Types of Vertical Blinds – A Factual Introduction
Vertical blinds are one the most popular, most pertinent window treatment solutions for modern homes. They meet the functional efficiency we’ve come to demand of our investments and, owing to their incredible versatility, satisfy the creative and stylistic cravings of our minds. Large or wide windows, glass arches or sliding doors, vertical blinds present a range of delightful design ideas for some of the trickier structures in contemporary architecture. These sleek, attractive window covers are available in a myriad of colors and a variety of materials, the latter being the defining feature when it comes to their classification. Here are some of the most loved, most relevant types of vertical blinds:
Fabric Vertical Blinds
Fabric blinds are loved for their soft, effortlessly flowing appearance, as also for the hundreds of available color and pattern choices. Fabric blinds that utilize stitch bonded cloth are some of the most affordable vertical blinds on the market. Woven, clear or sheer fabrics offer a great deal of versatility and allow seamless blending with the look and style of the surroundings. Fabric blinds are effective for both partial light-filtering and complete black-outs and most can be cleaned using a regular vacuum cleaner.
Wooden Vertical Blinds
Wooden blinds bring a sense of calm, an aura of elegance into the living space. They’re great for nature-themed decor styles, with the varied types of woods available making it easy to match the texture and color of the blinds to that of the room’s furniture, floor, and overall design. Quality wood blinds are incredibly durable and can serve well for years on end. That said, wood requires particular consideration in areas in particularly harsh sunlight or with exposure to moisture. Keep your wood blinds away from moisture, and don’t mount them in areas with extremely hot direct sunlight all day long. This will keep factors like fading and mildew from affecting the blinds, hampering their appearance or diminishing their life.
Metal Vertical Blinds
Aluminum is the most commonly used metal in metallic vertical blinds. These blinds are affordable and cost-effective, with enough style and color options to satiate diverse design sensibilities. Quality aluminum blinds are made from high-grade aluminum which is both durable and attractive. These are resistant to rust and are easy to clean and care for. A wonderful choice for both home and office spaces!
PVC Vertical Blinds
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is an environmentally benign alternative to plastic and a wonderfully suited material for vertical blinds. PVC blinds are long lasting and sturdy, with a wide array of hues, thickness, and translucency options to choose from. The flame resistant material makes these an ideal choice for kids’ rooms and other safety-first spaces of the household. They have solid colors can provide the desired level of privacy without messing with your style. For spaces that require a more natural, bright look, these blinds are a safe, stylish bet!
Taking the Measurements
When it comes to installing vertical blinds, there are a number of points to keep in mind. One of the first is whether the blinds are to be mounted inside the frame of the window or door, or on the outside. The style of mounting governs the process of taking measurements.
For inside mount, measure the inner width of the door or window at three points – the top, the bottom, and the middle. Go with the shortest of these. Next, calculate the inner height of the door or window at its top, bottom, and middle points. Again, use the shortest of these going forward. Take note of the depth of the frame so as to allow ample room for installing the mounting brackets. For most blinds, two and a half inches is adequate depth for the brackets.
When taking the measurements for outside mounted blinds, start with the width, measuring the distance across that the blinds are to cover. Add four inches to either side of window measurement. This will assist in preventing light seeping in from the corners when the blinds are shut closed. Allow a clearance of about half an inch above the floor to ensure the blinds can still function properly when touching the floor.
Installing Vertical Blinds
Mark down the bracket positions at the base of the headrail, spacing them four inches apart from the endpoints. Make sure the bottom rail lies approximately 2 1/4 inches from the ground, 1 7/8 inches from the bottom of the window.
Mark the wall with the designated spots for the headrail and brackets. Next, drill in the holes. Secure the mounting clips to brackets, sufficiently tightening the bolts. Note that the center clip should lie about 2 inches from the wall.
Set the head rail in place by inserting the front edge into the mounting clips and turning back. Use a screwdriver to release the head rail, and then open the cord weight.
Wrap the control cord around the guides, pushing the weight pieces together. Turn the stems to get a good view through the slots, push the louvers into the stems and then pull down so the louver is connected to the stem hook. Next, place the valance into the clips, pushing the valance clip on the head rail’s end.
Vertical Blinds Care Tips
Proper cleanup is one of the most significant measures of vertical blinds’ care. Most suppliers provide cleaning and care instructions with their products and these should be paid close attention. When in doubt, try out the cleaning process on a small, hidden from view portion of the blind.
Most aluminum, real and faux wood blinds should ideally be dusted with a feather duster every 7-10 days. Always begin at the top, working down the slats as you proceed. Fabric blinds are usually compatible with vacuum cleaning. It’s always advisable to use a low setting when vacuuming. Again, make sure to vacuum across the slats and not in an irregular up and down motion. Brushing or vacuuming upwards can cause the slats to come unhooked so it’s best to stick solely to downward sweeps when cleaning the blinds.
When dealing with stains, avoid rubbing too vigorously and keep the use of water to a minimum. Dry or rubber sponges are best suited for regular cleanings. If you’re using an ordinary sponge, squeeze it hard to expel excess water and gently wipe the area clean repeatedly until you’ve achieved the desired result. Note that some hard stains can take more than one cleaning to completely come off, so be patient and repeat after a few days. If using a cleaner, avoid spraying directly on the blind. Spray instead, onto a clean cloth and then use the cloth to wipe the blinds.
When looking to clean metal blinds, you can remove and lay them outside on a piece of carpet or a rug. Add a little dishwashing soap to a bucket of water, dip a car washing brush into the solution and then run it sideways across the length of the blinds. When you’re done with one side, turn the blinds over and repeat the process on the other side. Use a hose to gently rinse the blinds, tilt them to remove excess water. Next, hang the blinds over a fence and allow them to dry.
Careless operating can be damaging to the blinds, affecting their appearance as well as longevity. Minor considerations like making sure the slats are tilted open before moving the blinds and raising the blinds before opening the window instead of simply slipping a hand between the slats can actually prevent a lot of undue wear and tear and keep your blinds in a good shape and state for extended periods of time.