Blinds Glossary of Key Terms

With blinds being one of the most popular types of window treatments, you will find a huge selection on the market to include size, material, style, color, and so on. Depending on the type of blinds you choose, some can be quite expensive. Obviously, you want to choose the best quality blind you can afford while going with blinds that will last, block out heat, control sunlight, and provide privacy. The best way to choose any new blinds is by understanding them. Therefore, we have pulled together some of the more common terms used for blinds, which can be used as a reference point.

Arch Over Standard: Manufacturer uses a single head rail for both arch and shade, which eliminates gaps

Align Slats: When using a side-by-side mount, you can ask the blind manufacturer to design the slats the same level all the way across, which provides a cleaner, more unified appearance

Bead Loop Chain: Lift system that uses metal or plastic rather than standard cord material. Typically, pull chains on blinds are made from straight, plastic type material but with a beaded loop chain, the pull has small beads one after another, creating a more elegant look. Additionally, beaded loop chains can be color coordinated to match the draperies or room color.

Bottom Rail: Piece of material securing ladders and cords to the bottom of a blind. It can be made of metal, aluminum, wood, or faux wood is used at the base of blinds to weigh them down. The result is a professional, finished look.

Bottom Rail Tape Button: Piece of plastic that fits firmly into small openings located on the bottom of the rail for securing ladders in place.

Box Bracket: Brackets used for one-inch horizontal or two-inch traditional blinds

Braided Ladder: Polyester braided with rungs on which the blind slats rest

Carrier Clip: Clips attaching to vertical vanes to the track system for vertical blinds

Center Support Bracket: Made for wider blinds, supporting the weight of the blinds

Clearance: Distance from the wall to the back of the window covering

Cloth Tape: Decorative braided cloth available in colors and used instead of typical cord ladders

Common Head Rail: Feature allowing two or more blinds/shades to be mounted on the same head rail unit

Common Valance: Situation in which one valance is used to cover two or more blinds

Control Length: Tilt and lift length

Cord Cleat: Small bracket that affixes to the wall on which the cord can be hung

Cord Lock: Feature on the head rail that allows the blinds to be raised/lowered and then locked into position

Cordless: Lifting feature whereby the blinds can be raised or lowered without a cord

Cordless Lift: If you want to eliminate the messy look of pull cords or if you have small children and you want to create a safer solution for window treatments, the cordless lift is ideal. In this case, the blinds would be raised or lowered simply by pulling lightly on the bottom.

Continuous Cord: Cord designed to come out of the head rails, attaching to the bottom rail

Cord Tilt: Mechanism that operates with two cords

Cut-Out: Section of blind cut out for obstacle clearance

Decorative Pull: If you want to enhance the appearance of your cordless blinds, you could add a decorative pull

Easy Tip: For larger blinds, an easy tip is often used to help make operation easier. For this, the cord is kept at the same length no matter the position of the blinds.

End Lock: Metal piece on the end of the head rail to help provide center support

Extension Brackets: Metal pieces used for blind installation needing to be extended over a window sill

Factory Deductions: When buying blinds, check to see if the manufacturer is offering any factor discounts. In this case, the manufacturer would actually add or deduct to your exact measurements. In other words, if your windows are smaller than normal, the blinds would be made accordingly and you would enjoy a price reduction. However, if you needed a little more width or height, you would be allowed a certain amount discounted or free.

Faux Wood Blinds: Material made from wood pulp mix, vinyl, or PVC that looks like real wood with the exception of lower price and better longevity

Flush Mounting: Amount of space required for the inside of your window sill for the blinds to be installed where nothing protrudes

Full Service: Service provided by the manufacturer or retailer whereby measuring and installation are included in the price

Head Rail: Hardware on the top of the blinds where tracks are located

Hold Downs: Brackets that hold the bottom rain in place when fully lowered.

Inside Mount: Mounts used for fitting blinds to the inside of a window frame

Interlocking Slats: Slat design where the slat closure is tighter, making or better light control and privacy

"L" Brackets: Used during installation to extend the blind over the window sill

Ladder: Thin cords threaded through individual slats

Ladder Grommets: Metal clips compressed on ends of ladder

Lift Cord: Cord pulled to raise and lower the blinds

Loop Ladder: Braided ladder used for routeless blinds

Metal Tape Roll: Cylinder piece fitting into the head rail of a standard blind

Motorized: Remote feature whereby the blinds could be raised, lowered, or tilted with the touch of a battery operated control

Mount: Type of mount to include inside, which is inside the window frame or outside, which is on the outside of the window frame

No Holes: New window blind design that prevents light from filtering in between the slats

One-on-One Head Rail: Default option for blinds

Outside Mount: Mounting option in which blinds are installed on the outside of the window frame

Plastic Tape Roll: Used for one and two-inch blinds

Projection: Distance from the front of the window covering to the location where mounted on the wall

Return "L" Bracket: Used to attach returns to the face of the valance

Route Hole: Punch in the slat through which the cord is routed

Routed: Cord is designed to route through the slats

Routeless: Blinds with notches cut out of the front and back of each slat. These blinds are designed without routing holes, which means better privacy, less light, and a increase of energy efficiency

Skylight Blinds: Blinds specially designed to cover a skylight

Slats: Strips of material (aluminum, vinyl, PVC, wood, fabric, etc) that make up the main body of the blinds

Spacer Blocks: Hardware option used to help the blinds clear trim and other miscellaneous obstacles

Stop Ball: Circular piece joining the lift cords coming out of the head rail

Tape Roll Support: Plastic component to which the tilt rod is secured

Tassels: Attachment on the end of the cord, which is typically color coordinated

Tilt: Control with a wand or cord for tilting the slats of the blinds

Tilt Bar: Bar designed to move individual slats

Top Down/Bottom Up: Design feature that allows you to open the blinds from the top down or bottom up

Track System: This system is used for all vertical blinds, featuring a head rail on which the blinds are hung

Two or More Blinds on One Head Rail: Feature that allows a person to raise one blind while keeping the other blind closed or vice versa

Valance: Part of the design that covers the head rail from the outside

Valance Clip: Clear plastic piece used to attach the valance to the head rail

Vanes: Used with vertical blinds, which are the "slats" that would be found on horizontal blinds

Wand: Long plastic cylinder used for tilting the slats