In a previous post, we discussed how to decide between wood shutters and vinyl shutters. Once you’ve decided on wood or vinyl, you still have an important decision – the louver size. Skandia shutters can be ordered with 2 ½”, 3 ½”, or 4 ½” louvers. As with the choice between wood or faux wood shutters, there is no bad decision, but there may be a louver size that works better than another for your situation.
Why Does the Louver Size Matter?
The louver size matters because it affects your ability to view out the window, your level of privacy, and the amount of light that can come into your home. The size of the louvers also has a dramatic impact on the overall look of the shutter, and ultimately, the look and feel of your home.
Perhaps the most noticeable distinction between the louver sizes is the way in which the various sizes affect your ability to view out your window. The image below shows the difference between the view when the various louver sizes are tilted to the open position. With a smaller louver size, you’ll have both a smaller [vertical] gap in between the louvers and you’ll have more louvers. This translates to a more obstructed view out than with larger louvers.
When 2 ½” Louvers Are Right
- If you have smaller windows
As a general rule, larger louvers work better with larger windows. The opposite is true. Large louvers can dominate small windows. As such, for windows that are not taller than 36”, or any window that would be considered “smaller”, we would recommend a shutter with 2 ½” louvers.
- If you have limited clearance
The depth of your window sill will affect the louver size that you can use. You need to have enough clearance space to allow you to tilt your louvers. If you don’t have enough clearance space your louvers will be hitting your window pane, thereby restricting your ability to open and close the louvers. The smaller the louver size, the less clearance space is required.
When 3 ½” Louvers Are Right
- If you want the most popular louver size
The 3 ½” louver size is the most popular shutter louver size. It’s a great selection for medium and large windows, and provides a clean, contemporary look.
- If you want larger panels
Both the 3 ½” and 4 ½” louver are able to accommodate wider panels. For example, a window that is 72” wide would require a minimum of three shutter panels when using a 2 ½” louver. This same window would only require two panels when using a 3 ½” or 4 ½” louver. Less panels means less of an obstructed view, while also providing a cleaner finished look.
When 4 ½” Louvers Are Right
- If you want the least obstructed view out
As the image above illustrates, the 4 ½” louver provides the best view out when the louvers are tilted to the open position. If you’ve got medium-to-large windows and you have a great view, we strongly suggest a 4 ½” louver.
- If you want to allow the most light in
In the same way that a larger louver is better for an unobstructed view, it’s also better for allowing natural light to flow in to a room. If you want to allow the most light in, you’ll want a 4 ½” louver.
Hopefully this post will help you select the louver size that will work best for your application. Next step? Finding a dealer in your area to measure your windows and provide a quote for your custom made shutters!