Window Blinds - Key Parts

Today, the possibilities of window blinds are astounding. You will find a wide variety of colors, patterns, styles, materials, and more. Although you see so much variance in options, window blinds still have much the same parts. You may never need to worry about these key parts but if you plan to install blinds in your home, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. If your blinds were ever to become damaged or broken, you would know what each part is so ordering or fixing replacements would be easy.

Head Rail

First, there is the head rail. This particular part of the blinds is the top piece. In fact, the head rail is where the tracks for the blinds are located. When you begin shopping around for new window blinds, we recommend you look for a quality head rail. In fact, many window treatment experts believe this one piece's quality is what counts for the overall quality of the blinds as far as strength and durability.


Second, there is the valance. This particular part is what covers the head rail so it gives the blinds a nice, clean appearance. In most cases, the valance would match the color of the blind or window treatment. You will also find the valance to be made from various materials to include vinyl, aluminum, wood, or even fabric. Then there are the slats of the blinds, which is the body, the louvers that are opened and shut. As with the valance, you will discover the slats made from wood, faux wood, aluminum, vinyl, and so on. When ordering, you have two options horizontal or vertical blinds. With horizontal blinds, the slats run horizontally while vertical blinds have slats that run vertically.


Next are the controls of the blinds, which are the mechanisms that open and close the slats. Most blinds offer tilt or lift controls. In this case, a tilt control would allow you to open the slats at an angle, letting in a little or a lot of light. On the other hand, the lift controls simply pull the blinds up or down, which could also be done partially or fully. Then, controls include the lift cord or the wand, which help you maneuver the slats. Ladders are the small cords threaded through each individual slat, actually holding the blinds together as a unit.

Groovers and Slats

You then have groovers, which do not come automatically with all blinds. However, this type of hardware is designed for vertical blinds made from fabric. The long plastic sleeves slide over the slats, which not only provides added support to the slats but also protects the fabric. Tapes are actual strips of fabric that also help hold the blind together. Most commonly, these measure between one and two inches wide. Keep in mind that tapes are different from ladders in that they are not threaded through the slats but attached to the front surface. Finally, the bottom rail is similar to the head rail only at the bottom of the blinds. This part helps by anchoring the blinds on the bottom, again usually color coordinated.