Ultimate Guide to Frame Types
To make our design process easy, one of the first questions we’ll ask you is what type of window you have? We’ll also cover how you will be mounting your shutters – inside or outside. Finally, we will explain the difference between L and Z frames, and which is best for your window.
Throughout the process of designing Shutters in our Design Centre, we'll make recommendations to assist along the way.
To begin with, identifying what style of window you have is the first step in deciding on a frame type. Click here for a detailed article on identifying your window.
In this article:
- What is Shutter Frame
- Inside vs. Outside Mount
- What is a Z-Frame
- What is an Inside L-Frame
- What is an Outside L-Frame
Whether you're inside or outside mounting, shutters generally need to sit inside a frame (there are some exceptions to this rule). The frame will be designed to fit the style and size of your window. Once you have mounted your frame, the shutters will hinge inside the frame.
There are some notable differences between frame types. We offer three types of frames; one for outside mounting, two for inside mounting:
- Inside L-frame
- Inside Z-frame
- A (different) L frame for outside mount.
Inside mount (Recess Fit) shutters sit inside the window recess and are usually fitted in line with the wall. Outside mount (Face Fit) shutters are fitted onto the architrave (window frame), on the outside of the window. Both mounting options look great! However, some people prefer inside mounting because the shutters won't project into the room. Inside mounting also results in a slightly smaller shutter, saving you money.
For a more detailed article on Inside vs Outside mount shutters, click here.
How do I know if I should order an inside or outside mount?
If you have a recess with at least 70mm of unobstructed clearance (e.g. free of window winders, locks, handles etc), you will most likely be able to inside mount your shutter. (Check out our video on measuring with obstructions). For a detailed article on measuring your window for shutters, click here.
If you are unsure what type of mount you need, start by answering some questions our Design Centre and we’ll offer some expert recommendations. Still unsure? Upload photos to the website and we'll check it for you.
A Z-frame, as its name suggests, is in the shape of the letter 'Z'. Used for inside mounting, part of the Z sits inside the window, while the other part creates a lip around the window. This ensures a clean frame around your window, preventing any light bleed.
How Does a Z-Frame Mount to my Window?
A Z-frame is 47.6mm in length. It requires 39mm to sit inside the recess of your window, and 19mm to the wall or architrave surrounding your window.
Have more questions about Inside Z-frames? Check out our in-depth article on Inside Z-frames here.
Can I Install a Z-Frame with an Architrave?
You can install a Z-frame with an architrave, provided you are able to inside mount your shutter and have at least 19mm of flat surface on your architrave.
If you have an architrave and are unsure whether you can mount a Z-frame, please send us a photo of your window and we will provide expert advice.
Can I install a Z-frame with a Window Sill?
You can install a Z-frame with a window sill, provided you are able to inside mount your shutter. The bottom of the frame will be specially manufactured to sit on top of the sill.
Can I Install a Z-frame with an Architrave and Window Sill?
You can install an inside mount Z-frame to window with an architrave and window sill, provided you can inside mount and have 19mm of flat surface on your architrave.
The bottom of your frame will be specially manufactured to sit on the window sill, rather than wrap around the architrave.
Installing Z-frame with Obstructions
When using a Z-frame, we need to be aware of obstructions that may get in the way of installing the frae. While we ask for 70mm of clearance to enable space for the shutter louvres (blades) to open fully, there are tricks for getting around obstructions on your window.
Want to use an inside Z-frame, but don't have 70mm of clearance? Read our article on managing obstructions. You may still be able to achieve it!
WHAT IS AN L FRAME?
An L-frame, as its name suggests, is designed in the shape of the letter 'L'. There are two types of L-frames, which can be used to inside or outside mount your shutter. An outside mount L-frame will project into the room further than an inside mount.
An inside mount L-frame will mount to the inside of your window recess. It can be mounted flush against the wall, or even sit back from the wall at any desired depth.
How does an inside L-Frame mount to my Window?
An inside L-frame is 65mm in length, and requires at least 65mm of unobstructed clearance to fit inside the recess. You also have the option of mounting your shutter further inside the recess if your have more than 65mm of clearance.
Can I Install an L-frame with an Architrave?
You can install an L-frame to a window with an architrave, provided you are able to inside mount your shutter.
If you have an architrave and are unsure whether you can inside mount an L-frame, please send us a photo of your window and we will provide expert advice.
Can I Install an Inside L-frame with a Window Sill?
Yes! An L-frame will sit on top of the sill and mount inside the recess.
Can I Install an Inside L-frame with an Architrave and Window Sill?
Yes! Provided you can inside mount, you can install an L-Frame to a window with an architrave and window sill.
An outside L-frame is mounted to the outside or architrave of your window, depending on the type of window. If you do not have the required clearance for an inside mount, an outside L-frame is a great alternative.
If you are outside mounting, your window will protrude from the wall. Outside mounted shutters have a projection into the room of 63.5mm.
How does an Outside L-Frame Mount to my Window?
An outside L-frame is 63.5mm in length. It requires at least 38mm of flat surface to the outside of your window.
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