What are Routed & Routeless Blinds?
There are different types of shades categorized on the basis of their features and operational mechanism. You have energy efficient window shades, light blocking shades, privacy shades, sun blocking shades, cordless blinds, motorized wood blinds, motorized shades and now routed and routeless blinds in the market today. You may or may not have heard about routed and routeless shades, so let us give you a quick rundown. The normal standard horizontal blinds that have been in use for years have holes on the either side of each slat. The lift cord which is used to raise and lower the blinds, passes through these holes. As the strings are routed through these holes they are referred to as routed blinds.
Routeless blinds are a recent addition. They have no holes and the lift cord is not routed through holes. Instead the cord passes around the outside of the each slat. There are grooves behind the slats by which the blind users can lift up the slats. The cord fits within these grooves which allow the slats to hold up in one place when the blinds are opened. So, you may ask why routeless blinds? What value do they add to your space? The biggest argument in favour of routeless blinds is the complete darkness it offers. In case of routed blinds light passes through the small holes on the slats. So if you have installed blackout shades and looking to completely block light, it may not be the case with routed blinds. Streaks of light will continue to flow through these holes which can be disturbing.
Routed or Routeless Blinds
There seems to be quite an ongoing debate on the efficacy of routed vs. routeless blinds. The argument in favour of routed blinds is the stability it offers the window treatments. Because the lift cord passes through every slat, the slats are sturdy and remain strictly in place. Even if someone bumps into them or there is some kind of disturbance, most times the slats remain unaffected. The blinds rise and lower evenly. Routeless blinds on the other hand are more delicate. The cords do not pass through the slats which renders them a little shaky.
It can be difficult to control the slat of routeless blinds. When blinds are opened and closed and slats are raised or lowered the slats tend to shift. You have to constantly adjust the slats into place so that notches can align with the ladders. They are less sturdy which is not good news if you have pets and toddlers in the house who are always crashing against window shades. Toddlers are always pulling on to whatever they can lay their hands on. So it may not be a great idea to have routeless blinds in the house if you have pets and toddlers too. Moreover routeless blinds are also more expensive.
Are Routeless Blinds Worth the Cost?
Routeless blinds cost 15-20% more than the standard routed blinds because of their different mechanism. If you have the budget to accommodate routeless blinds you can go right ahead. If you are looking to get them installed in one room where you need complete light blockage then it may a good idea to invest in routeless blinds. For example media rooms or photography rooms demand absolute light blockage. Even a tiny streak of light can be disturbing.
However, elsewhere in the house it really doesn’t make a huge difference whether you opt for routed blinds or routeless blinds. Even in the bed room where you have blackout blinds to block light out, the very thin streaks of light passing through the holes of the routed blinds should not be a cause of much concern. It all depends upon whether your budget will allow you to spend the extra 15-20%.
If you have toddlers and pets in the house it would be better to refrain from investing this additional amount of money. Because if they get broke because of a pet running into the blinds or a child pulls it down it would be costlier to replace these blinds. It takes very little force to knock out the slats.
It is worth spending money on these routeless blinds only if there is a pressing need for complete darkness in a room. For elsewhere in the house, we believe you could do without spending the extra money and could instead invest in shades loaded with better features like energy efficiency and heat protection.