Glossary of Window Covering Terms

Glossary of Window Covering Terms

SelectBlinds understands the importance of choosing the right window treatments for your home. Window shades and window blinds can enhance the look of any room. The following glossary of terms can help you more easily navigate our site to find the right window treatments for you.

A
Arch Window

arch window
Arch Window

Arched windows are a popular way for builders to make a dramatic design statement. While arched windows are commonly found over the front door and in kitchens, they’re also used in family rooms over standard windows. There are two ways to cover your arched windows:

  • Wood blinds and cell shades can be custom fitted to the exact measurements of your arched window for an inside mount. Simply send us a cutout template of your window and we’ll make a window covering that’s a perfect fit.
  • Any window treatment we offer can be used to cover your arched window if you want an outside mount configuration. Make sure to add at least 2” onto the width on each side of the widest points and at least 2” in length at the center of the window. This will make sure the window covering will completely cover the arched window.

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B
Bathroom window treatments

bathroom window treatments
Bathroom window treatments

When choosing bathroom window coverings, you’ll need to keep the material in mind. The best bathroom window treatments are those that are resistant to both moisture and heat. That way, they won’t warp when you use the shower.

  • Faux wood is a great option because it is less likely to warp when compared to real wood.
  • Metal blinds should also be considered. They won’t warp, fade, or bow because of heat or humidity, and they’re extremely easy to clean.
  • Top down/bottom up shades are a popular choice for bathrooms. You can open the top of the shade to allow light to come through while keeping the bottom closed for privacy. It’s the best of both worlds!

Bottom Rail

bottom rail
Bottom Rail

The bottom rail consists of a thicker slat at the bottom of the window coverings. It holds and secures all the cords and ladders and makes it possible to raise and lower the blinds. The material used to create the bottom rail will either match or coordinate with the rest of the window covering.

Box Bracket

Horizontal coverings are mounted using a box bracket, which mounts either to the inside of the window frame or outside the window. Once the box bracket is installed, the window covering will slide right in.

Braided Ladder

braided ladder
Braided Ladder

Usually made of strong polyester, the braided ladder runs vertically through the slats. It helps control the raising, lowering, and tilting of the window covering.

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C
Center Support Bracket

The center support bracket is for horizontal coverings that are too wide to adequately support the weight with only the two end brackets. For example: faux wood is heavier than real wood, a center support bracket might be required to make sure they’re secure.

Clearance

This refers to the depth available for an inside mounted window treatment. Typically, horizontal blinds require a greater clearance than a window shade. Door blinds normally have a small clearance and often require you to use an outside mount.

Cloth Tape

cloth tape
Cloth Tape

Cloth tape is a decorative piece of fabric that is mounted over the ladders on horizontal window coverings. This can be used to further customize the look and style, to cover unsightly corded ladders, or to cover those small pinpricks of light that come through.

Continuous Cord

continuous cord
Continuous Cord

A Continuous cord loop is used to raise and lower a window covering. The cord is looped inside a cord tensioner, and the cord tensioner can then be securely installed on the wall. This keeps the cord taut, which is safer for children than dangling cords. Operating a continuous cord loop is easy. Pull on the cord in one direction to raise the shade and then in the opposite direction to lower it.

Control Length

The control length is how long the lift and tilt are, which is usually half the length of the window covering.

Cord Lock

The cord lock is the mechanism used to lock the window coverings in place when they’re being raised and lowered.

Cord Tilt

cord tilt
Cord Tilt

If your window covering has a cord tilt, you can expect two cords – one to tilt and one to raise and lower. When the cord tilt is pulled, it tilts the slats open and then closed.

Cutout

A cutout provides a space in the window covering for an obstacle, like a door handle, a window crank, or even for crown molding. This is most often used for door coverings.

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E
End Cap

End caps cover the ends of the headrail and bottom rail and are color coordinated to match the color of the window coverings.

Extension Brackets

Extension brackets are used when your window frame protrudes too far for the standard outside mount brackets to fit properly. Adding extension brackets, which are L-shaped, will provide extra clearance and depth so your window coverings will fit perfectly.

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H
Head Rail

head rail
Head Rail

The headrail is found at the top of the window covering, and it’s used for two purposes:

  • 1. Mounting -
    • Roman Shades are mounted directly to the window frame by screwing in the headrail to the mounting surface.
    • Horizontal blinds are mounted by inserting the ends of the headrail into the box bracket and then snapping the bracket shut.
    • Cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades are mounted by snapping the headrail into a mounting bracket.
  • 2. Operation
    • The ladders are attached to the headrail and work with the lift mechanism to let you raise and lower your window coverings.

Hold Down Brackets

Hold-down brackets allow you to hold the bottom rail in place. It’s typically used for window coverings that tilt open rather than raising or lowering. They’re also commonly used for door blinds so you can use the door without having the window treatment swing off the door each time it’s used.

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I
Inside Mount

inside mount
Inside Mount

Inside mount means the window coverings are mounted inside the window frame.

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L
L-Brackets

These are used for outside mounting when it’s necessary to extend the headrail out from the wall. This gives you enough clearance to properly mount and operate the window coverings.

Ladder Grommets

Ladder grommets are metal clips that are compressed on the ends of the ladders on horizontal coverings. They are used to level the covering and are attached to the bottom rail, which helps you raise and lower them.

Lift Cord

lift cord
Lift Cord

The lift cord is located on the side of the window covering and makes it possible to raise and lower them.

Loop Ladder

loop ladder
Loop Ladder

This is the braided ladder used in routeless or the No-Holes privacy option, which can be found on both wood and faux wood blinds. The front and back of each ladder have loops that the cord is laced through, enabling you to raise and lower them.

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M
Multiple blinds or shades on one headrail

mutliple blinds on one headrail
Mutliple blinds/shades on one headrail

2 or 3 window coverings can be mounted on a single headrail. This is a great option if you have an extremely wide window and you want to keep the window coverings lightweight. Each blind/shade will work independently, but you’ll still have a unified, streamlined look with the shared headrail.

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N
No Holes Privacy

no holes privacy
No Holes Privacy

The no holes privacy option eliminates those tiny route holes in standard window coverings. This gets rid of the pinpricks of light that come through, giving you more light and privacy control. Instead of the corded ladders running through the middle of the slat, there are notches on the back of the slat where the cords run through. You still get the same functionality, but you will have a more streamlined look.

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O
Outside Mount

outside mount
Outside Mount

Outside Mount means the window coverings are mounted outside the window frame.

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P
Projection

Projection refers to the distance between the wall and the front of the mounting bracket. This will determine if the window covering will clear the window frame during operation.

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R
Return

return
Return

With blinds that are outside mounted, there is a gap on the sides which makes the ends of the headrail visible. When this occurs, we include a return to cover that gap. The return attaches to the side of the valance and will match perfectly.

Return L Bracket

This bracket is used for mounting the returns to the face of the valance. It can be made from either plastic or metal.

Roman Fold

The roman fold refers to the specific fold used for roman and woven wood shades. When raised, these shades will fold from the bottom as they move their way up, almost like an accordion.

Route Hole

route hole
Route Hole

Route holes are the little holes in the slats of horizontal-blinds and pleated shades. These holes allow the lift cord to attach to the window covering.

Routless

routless
Routless

The routless feature is known as No Holes Privacy at SelectBlinds. The standard route hole used in a horizontal blind allows tiny pinpoint of light to filter through your window blind. The hole is not really an issue, and will not bathe the room in light, but if you want as much sun blockage as possible, then choose the No Holes Privacy option for your window blind. Each slat has a notch cut into the edges for t he lift cords to attach to for the raising and lowering of your horizontal blind. An added advantage is that you can remove each slat for cleaning as desired.

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S
Stop Ball

The stop ball is a circular piece that joins all the lift cords together at the point they come out of the headrail of horizontal blinds. This stop ball keeps the lift cords from tangling and helps them to operate in unison as they’re raised and lowered.

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T
Tassel

tassel
Tassel

The valance is a decorative piece that covers the headrail of both blinds and shades.

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V
Valance

valance
Valance

The valance is a decorative piece that covers the headrail of blinds/shades.

Valance Clip

If the valance is not attached to the headrail at the factory, then it can be attached with valance clips. In many cases, these installed valance clips can be kept out of sight.

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W
Wand Tilter

want tilter
Wand Tilter

The wand tilter is used to tilt the slats open or closed. When turned in one direction, the slats open. And when the wand tilter is turned in the opposite direction, the slats close. The wand tilter can also be placed on either side of the covering during the customization process.

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