Traditional plantation shutters have a fairly simple design. Plantation shutters are normally made up of a set of full-length vertical panels, and can be divided into four main parts:
- The horizontal slats found on the top and bottom of the shutter are called the ‘rails’.
- Some plantation shutters may also contain one or more horizontal rails in the center, dividing the plantation shutter into separate tiers.
- Situated on the sides are vertical ‘stiles’.
- ‘Louvers’ are the parallel slats located between the stiles, which are able to be tilted and adjusted to let in more or less light. Louvers can come in a number of various sizes and shapes.
The ’tilt pole’ is the mechanism that controls the movement of the louvers. These also come in various styles.
- Single tilt rods are one continuous, vertical pole connecting and controlling all the louvers simultaneously.
- A split tilt pole is exactly that: a tilt rod split into individual pieces. This allows separate control of many tiers found on one shutter panel, for example, adjusting the top tier to allow in more light, while keeping a lower tier’s louvers closed, for solitude.
- Hidden tilt rods allow the apparatus to be discreetly concealed behind the shutter panel.
A little bit of history
Shutters have been used for many, many centuries. Some specialists assert that they have been used as far back as ancient Greece, with slats being made from marble slabs. They were used before glass was available, to offer protection against the elements, such as rain, wind, and direct heat from the sun’s rays. They also effectively shield against insects and small animals entering the building. The real use of the shutters was appreciated when these elements and pests passed, and the walls could be opened, allowing for new sunlight and a cool breeze to ventilate the home.
Many old homes found the beauty and practicality of those shutters, incorporating them into their design of many decadent mansions. The expression ‘plantation shutter’ was derived from these applications. These shutters have seen remarkably few modifications since these early times.
Modern plantation shutters
Nowadays, plantation shutters come in a vast variety of sizes, styles, and materials. They can be seen throughout the globe, in every style of home. Most are made of hardwoods such as poplar or bass and can a have a number of finishes to add architectural allure to residential and commercial properties. Plantation shutters made of rich woods are exceptionally attractive.
Plantation shutters can be used individually, or linked together to cover several windows, or a single large one. Many producers of plantation shutters allow you to have custom shutters constructed to your specifications to add a unique look to your house and make a design statement.
Plantation shutters are fully adjustable to allow for more or less light, offer privacy, and can even have insulation benefits.