Monday, February 3, 2020

What is a mid rail and why do some ShutterKits DIY shutters require them and others don't?

To have a better understanding it's best to go over the construction of a plantation shutter and it's components.

Structural Components Of A ShutterKits Shutter
Shutters are manufactured using several structural components and several operational components:
• Rails - which are located on the top and bottom of the shutter panel
• Mid Rail - is a dividing structure horizontal rail (if required)
• Stiles - which are located on the sides of the shutter panel(the vertical parts)
• Blades/louvres – Which are the operational component
The top, bottom and mid rails are secured to the stiles utilising a mortise and tenant joint. This forms the main structural chassis of the plantation shutter panel.
The blades are then encased within this chassis, designed to rotate for light control and privacy.
The design nature of the blades when in a closed position, may give the appearance of a solid unit, but in fact it's the mid rail that gives structural stability to the shutter panel over certian sizes.
This is the main reason the inclusion of a mid rail is critical once the ShutterKits pre-determined recommended height is reached.

Where To Place The Mid Rail
Being that the mid rail is a solid horizontal section of the interior shutter unit and does not rotate, it should be placed in front of existing storm bars or obstructions such as handles for example, in the window or door opening.

If the opening does not have pre-existing rails or obstructions, placing the mid rail in the wrong position may obscure the view.
Majority of large sliding doors and windows for example will have safety stickers attached to the glass to identify and prevent people from walking into them. The sticker height is sometimes selected as the shutter mid rail position – it's not a bad choice, but only if it doesn't impair the view or interfere with the living space. It's important to be conscious of the living arrangement to ensure placement of the mid rail is in the best position. The addition of a mid rail can be placed centrally or for example in a position that is aesthetically pleasing e.g. a third of the way up from the bottom. By adding a mid rail, it also allows you to have all the blades/louvres open or just the top section or just the bottom section depending on the light & air flow to have everything just right for your needs.

Consistent Mid Rail Positions
Another important thing to take into consideration is keeping your mid rail positions consistent where possible.
You may have several size windows within the same room that require mid rails, it's always best to try to align your mid rails – where possible, so the blades line up.
If you have any questions or simply need to talk it through, please don't hesitate to contact us today for all your Painted Timber Plantation Shutter or External Aluminium Shutter needs. Australia wide and beyond we're here to help.