree of blade closure, generally there are two types of rails: Single closing rail and Dual closing rail.

  • Single closing rail: The blades are closed upwards by default and they are rotated in the range of 0°-270°, with single closing rail, there will be 30° gap when the blades are rotated to the bottom.
  • Dual closing rail: The blades can be rotated within 0°-360°, whether up or down the blade will be completely closed.
PVC plantation shutters Single Closing type
Single Closing
PVC plantation shutters Dual Closing type
Dual Closing

The shape and design of the stile can also affect the overall appearance of the shutters and complement the architectural style of the building.

Tilt rod

Tilt rod is a vertical bar on the plantation shutter that is used to control the angle of the louvers. When the tilt rod is turned, it rotates the louvers in unison to allow more or less light into the room, or to adjust the level of privacy. The tilt rod is usually attached to the louvers with taples or screws that allow it to rotate the louvers without obstructing the view or interfering with their movement.

Tilt rod of plantation shutters

There are four types of tilt rods commonly used in plantation shutters: traditional center, off-set, clearview and hidden.

  • Center tilt rod is positioned in the center and front of the shutter panel, all the louvers are combined between the top and bottom rails or divider rails.
  • Off-set tilt rod is placed in the right or left side of the shutter panel, both center and off-set tilt rod are visible from the front of the shutter and add a classic look to the window treatment.
  • Clearview tilt rod is a much smaller aluminum or plastic bar, it is concealed behind the shutter panel on the hinged side. Clearview tilt rod gives a greater view through the shutter when the louvers are open. And provides additional strength and durability and is the easiest to maintain.
  • Hidden Tilt rod has no visible tilt rod. This sophisticated tilt system is completely enclosed in the stile. The internal gear system consists of a thin metal (or plastic) rack that is attached to each individual louver by pinions within the shutter panel, and is located inside the stile of the panel.
plantation shutters with centre tilt rod
Center
plantation shutters with tilt rod offset
Off-set
plantation shutters with clearview tilt rod
Clearview
plantation shutters with hidden tilt rod
Hidden

T Post

T-post is a vertical holding post that is used to provide additional support for plantation shutters. Not all the shutters have T-post but they are a necessary part for large windows. T-posts are installed at regular intervals along the length of the shutter to prevent sagging or bending.

T Post of plantation shutters

In fact, in addition to vertical T-posts, sometimes we also see horizontal T-posts in Tier on Tier shutters.

Bay posts and corner posts are two special types of vertical support posts used in 135 degree bay window and 90 degree corner window.

PVC Shutter components - 1.25" poly T post for window shutters
T Post
PVC Shutter components - Reinforced Corner Post for plantation shutters corner window
Corner Post
PVC Shutter components - Reinforced Bay Post from plantation shutter materials factory and supplier
Bay Post

T-posts (as well as bay and corner posts) are an important part of the installation process for plantation shutters, as they help to distribute the weight of the shutter evenly and prevent the shutter from warping or becoming misshapen over time. The number and spacing of T-posts required for a particular installation will depend on the size and weight of the shutter, as well as the materials used in its construction.

Accessories

Plantation shutters typically use a variety of hardware components to function properly. Here are some common plantation shutter hardware components:

  • Louver pins: These small pins hold the louvers in place and allow them to pivot.
  • Tilt rods: A tilt rod is used to adjust the angle of the louvers, typically by rotating a bar that runs down the center of the shutters.
  • Hinges: Hinges are used to attach the shutter panels to the window frame or surrounding trim. They can be either surface-mounted or mortised into the wood.
  • Magnets and catches: These are used to hold the shutters closed when not in use.
  • Tension screws: Tension screws are used to adjust the tightness of the louvers, ensuring that they remain in place when the shutter is opened or closed.
  • Assembly hole plugs: are used to cover the screw holes on the face of the shutter panels that are left after installation.
  • End caps: are small plastic parts that are used to cover the ends of the stiles which usually have aluminum tube insert.
  • For bypass and by-fold shutters, we will need somes extra hardwares, likes tracks, track stop, pivot, wheel carrier, spring loaded guide, spanners .etc.
Tension Pins for plantation shutters
Tension Pins
Tension screws on plantation shutters
Tension screws
Clearview tilt rod on shutters
Clearview tilt rod
Assemblly hole plug on shutters
Assembly hole plug
Non Mortise Butt Hinges on plantation shutters
Butt Hinges
End caps on shutters
End caps
embedded magnets on plantation shutters
Magnets
wheel carrier for bi fold and sliding shutters
Wheels carrier

The specific hardware components used in plantation shutters may vary depending on the manufacturer and design of the shutters.

In conclusion, plantation shutters are made up of several parts that work together to provide a functional and aesthetically pleasing window treatment. Whether you are looking for a classic wooden shutter or a modern PVC option, understanding the parts of a plantation shutter can help you make an informed decision. By considering the different options of frame, louvers, frame, stile, rail and tilt rod, you can choose the perfect plantation shutter for your home or office.

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Market Development Manager at Toroyal Shutters - Jason Su

Jason Su

Market Development Manager

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