The Shutter Panel

Wondering how the shutter panel works? Here you can find detailed information on how the shutter is constructed.

shutter panel

Every shutter panel is composed of four key parts

  • Stiles
  • Rails
  • Louvers
  • Tilt bar

Stiles and Rails

The two vertical bars are called stiles and the horizontal bars are called rails. Depending on the shutter style some shutters have only two rails while others have three; the third rail is in the middle and it is called the divider rail.


The most popular feature is the louver. The louver is the slat that is inside the panel. Although mostly louvers are positioned horizontally, vertical louvers are sometimes used in specialty designs.

Specialty shaped windows will often have the louvers in a sunburst style.

Most louvers are movable to help control light. The movable louvers are connected at the center and rotate vertically to allow in light and slanted downward to block the light.

Exterior shutters though, have fixed louvers to prevent rain from penetrating the shutters.

The shape of the louver also varies by style. There is the more modern elliptical shaped louver

which is thicker in the center and thinner on the edges.

Another shape is the wedge shaped louver;

the thickness is only at one edge. These shapes are especially designed to help block out light when the louvers are closed.

Louvers come in various sizes ranging from 1 1/4" to 4 1/2". The wider the louver the more view-thru space there is between louvers when fully opened. Yet this is not the only consideration when choosing louver sizes. The size of the window often determines the louver size; considering that wider louvers leave a small window with too few louvers for it to look right.

The fourth part is the tilt bar. The tilt bar rotates the movable louvers. It enables the louvers to move in unison changing from look-out to privacy position and everything in between. Some shutters now have hidden tilt bar mechanism.

Now you can see how every part of the shutter panel is important for its operation.

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Specialty Shapes

Do you have an odd shaped window and are wondering how to cover it?

Check out our window treatment ideas for specialty shaped windows.

You will find:

  • Separate pages for each shape window ex. arch, trapezoid, etc.
  • Ideas that allow you to get the most use out of your window
  • How not to lose the unique architectural look of your window
  • How to protect your window's view while protecting your privacy

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