Blinds are among the most ubiquitous window treatments on the market. Their popularity in both domestic and commercial settings is down to the ease in which they can be used to control light, temperature and levels of privacy. They come in a wide variety of materials to suit different requirements. Here’s a guide to some of the most popular types.
Aluminium blinds are often found in kitchens, bathrooms and offices. Most, if not all versions are lightweight and durable which means they’re well-suited to high-traffic areas. In addition, they’re anti-corrosive which is often why their chosen for use in areas where there’s high humidity. Installation and maintenance is relatively easy with a damp cloth usually all that’s required to remove stains or surface dust. Perhaps the only downside is the fragility of individual slats. However, this isn’t usually a problem provided they are handled with care.
Wood is another popular material used for window blinds and is known for its strength and insulating qualities. Usually associated with the Venetian style, wood window blinds offer a flexible elegance which fits in with all kinds of decorative themes, whether traditional or contemporary. Despite these advantages, wood blinds are often prone to suffer from the effects of sunlight and humidity, with warping and cracking common problems. They’re also rather expensive.
Closely resembling the real thing, faux wood provides a more cost-effective option that’s resistant to the defects prevalent in real wood such as warping and cracking. It’s also a good insulator and useful for keeping out harmful UV rays. However, faux wood can be rather heavy which means installation and maintenance can sometimes be tricky. There’s also a fairly limited colour scheme to choose from. Nevertheless, faux window blinds offer a cheaper alternative to many other materials and are able to match a rich variety of decorative styles.
Vinyl is a highly durable and versatile plastic which is used in an extensive range of products. It can resist extreme temperatures as well as UV rays and is extremely robust so is ideal for use as a window treatment. In addition, little maintenance is required and cleaning can be performed with ease. Although suited to more contemporary decorative styles, vinyl window blinds are sold in a variety of colours and shades which allows for a greater choice than other materials.
Fabric blinds usually feature a one-piece design and are operated with the use of a pulley system. They’re very effective at blocking out light and are often used for black-out purposes in bedrooms. The fabric is available in numerous colours, textures and styles and is therefore able to suit a variety of themes. However, due to their excessive weight, fabric window blinds tend to be rather heavy which means they can be difficult to install. They are also not suited to high-humidity areas such as kitchens. In addition, cleaning can prove challenging due the absorbent properties of fabric.