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Glossary of Common Shutter Terminology

A to Z of Shutter Terms

Interested in learning more about the shutter industry? Here’s a quick A to Z primer on the terms we use when it comes to designing and installing your shutter solution.

Glossary of Common Shutter Terminology

Aerofoil: a blade design, similar to the wing of a plane, that strengthens them and makes them fit closely together.

Aluminium: strong, weather-resistant metal ideal to provide shade, but suffers from low insulation value.

Aperture: a fancy name for an opening for a shutter, such as a window.

Basswood: a cheap, popular wood from the poplar tree used primarily in Chinese shutters.

Bi-fold: a pair of shutters hinged to fold into one another.

Blades: slats that comprise the centre of the panel of a shutter – referred to as slats or louvres as well.

Cedar: fragrant, resilient wood with a good footprint and an excellent insulation rating, prized for its grain and colour.

Centre rail: an additional rail intended for reinforcement or to divide blades into distinct groups.

Centre rod: a form of tilt rod that is usually stapled directly to the blades.

Cottonwood: related to basswood, a relatively inexpensive poplar variety.

Custom made: made to the specifications of a particular customer from inception to installation.

D-mould: timber added to the front side of a shutter panel to eliminate light gap.

Exterior: shutters meant to withstand exposure to the elements on the exterior of a dwelling.

Finish: the shutter’s surface treatment. This can be paint, stains, oils, and other natural finishes.

Flat blade: a straight blade, as a counterpoint to aerofoil blades.

Grain: the pattern left behind in wood from growth rings.

Hardware: everything that isn’t the shutter itself – hinges, screws, and other fittings.

Interior: shutters designed for the interior of a dwelling.

Jamb: the frame, or joinery, lining an aperture, like a window or a door.

KISS: Keep It Simple, Sweetie – an important shutter design philosophy.

Lacquer finish: a clear topcoat that protects the shutters from wear and tear.

Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF): manufactured wood product made from a mix of resin, wax, and sawdust. Cheap but prone to swelling and bowing.

Mortice hinges: hinges that are fitted by removing a piece of window frame. Non-mortice hinges don’t require this removal.

Non-allergenic: easy to clean, doesn’t accumulate or harbor dust.

Oil finish: used to season timber shutters as a preservative.

Plantation Shutter: another term for timber shutters with an adjustable, wide-bladed style.

Quality: the end product of designing and installing shutters, dependent on the materials used to construct them and the finish used to protect them.

R-rating: a standard insulation measure. 25mm of cedar has a rating of R-1.35, recommended for walls in Australia.

Slats: another word for louvres.

Tilt rod: a metal or wooden strip fitted to all blades in one shutter panel to move them all at the same time.

Ultimate: most versatile shutter in the Open Shutter range.

Vinyl: also known as PVC plastic.

Western Red Cedar: premium cedar used in shutter manufacturing.

XL: short for Extra Large, best when constructed of timber.

You: the most important part of a shutter design.

Zinc: metal used in the construction of some shutter hinges.