Different Kinds of Blinds for Windows

Written by stephanie daniels
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Different Kinds of Blinds for Windows
Wood blinds come in different shades and finshes. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Blinds give windows a more decorative appearance, block out unwanted light and help provide added insulation from the heat and cold. Available in several different design, colour and style options, a homeowner may choose the best blind style for her decorating theme.

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Vinyl Mini Blinds

Vinyl mini blinds remain one of the most cost effective blind options on the market. Common in apartments, homes and office buildings, vinyl blinds cost little to replace when cosmetic problems occur. These blinds consist of 1-inch horizontal, vinyl slats that tilt open or closed to control vision and sunlight in the room. Vinyl blinds can also be special ordered in a 2-inch size, which gives a larger view when the blinds are tilted open. Turning a wand attached to the top of the blinds will tilt the slats. Cords attached to the opposite, top corner of the head rail allow you to draw the blinds up to expose as much of the window as desired. Manufacturers produce vinyl blinds with both plastic and metal head rails, although metal is recommended for wider blinds. Most retailers stock alabaster and white vinyl blinds, though you may special order from a larger variety of colours.

Aluminium Mini blinds

Aluminium blinds, much like vinyl blinds, feature pull strings to raise the blinds, as well as a wand or additional string set, to tilt the slats open. While the in-stock versions of this blind type come mostly in alabaster and white 1-inch slats, the special order versions offer several more colour choices and widths of ½, 1 and 2 inches. Aluminium blinds are made from either 6- or 8-gauge aluminium, with the 8-gauge being more durable. By special ordering aluminium blinds, the purchaser can choose from other options not always available at a retail store. Raising the blinds becomes much easier with the addition of the cordless feature. This feature allows the owner to raise the blind up to the head rail by simply pushing up on the bottom rail. The "no holes" feature is another useful option. In spite of the name, these blinds do have holes where the blind strings go through the slats. However, the much smaller holes minimise the amount of light that penetrates through the blinds.

Vertical Blinds

Often used on large windows and patio doors, vertical blinds offer both light protection and insulation. Vertical blinds contain vanes, also known as louvres, that hang vertically from blind clips attached to the metal head rail. In-stock versions offer minimal colour choices, while special order versions come in many more styles and colour selections. Depending on the manufacturer and the model of the blind chosen, purchasers may select from vinyl, fabric, aluminium, wood or faux wood louvres. Louvres on vertical blinds normally measure 3½ inches wide, though some styles offer 2-inch louvres often used in small windows and to complement patio door verticals.

Wood Blinds

Made from different varieties of wood, depending on the style and manufacturer, wood blinds may have a natural, stained or painted finish. The slats fit closely together when closed, blocking a large amount of light. The standard size of a wood blind slat is 2 inches. Nevertheless, many companies offer a special order wood blind with 1-inch slats. Decorative cloth tapes used to cover the blind strings offer decorative appeal and give the purchaser the option to add an ornate touch on special orders. This type of blind may also be motorised, allowing owners to raise the blind with a remote control.

Faux Wood Blinds

Faux wood blinds come with standard 2-inch slats and carry the same look and general feel of wood blinds. In-stock faux woods normally come in white or alabaster, but these blinds also come in colours mimicking real wood shades and textures. Faux woods are extremely durable and resist moisture, unlike real wood blinds. While this type of blind is a very close facsimile to real wood, faux wood blinds are much heavier than their counterparts.

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