Types of Blinds & Shades
There are tons of different shades and blinds on the market today. Below is a list, along with a description of just a few of those options.
Aluminum blinds, or mini-blinds as they are commonly referred, are a very popular and inexpensive option. These are the blinds that you generally see in offices and businesses. These are generally grey, tan or white but can be found in a number of different colors and sizes to meet the needs of your situation.
Wood blinds tend to be one of the more stylish blinds on the market. These blinds are made from a very light wood called basswood. Because of this they are an excellent choice when covering larger windows. The light wood lowers the stress on the support bar, known as the head-rail. Wood blinds come in a number of different shades and stains, so be sure that you take the time to find the one that will match the trim that is already in place.
Fauxwood Blinds are going to be a lot heavier than most blinds. The reason is because they are made with a composite material, often times PVC and possibly some wood. Because of this most companies strong urge people to only use these blinds for smaller windows, or to break up the blind into several sections to cover a large window. The upside to these blinds is, however, that they are easy to clean and won't warp much when in a high moisture environment. These make these blinds great for sunrooms or porches as well as kids rooms or entry ways.
Vertical Blinds are also made of PVC normally. These types of blinds are normally reserved for sliding doors or very large windows. The reason they are used for sliding glass doors is because they can be moved or positioned in a number of different ways. You can pull them all to one side or the other, but they can also be gathered up in the middle. These blinds are also going to be warp resistant and very easy to clean.
For Doors you will want to stick with smaller blinds. This is so the blinds don't interfere with the function of the door. In addition you will need to find blinds that can be mounted both at the top and bottom so that the blinds won't sway and crash against the door every time it is open and/or closed. There are some blinds that can be mounted in between the interior and exterior of the door, but these can be expensive and difficult to install or clean.
Bamboo and Woven wood shades have been one of the more popular styles of shades lately. These blinds can be made from a bunch of different types and colors of wood. Because of this you will want to make sure that you obtain samples of either the colors of wood in your home, or samples of the blinds before you choose one. One other decision that you will have to make when you are considering these types of blinds is going to be the type of retraction they have. They generally come in both the roman’s style or the roll-up version. Either way, the one drawback to these blinds is they tend to still take up quite a bit of space, even when they are retracted. That said, you will need to make sure that will work with the style of the room they will be hung in.
Roller shades are in credibly popular because they are incredibly inexpensive. These shades simply roll up on a tube hung above the window. Almost everyone has seen these types of shades before. They come in vinyl or cloth. The quality of the shade will depend heavily on the type of material you end up going with. The vinyl tends to rip easily but is very easy to clean. The cloth is the opposite, harder to clean, but more durable.
Cellular shades/honeycomb shades are a great choice when trying to block UV rays from entering the room. Because of this they will also assist in insulating the room. They are normally made of poly cotton fiber and are normally stain resistant.
Blinds for sliding glass doors are a special case you may come into contact with. Normally the best option for this situation is going to be vertical blinds. They will be the easiest to move out of the way, while still providing all of the benefits of other options.
Blinds for wet environments need to have a few different features that you will want to check on before purchasing them. One of these is they will need to be water proof, but they will also need to be warp resistant. Some wooden blinds claim to be water proof, but the constant moisture will eventually warp the wood. Your best options for environments such as bathrooms or kitchens it faux blinds (or PVC blinds) or possibly even aluminum mini-blinds.