Here is a list of all the terms used to describe shutters, features and benefits, their materials and parts, how they are made and installed.

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Aerofoil, a gentle curve front and back of blade, like the cross section of a plane’s wing. The shape makes the blades stronger and close together more snugly.
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Aluminium, the metal used for shutters, offering added strength and weather resistance. Good for shading however has poor insulation values and uses a large amount of energy to produce.

Anti-static, resists a static charge, so doesn’t attract dust like Venetians.

Aperture, industry term meaning any opening you can put a shutter into.

Artwood, a name for a material made of styrene.

Australian owned and manufactured, a company who employs Australians and makes a product here in Australia

Australian owned, a company which is Australian owned but probably does not make a product here in Australia.

Basswood, a relatively cheap timber of the Poplar Species harvested in China or U.S.A. used in Chinese shutters.

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Bi-fold, 2 panels hinged together so they fold onto each other.

Bi-pass, American expression for sliding.

Blade, the slats that make up the centre of the shutter panel. Sometimes also referred to as louvres or slats.

Blade connector, a strip which is attached to each blade in a shutter so all blades can be moved together. Also known as a tilt rod.

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Cedar, decay resistant, scented wood with an attractive colour and grain, prized for joinery. Cedar correctly refers to those trees belonging to the plant family Pinaceae. However, there are trees outside this family which are also prized as cedar, for example the Australian “Toona australis” (NSW rain-forest tree) and “Thuja plicata” (Western Red Cedar). Excellent insulation and green footprint.

Centre rail, a rail added for strength or to divide blades into groups.

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Centre rod, a tilt rod usually attached to the blades with staples.

Clearview, shutters without a centre tilt rod.

Composite wood, a material made of plastic and wood wastes which are bound together with pressure and heat.

Cottonwood, a relatively cheap timber of the Poplar species, pale yellow colour, native to North America, Europe and Western Asia.

Concealed tilt rod, the blade connector is not visible.

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Craftwood, actually MDF, which is more like cardboard than timber, made from wood shavings and glue.

Customcraft, a material made of plastic and wood wastes (see Composite wood) and painted with polypropylene.

Custom made, made to an individual order from measure to installation.

Customised, mass produced item, trimmed and patched to fit into an individual opening.

D-mould, a piece of timber added to the front of a panel to cover light gap.

Exterior, exposed to weather and pollution outside the home or building.

Factory Direct Pricing, you’d be forgiven for thinking this means cost savings, but where is the factory and what is the mark up? Importers of cheaply made Chinese product with all the associated costs of shipping and inflexible timings even make this claim.

Finish, the surface treatment of the shutter, from natural finishes like oil and stains to paint.

Finger-jointed wood, small offcuts of varying species often with defective grains and knots, joined together with small finger cuts and glued to make longer lengths. Commonly used in Chinese shutters hidden by paint.

Fixed panel, doesn’t open on hinges, so access to clean windows etc isn’t simple.

Flat blade, unlike aerofoil blades, the cross section is straight. - this sometimes has a slight bullnose edge.

Grain, pattern of growth rings and sap deposits in the timber

Hardware, all the bits that hold everything together, from screws to hinges to tracks and wheels. The quality of hardware makes a big difference over the life of the installation, and can be a significant extra cost up front and is often not included in the quote.

Hinge, moveable device on which a shutter moves.

Interior, inside protected from weather and pollution.

Insulation, shutters are as effective reducing heat movement when installed inside or on the exterior of a window. The tightness of the fit and the choice of cedar is what makes the most positive difference to heat transfer.

Jambs, a joinery frame used to line an aperture e.g. doors and windows.

Joinery, a piece of timber used to square an opening and allow fixing for shutters.

Kiss, the best approach to shutter design. Keep it Simple Sweetie.

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Louvres, an overlapping arrangement of slats to control light, designed to admit air but exclude rain. Usually used outside for a heritage look.

Lacquer finish, nitro cellular painted finish. (A clear top coat.)

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MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard), a material made from sawdust, wax and resin. Inclined to soak up moisture and swell or bow. Can be painted and passed-off as solid timber to the unwary.

Mid-rail, American term for Centre Rail.

Mikronwood, synthetic material for shutters and Venetians.

Mortice hinge, a type of hinge which requires a chunk of the window frame to be cut out so the hinge will fit.

Non-mortice hinge, a type of hinge which folds into itself and therefore eliminates the need to take a chunk out of your window frame (see mortice hinge).

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Non-allergenic, sheds dust readily – easy clean.

Norman™ Shutters, a China origin and based shutter manufacturer incorporated in the USA.

Oil finish, timber which has been seasoned with an oil.

Opening, the window, door or aperture to be fitted with shutters.

Panel, one shutter consisting of stiles, rails and blades.

Plantation Shutter, the name coined by Australian Timber Shutters in the 80s for their Australian style shutter with wide adjustable blades. Now a mostly generic term for timber shutters.

Polyresin, PVC material.

Polywood, a polymer product used for making shutters and venetians.

Quality, this is the total result of design, installation and product materials and finish.

R-rating, the standard measure of insulation effectiveness. Cedar is a great insulator at R-1.35 for 25mm of timber, which is the recommended R-rating for walls around Australia.

Reveal, the distance the window frame is set in from the wall.

Rotation, the shutter blades have a means of connector so they can be rotated in groups.

Semi-concealed tilt rod, a blade connector made of aluminium which sits behind the shutter mostly out of view.

Slats, see louvres.

Sliding, panels are installed on tracks to slide across the face of an opening.

Shutter, a moveable cover or slide for an opening in a home or building. Most commonly, you will see shutters installed on a window or used as room dividers, wardrobe doors and covers for doorways or French doors.

Shutter Blind, a shutter frame with Venetian slats.

Stiles, upright timber pieces that support blades in a shutter panel.

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Tilt rod, a strip of wood or metal attached to all the blades in a shutter panel, allowing them to be rotated together.

Thermalite, an advanced polymer material made in the US.

Ultimate, most versatile shutter in the Open Shutter range.

Vinyl, common term for P.V.C.

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Western Red Cedar, the premium timber generally sourced from eco-sustainable forests in British Columbia, the most stable timber for making shutters.

XL, extra large shutters are not recommended in polymer materials.

You, the important ingredient in a shutter sale.

Zinc, metal sometimes used in shutter hinges.