Shutter Glossary

Arch Top

A curved top on a shutter. Can be eyebrow, half-circle, or quarter-circle.


A strip shaped like a “T” that helps to eliminate light gaps between left and right pane when no rabbet stile exists (see rabbet stile).

Bahama Shutter

Used in exterior applications, they are usually hinged from the top and tilt out from the bottom.


Two panels that are connected, using a hinge.

Button Plug

A plastic plug used to cover hole where tension screws are located.

Café Style Shutters

Panels that cover the lower portion of the window.


The frame around a window sash.

Colonial Style Shutters

Interior shutters that are reminiscent of shutters used in the late 1700s & 1800s in the United States. Typically installed as a direct mount. Typically double hung. Usually have smaller louvers less than 2 inches wide.

Composite Shutters

Shutters that are constructed of multiple components, usually, wood fibers, resins and glues.

Cottage Style

A two-paneled shutter in which the top is a bit smaller than the bottom. Usually a 40/60 split.

Direct Mount

Used to describe the installation technique of hanging a shutter panel without a frame directly to the side of the window casing or to the face of the window molding.

Divider Rail

A rail that adds strength to tall panels and divides them into two sections in which louvers operate independently of each other.

Double Hung

Two independently operated panels, one mounted on top of the other.

Faux Wood Shutters

Shutters that are made to look like wood shutters but are made of a different material. Some examples are vinyl shutters, composite shutters, and fiberglass shutters. Faux wood shutters are often made with a wood grain finish to make them more closely resemble wood shutters.

Fixed Louver

A louvered shutter whose louvers are not operable.


Used to support and or increase the window depth clearance allowing louvers on back.

Hidden Tilt Bar

Tilt bar is “hidden” behind shutter panel and attached to the side of the louvers.

Hoffman Keys

Shaped like a butterfly, they are fasteners used in connecting miter corners of frames.

Inside Mount

A shutter mounted inside of a window opening or casement.


International Residential Code/International Building Code

Jamb Mount Hinge

A hinge secured to the interior edge of a window casement. Used in a “direct mount” application.

Louver Size

The width of the louvers. Most common sizes are 2-½ inch, 3-½ inch, and 4-½ inch.


The movable blades within a shutter panel that control light and privacy.


A cavity cut into the wood.

Mortised Hinges

Hinges that require a mortise for proper installation (see mortise).

Mouse Hole

A cavity in the rail in which the tilt rod rests.

Non-Mortised Hinges

Hinges that do not require a mortise for proper installation.

Outside Mount

A shutter panel mounted outside of the window case.

Overlap Rabbeting

A shutter with the wood removed on the edge of one stile and the opposite edge on the opposing stile so the closed shutters completely interlock.


A shutter panel consists of at least two stiles, two rails, one tilt rod, and any number of louvers.

Panel Configuration

The direction that the panels open as well as the location of the hinges.

Plantation Shutters

Term generally used to describe any type of shutter being installed inside the home. Usually has 2-½ inch or larger louvers.

Rabbet Stile

A profile cut into the stile which allows them to overlap. Prevent light from penetrating between the panels.


The horizontal top and bottom members of a shutter panel.

Repair Pins

Spring loaded louver pins designed to retract flush for the purpose of inserting a louver into an existing shutter panel.


The window casement or molding portion that can still be seen once a shutter is installed.

Shutter Installer

Also called a fitter in some countries. A professional who is trained in the proper assembly, installation, and if necessary, repair of plantation shutters.


Bottom horizontal member of window opening.

Specialty Shapes

Any shutter that is not a square or rectangle. Can include arches, ovals, circles, trapezoids, octagons, and many other shapes. A template is usually required to order a shutter for this type of window.


The vertical side of a shutter panel, but not part of the frame.

Stile-Louver Clearance

Space between inside of a stile and louver end. Well-constructed panels generally have 1/32″ clearance


Radial louvered shutters, designed for Palladian openings.

Tension Screw

A screw used to adjust the tension of louvers.  They are recessed into outer edge of stile often covered with a button plug.


Texas Department of Insurance (windstorm codes)

Tilt Rod

Sometimes called a tilt-rod. The upright strip of wood used to operate working louvers.


A vertical post used to support different sections of shutters in wide windows.


Metal hardware used to support panels from overhead in Bypass and Bifold installations.

Vinyl Shutters

Also known as plastic shutters, these shutters are made out of a piece of vinyl or co-polymer.

Window Depth

The distance from the surface of the wall to the closest part of the window.

Wood Shutters

Shutters that are constructed of natural wood. Wood shutters are commonly made from a number of different types of wood depending on the manufacturer and region or location. Some types of wood used include basswood, teak, and cedar.

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