Perhaps as much as eighty percent of all plantation shutters sold in the past ten years utilize a “rear tilt” (left) method, rather than the traditional “tilt bar” (right) they were originally known for.
While both are connected to each and every louver, the “tilt bar” is typically made of the same material and located on the front center of the panel. “Rear tilt” can be either metal or plastic and located on the rear of the panel, usually at the same end of the louvers as its hinges.
This post focuses on the traditional tilt bar. Some aficionados still insist upon it, though many do not properly understand its purpose.
It is NOT intended as a handle for moving the louvers, so let’s clear that up right away. In fact, you should never touch it!
The correct way to open and close louvers is to grasp one in each hand, as far apart, both vertically and horizontally, as you can. When you begin to move them, the tilt bar’s true purpose becomes evident. Namely, to ensure that all the louvers move in unison. That’s it! There’s no other reason for its existence.
When the tilt bar is used as a handle, its connectors are subjected to undue stress. This dramatically reduces their life expectancy.
Wooden and composite shutters most often use opposing wire staples. These are prone to rust and corrosion, not to mention fatigue. Polyvinyl shutters use various types of plastic connectors, which dry out and become brittle as a result of the constant heat inside a window opening.
In either case, connectors are not easily replaced. Where vinyl shutters are concerned, there’s the matter of, first, determining who the manufacturer was. This can be surprisingly difficult, as most do not place their name anywhere on the product.
Manufacturers of polyvinyl shutters often use their own proprietary connectors. If a homeowner is unable to recall where their shutters were purchased, he or she may end up with a very expensive piece of junk covering the window.
Wood shutter connectors are generally easier to replace, but there are occasional exceptions.
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