How to guide for buying window coverings, blinds and shades.
Bargain hunters everywhere are learning that they can save lots of money by buying from the source instead of paying high prices to get products from retailers who have to cover their overhead. The following is some information on how you can select the best window covering
for your home from what can be a very confusing industry. Even better, you can do it all from the comfort of your home. The window covering
industry has quickly become very competitive. Because of this there are a variety of names for a limited amount of choices.
are very popular in business offices. These are commonly called MINIBLINDS
but they do come in the smaller ½" size known as MICROMINIS and larger 2" slats. These are a very inexpensive way to cover a window and although the common colors are white and gray they can be found in a variety of colors to match the interior of your home.
are a very stylish way to cover you windows and dress up the interior of your home. They are most commonly in the 2" variety but also come in 1" and 2 ½". Most wood blinds
are made of a very light weight wood called basswood
. They can also be found in a variety of oriental hardwoods. This material is perfect for large windows because they do not put undue stress on the headrail (mechanism that raises and tilts your blind).
are composite material usually made from PVC or plastic but can include some wood. They are very popular because they are durable and easy to clean. They are especially good for areas that may be exposed to moisture as they do not warp easily. However, they are substantially heavier which can be a problem when you have larger windows to cover. Many manufacturers will recommend that you split the blind
into two or three parts on one common headrail for larger orders to prolong the life of the blind
are usually made of PVC and come in the 3 ½" size. You can also find some that are 3 ½" and made of wood. They work great with sliding glass doors because they can be drawn in several ways. They can be drawn to either side both sides or even stack in the middle. They are fairly durable and surprisingly light weight. Vertical Blinds
are pretty easy to clean and warp resistant.
that open and close you want the blinds
to be secure. You will need to order the blinds
in the outside mount style and can secure them to the door. Blinds
can be mounted with hold down brackets to keep them from swinging away from the door when opened and closed. Blinds
with smaller slats are recommended on door applications because larger blinds may interfere when opening the door. The smaller slats on 1" blinds
keep the depth of the blinds
to a minimum.
Another thing to keep in mind when placing an order for blinds that will cover a door is the location of the tilt control and the lift control. You will want to have the controls for the blind on the side of the hinges and not the handle. They can get in the way and become a nuisance if they are near your door handle when you are trying to come in and out and gravity makes them less likely to get in the way of the hinge.
If you are interested in the roll up window coverings
, consider several more choices like cell/honeycomb shades
and/or bamboo shades
. All of these products do offer differing levels of light to come through and come in a variety of different looks. They are a great way to give your home a unique look instead of the usual white coloured blinds that most people put in their windows.
Bamboo and Woven wood shades
are the hottest trend in window coverings and are a great way to give your home some style. They come in several different varieties of wood and have several different earth tones to choose from. For this reason it is important to try to get your hands on some samples to make sure that you find the perfect shades
They can be retracted in either the roman fold or roll up style. When fully retracted they still occupy a lot of space. This may something to consider if you are looking for window covering
that are out of site when not down.
are window coverings that can be opened by rolling the shades
up on a cylinder that runs above a window. They come in vinyl, cloth and a sheer weave material. The vinyl blocks all light from coming through and come in several colors and textures to match most home decors. They are very inexpensive and therefore remain popular.
Cellular shades/honeycomb shades
are usually made from a poly cotton fabric that has been treated to be stain resistant. They are a great way to block UV light from coming through and even help with insulation. R values (resistance to heat flow) can vary from one manufacturer to another but you can get between a 3 to 5 R value for winter and from 2.8 to 4 in the summer. R values for summer measure the amount of heat that comes through the window and the lower the number the less heat that is transferred which means a cooler room. These shades also offer differing levels of transparency all the way to black out which is ideal for home theatres or those who sleep during the day. There is an almost endless selection of colours and you can even choose different sizes of cells. They come in 1/2", 3/8" and 3/4" cells. We'll send you free samples so that you can see for yourself which cell size you like the best.
of your home may be better suited for specific products. For example, blinds
for doors with windows that need covering can be difficult. You do not want your blinds
bouncing around every time you go in or out. It can damage the blind
and the door. In that case you should consider either a 1" wood blind or aluminum blind or a cellular/honeycomb shade. They usually come with hold down brackets for the bottom but it is a good idea to request them. That way when the blinds
are down they will be secure. These are also good choices because they are not bulky and will not make it awkward to open and close the door and can fit between the door and the door handle. You also need to keep in mind the location of the tilt and lift cords on the blinds so that they are on the side of the door next to the hinges to prevent them from swinging out and getting in the way of the door when opening and closing.
Blinds for sliding glass doors
are another special case. The most common window covering
is the vertical blind
. These are usually 3 ½" per slat and can be drawn to either side, to the middle, or to both sides. Keep in mind the location of the sliding glass door handle and the size of the blinds stack so that they can be moved out of the way to operate the door.
Blinds for wet environments
such as blinds for bathrooms or blinds
for kitchens should be very warp resistant. Your best bet are faux wood blinds
, as they are made from PVC and will not be damaged like hard wood blinds
. Most wood blinds
are treated with a coating to resist water, but eventually they will break down when in continual contact with moisture. You can also consider aluminum miniblinds