Windows are meant to let light in, but sometimes you may want to keep the light out. They also help keep out noise and provide privacy and security. There are an ever growing number of blind styles available on the market today. The major categories are:
Venetian Blinds – Venetians blinds are the most common style and have horizontal slats, one above the other. The slats come with 1/2″ (called mini-blinds), 1 ” and 2 ” slats. 1″ and 2″ are the most common. Wider slats are preferable if you want to let more light in. Slats are held in place by thin rope ladders, that in unison can be rotated open or closed with a wand that is typically hand operated (electronic or remote control blinds are also available). The slats can be opened or closed to any angle depending on how much light you want to let in or how much privacy you want. The slats come in different materials including aluminum, plastic or vinyl, bamboo and wood. Plastic blinds embossed with a wood grain are called faux wood blinds. Composite blinds are made from a combination of wood products and polymers.
Vertical Blinds – Vertical blinds have slats that hang vertically (often from the ceiling to the floor) instead of horizontally. The slats are wider than venetian blinds, usually around 4 inches that overlap a bit just like venetian blinds when closed. The mechanisms for operating them are similar to venetian blinds for opening and closing. They are good chose’s for tall windows or sliding glass doors. However, vertical blinds can be a problem in windy areas (or by forced air registers) because the bottoms are not attached to anything – however, the vertical slats are typically joined together with small chains and can have weights inserted at the bottom of the vane to reduce this tendency.
Cellular Shades – Also called Honeycomb shades, they get their name from their shape which resembles honeycombs when looked at from the side. They allow sunlight to filter into a home without sacrificing privacy and provide a distinctive look. Energy efficiency is created from the pockets of air created within the cells. Cellular shades come in several configurations and are a softer alternative to venetian blinds.
Roller Blinds – Roller blinds can be adjusted to from either completely blocking a window, or rolled up all the way to let light in. Nowadays, there are any kind of design to choose from and different materials that offer different light filtering preferences, or blackout materials that can completely block out the light.
Roman Shades – Roman shades work with the same mechanics as roller blinds except that when roman shades are drawn up from the bottom by cords or strings, they create pleats or folds instead of rolling up. Roman shades are made in woven fabric, solar materials, bamboo styles and others.
Shutters – Traditional shutters, also known as colonial shutters control light with 1 1/4 inch slats typically made of wood painted in a variety of colors. Plantation shutters work the same way as traditional shutters, but have slats ranging from 2 1/2″ to 4 1/2″ slats. They usually have a basic white or cream color.
Other Blind Chose Tips
Blinds have the primary functions of blocking light and giving privacy, but there are also other things to consider about selecting blinds.
Blackout Blinds – blackout blinds are normally used in bedrooms, particularly for people who need rest or sleep during the day, and for light sleepers. With special linings to block out light, blackout roller blinds and roman blinds are good choices.
Steamy rooms – some blinds are not as suitable for rooms with humidity such as kitchens and bathrooms. Wooden blinds may warp and fabric blinds may gather too much moisture. Aluminum, plastic and faux wood venetian blinds, or roller blinds that match your taste are good choices for these rooms.
Hiding storage space – blinds can be used to cover storage areas or cluttered shelving that you don’t want to look at while adding style to a room. Roller blinds work good for this.
Personalizing blinds – blinds can be given a personal touch by ordering special features or different slat color arrangements that help achieve a special decor that you want. Decorative tapes, textures, or paints can be added to venetian blinds and can be especially creative for game rooms or children’s rooms.
Material – The type of material determines not only the quality of a blind, but also the amount of light and insulation that you get. Wooden blinds are sturdier and have a certain strong look, but
are not good insulators for heat or cold. Neither are plastic blinds. Woven materials offer good insulation and is the material often used in roman shades. Heavy woven materials can be heavy and might make it difficult to pull up, so that should be kept in mind. All materials over time will be weakened by sunlight so no window covering will last for ever.
Controls – different blinds work in different ways, and depending on body strength, are more or less easy to use. We have already mentioned keeping in mind material weight for woven materials. Roller blinds are easy to operate but keep in mind how high the blind goes when it is up all the way so that it can still be reached to pull back down. Control turn switches can break or become stuck while strings can become tangled or knotted. Select a configuration of control mechanisms that works best for you, including which side of the blind you can get to easier.
For more information on blinds or blind cleaning, call 403-291-1051 and talk to one of our representative.
Ram Cleaning Services, serving Calgary and area since 1967