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Plantation shutters are a classic option for simple, easy-to-use window coverings. They are usually made of wood or faux wood horizontal slats and are a very popular design choice. Plus, they are simple to operate and completely child safe. This guide explains how to measure for plantation shutters in your home.
Plantation Shutter Considerations
Learning how to measure for plantation shutters is easy, but it is important to remember a few key things:
- Always measure with a steel tape measure. Never use a cloth tape. Measure sizes to the nearest 1/8-inch. Don't worry if your window measurements are uneven. This is fairly typical with windows.
- Be careful about transposing measurements. Be sure to always have width and height clearly marked. Remember, always put your width measurement first, and height last (W x H).
- The Home Depot shutters ship with frames. This makes mounting easier.
- Have a step ladder handy to help get accurate measurements safely.
There are a number of louver sizes available for custom plantation shutters. The size of louver you pick will depend on what style you want for your window. Choose from 1 7/8, 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and 4 inches. Larger louver sizes help give your window a more modern, contemporary look. They also preserve a clearer view when you open the louvers to look outside. A smaller louver size helps lend a more traditional design to your window. This guide highlights measuring for an inside mount and measuring for an outside mount.
Inside Mount vs. Outside Mount Plantation Shutters
Before measuring for plantation shutters, you must first choose a plantation shutter mounting option.
Inside mount plantation shutters are designed to mount inside the window casing. They don't extend past the window. This is the more minimalistic of the plantation shutter mounting options and allows for layering shutters with curtains.
Outside mount shutters mount outside the window frame and extend out from the wall. They can make a window appear larger and provide more of a presence. They are used instead of curtains.
Measuring for Inside Mount Plantation Shutters
- Measure the inside width of the window in three locations, as shown in illustration A: top, middle and bottom. Always measure the opening at the point of the window where the shutter frame will be installed. Record the narrowest width of the three.
- Measure the height of your window at the three positions indicated in illustration B: left, middle and right. Record the shortest height of the three.
- Record the smallest or tightest inside measurement of the window frame within 1/16 of an inch for width on the order form.
Considerations when measuring for inside mount plantation shutters:
- When measuring for an inside mount application, check the depth of the window before choosing a louver size. Louvers can be 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 inches wide.
- Look for any obstructions, such as locks, window cranks, latches, mullions and windows that open into the room. The frame options for inside mounts include L-frame, Z-frame, trim frame or unframed.
- Once the appropriate louver and frame has been chosen, record these items on the order form. Check the window for squareness by measuring the diagonal points of the window, or by using a panel and placing it against all four corners. If the window is out of square by more than 3/8-inch, an outside mount application is recommended.
- Use a horizontal divider rail if the opening measures 60 inches or higher. For inside mounts, measure from the top of the window sill up to the center of where you would like the divider rail located.
Measuring for Outside Mount Plantation Shutters
When measuring for an outside mount application, many of the same principles for an inside mount application apply. Similar to an inside mount application, check for window depth. The difference with an outside mount is that you can extend or build out the frame by adding depth where needed.
- Measure the width in three places indicated by the first illustration. These measurements should be taken from the left outside edge of where the frame will be positioned to the right outside edge where the frame will be positioned. Note on an outside mount application, you have the option of placing it on top of the window trim, in place of removed trim, or on top of drywall returns. Be sure to add at least 1 inch to both sides so that the shutters can hang properly.
- The same rule applies to measuring the height. Measure in three places: left, center and right to the outside edge of where the frames will be positioned. Record the largest outside measurement this time within 1/8-inch for height on the order form.
Considerations when measuring for outside mount plantation shutters:
- Look for any obstructions, such as locks, window cranks, latches, mullions and windows that open into the room. The frame options for outside mounts include L-frame, casing frame or mounting strip.
- Once the appropriate louver and frame has been chosen, record these items on the order form.
- When you measure for the divider rail, measurements start where the bottom of the frame will be located and go up to the center of the divider rail. Record that measurement on the order form. Divider rails must be used on panels over 60 inches in height.
- If you have a sill that extends at the bottom of the window, measure the height at the position indicated by the second illustration: from the top of the sill to at least 1 inch above the window.
- If you do not have a window sill, measure the height at the position indicated in the third illustration. Be sure to add 1 inch to the top and bottom of the height measurement so that the shutters can mount properly.
Once you understand how to measure for plantation shutters, check out our vast variety of shutter designs. If you have any additional questions about measuring for plantation shutters, our experts are always happy to help. Need supplies for this project? Save time with The Home Depot Mobile App. Once you've discovered the ideal shutters for your space, consider our interior shutter installation services.