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How Do Plantation Shutters Work? A Short Guide

Plantation shutters are increasingly popular as a stylish, versatile, and cost-effective window covering. The units consist of a frame around the window, or set within the window recess, hinged shutter panels, and slats that can be opened, closed, or tilted to balance light and privacy.

Read on to understand more about operating plantation shutters – how do they work and how do you get the best out of them? We’ll answer all of the most common questions, from how do plantation shutters work to how to keep plantation shutters open to maximise light flow.

Discover what makes plantation shutters such a simple and versatile solution for both traditional and contemporary home styles.

Doors Plus - Plantation Shutters in Lounge

How Do I Operate Plantation Shutters?

How do plantation shutters open and close? Whether you want to tilt the slats or fully open up your panels, it’s simple and effortless.

Operating the louvers:

The slats in plantation shutters are called louvers, and these can be tilted upwards or downwards to control light and privacy in your rooms. When the louvers are fully tilted upwards, the shutters are closed and no-one will be able to see into the room through the window.

The louvers may be controlled by a tilt rod in the centre of the shutter panel, connected to all of the slats, so that you can pull on the rod and open or close all of the louvers at once. Some shutters have a hidden tilt rod, so you can simply open or close one of the louvers by hand and this will automatically control the rest.

Doors Plus - Lady Closing Plantation Shutters

Operating the shutter panels:

You can fully open plantation shutters by swinging the whole shutter panel open on its hinge, into the room, to rest flush against the wall. You can also opt for bi-fold shutter panels that are hinged in the centre, so they fold together and can be pushed away to one side.

Doors Plus - Plantation Shutters - Hinged and Bifold


How Are Plantation Shutters Attached to Windows?

Plantation shutters can be installed around the outside of the window frame (outside mount) or within the window recess (inside mount). If you have architraves, or decorative trim, around your windows it’s best to go for an inside mount. In this case, the shutters are attached to the window frame with hinges or a small “L” frame.

An outside mount can also use a simple “L” frame outside the window recess, or a more decorative “L” or “Z” frame to complete the look with some built-in molding.

Find out more about how to measure for plantation shutters, and how much they cost to install.

Do Plantation Shutters Need a Frame?

The frame is integral to the question of how do plantation shutters work. Not only does it finish off the look of your shutters to complement your home style, but it also supports the weight of the panels and the operation of the louvers.

Doors Plus - Plantation Shutters Frame

Crucially, the frames ensure that the shutter panels are properly aligned, even if the window is out of square. Often, you will find that the windows in your home are not perfectly square, but the plantation shutter frames are constructed with precision, including pre-installed hinges, so that the panels and slats are aligned and can operate smoothly.

How Do I Keep My Plantation Shutters Open?

Part of the appeal of plantation shutters is that they give you control and flexibility over how much light you allow into your rooms, as well as privacy. If you find that the louvers don’t stay open by themselves, and start to tilt one way or the other, there is a very quick and easy solution.

Find the tension adjustment screw points on either side of each shutter panel and use a Philips screwdriver to tighten up these points. It shouldn’t take much, but it will make all the difference.

How Do You Open a Plantation Window with Shutters?

One of the most common questions is can you open windows with plantation shutters? The answer is yes! Plantation shutters allow you to open your windows and let in the breeze, while still enjoying the benefit of the tilting louvers.

Doors Plus - Open Windows Behind Plantation Shutters

Simply pull on each shutter panel and swing it open on its hinge, like a door. You then have access to the window to open it as normal. You can choose to leave your shutters fully open or close the panels over the open window and tilt the louvers to suit.

Can Plantation Shutters be Adjusted?

Over an extended period of time, or with extreme temperature changes, it is possible for plantation shutters to work loose or start to sag. This can make them less effective at blocking out the light, less energy efficient, harder to operate, and less visually appealing. You can find out more about the best wood for plantation shutters here, to avoid this kind of wear and tear.

You can easily adjust loose or sagging plantation shutters by locating the tension adjustment screws on the inside edge of each panel. Use a Philips screwdriver to tighten these screws, holding the louvers in place with your free hand.

How Do You Keep Plantation Shutters Closed?

Plantation shutter panels close using small magnets. There is usually a striker plate at the top and bottom of each panel, which makes contact with magnets on the shutter frames to hold the panels closed. When you close your shutters you should hear the snap of the magnets. If you don’t hear this sound, or your shutters won’t stay closed, you should check the connection between the magnets and the striker plates.

Doors Plus - Plantations Shutter - Magnet to Keep it Closed

You may need to make small adjustments to the alignment of the shutter panels so that the magnets and striker plates are fully in contact when closed. Alternatively, you can loosen a screw on the magnet or striker plate to slightly adjust the angle so that they fully meet and connect.

You can also learn more about how to clean plantation shutters to keep them functioning at their best.

Need More Information about How Plantation Shutters Work?

We hope you now feel more confident about how to operate and open plantation shutters, how to close and adjust them, and how to enjoy all the benefits of this popular window covering. If you’re still wondering exactly how do plantation shutters work, you can visit your nearest Doors Plus showroom for a one-to-one consultation and demonstration.

Doors Plus - White Plantations Shutters in Dinning Room

We can also give your more information about how much plantation shutters cost.

Speak to one of our experts to find out whether plantation shutters are just what your home has been missing!



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