How to Choose Blinds and Customize Types Needs One of the most beautiful types of window treatments on the market today is the wood blind. A wood blind is a device made out of wood material that is pulled down to shut out the light from a window. Blinds have been around since around 1770 and the design still remains just as simple today as it did back then.

How to Choose Blinds and Customize Types Needs | How to Choose Blinds and Customize Types Needs

Wood Blind Construct

Horizontal wood blinds and vertical wood blinds are made from a variety of different woods ranging from basswood, which is native to Europe and Mexico to American Hardwood. A typical wood blind is made up of a series of flat, horizontal slats that are connected by a series of light and heavy-duty strings. A turning rod and pulling strings are used to operate the blinds manually. The user may adjust the wood blinds to allow various amounts of light to filter between the slats and into a room.

Why Choose Wood Blinds?

While the main function of wood blinds is to keep the light out, unlike other types of blinds and fabric window treatments, wood blinds are also good natural insulators. Wood blinds are a great alternative to shutters and they are very easy to install over windows. While the most popular type of wood blinds are horizontal with narrow slats, wood blinds are also available in vertical styles with wide slats and even woven wood styles. Wood look-alike or "faux" wood styles are popular window treatments as well.

Types of Wood Blinds

Wood blinds are available in a variety of rich colors including, but not limited to, maple, cherry, and walnut. Sandblasted finishes, distressed looks and plantation shutter looks are also available as well as a variety of custom colors and designs.

Woven wood blinds are popular because each blind offers a variety of different lighting effects. Woven wood blinds are actual slats of wood that have been woven together to create a solid blind. Woven wood blinds are either folded or rolled up for maximum light or left down to achieve a sporadic lighting pattern.

Faux-wood blinds are a great idea for those interested in achieving the attractive appearance of wood blinds. Faux wood blinds are made of a wood-polymer mix or 100% polymer. They offer the look of real wood for less and are low-maintenance. Faux wood blinds are popular window treatments for kitchens and bathrooms and they available in a variety of colors ranging from white and natural to dark cherry.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds, also known as track blinds, are a wonderful decorating tool that can be an attractive alternative solution to draperies. They can conceal odd-sized windows, they're ideal for sliding glass doors, and they add height to a room with low ceilings. They are great insulators while still providing light.

Why Vertical Blinds?

There is a color, texture, and fabric available for every style or taste. Some are more family-friendly and durable while others are stylish and upscale. Vinyl blinds are energy efficient and economical. They can be textured to simulate fabrics or coated with a number of peel- and UV-proof colors.

Fabric coverings can filter light and are available as:

  • Weaves
  • Solids
  • Translucents.

Fabrics of any design add softness and warmth to rooms, while woods and vinyls lend a more neutral tone. These are useful, however, when layering with other window treatments. Vertical blinds are not well-suited to rooms that require total darkening.

How Vertical Blinds Operate

Vertical blinds can be made from metal, vinyl, polyester, wood, fabric, or a combination to provide a wealth of colors and fabric choices. A system of louvers and hooks control the rotation and movement along a headrail. When each louver, vane, or slat, is closed, it overlaps the next to provide privacy. The vane bottoms are usually connected, either by a series of chains or a second rail. Some, however, hang freely and are more susceptible to movement, while others will have individual bottom weights.

Types of Vertical Blinds

The most common vane width is 3-1/2 inches. The more expensive 2-inch vanes are dramatic and contemporary. Vinyls with fabric coatings are dual-sided; the outside is light and solid while the inner side is decorative. Fabric overlays, on the other hand, are designed to keep colored slats clean. Custom blinds can be made to match or complement existing fabrics in a room.

Cellular verticals offer great solar efficiency with specially-designed pockets that trap air to create insulating layers between heat and cold conducting glass. Vertical blinds are also designed for inaccessible, over-sized windows. They will be fitted with top and bottom tracks and are electrically operated. Optional features for all models include cornice boards, motorized controls, and safety wand.

Vertical Blind Maintenance

Vertical blinds are easy to install and maintain. A regular vacuuming with the hose attachment will remove dust buildup. Vinyl blinds can be wiped down with household cleaner. Cleaning vertical blinds coated with fabric is simple, as the cloth can be easily removed for washing.

Mini Blinds

Mini blinds have been part of the home decorating market for decades. Mini blinds are an economical choice for many living situations including dorm rooms and mobile homes, as well as apartment complexes and other rental properties. With improved quality and style, mini blinds have moved into more upscale environments.

Types of Mini Blinds

Nowadays, mini blinds typically feature horizontal 1-inch slats. The micro-minis have 1/2-inch slats, while macros (the original Venetian) offer up to 2-inch slats. Aluminum (usually 6-guage or 8-guage) and vinyl remain the materials of choice for mini blinds. However, faux and wood minis, along with fabric coverings are gaining appeal, with a good selection coming from name manufacturers and designers.

With the exception of wood minis, these blinds are an excellent choice for high-humidity areas. In addition, most mini blinds are energy efficient. Color choices may be limited at home improvement stores, but specialty catalogs are available that include many more options, such as pastels, bold, and even metallic shades. Newer products offer all the convenience of higher end window treatments and have gained popularity in more affluent homes.

Why Choose Mini Blinds?

They are a value-added option when sheers, draperies, or other window treatments are layered to offer different lighting effects. While these blinds are not always visible, they act to filter light and provide added privacy. Mini blinds are among the easiest to install, even by inexperienced do-it-yourselfers. All hardware is usually included and takes a matter of minutes to mount with screwdrivers. Slats are now developed to be more resilient when bent. Some have anti-static qualities that repel dust. In any case, they are also easy to remove for cleaning.

Mini Blind Options

Some mini blinds feature overlapping slats that provide light-blockage. These are ideal in children's rooms or for those who sleep during the day. Another feature for those with children to consider is child-proof or breakaway cords. A range of models are available in sheers, or see-throughs; the perforated vanes provide both privacy and light. Standard sizes are readily available while many manufacturers also provide a host of custom options, including shaped arches and skylight mounts. Manufacturers also make dual-colored blinds: white toward the outside with an array of color choices for the inside.

Hardware options include hidden bracket systems and hold-downs that can be attached at the bottom. The blind can be opened and shut, but will keep the lightweight slats from blowing outward. Head rails, brackets, wand tilts, and pull cords, along with mounting screws, are included in standard packaging.

For further information on blinds for your windows and doors see the following articles from Wood Blinds and Vertical Blinds.

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