Opening A Plantation Shutter Hinged View Web

Can plantation shutters be opened?

They may look as though they don’t but, unless requested, all plantation shutters open. You can even remove fixed plantation shutters from the window when necessary, to allow for cleaning. But, as everything to do with plantation shutters is customisable you have a few opening options to choose from. It’s worth thinking about how you see yourself using your shutters, even if it may seem obvious. Below is a brief overview of the shutter openings we offer and some information about each one.

Hinged plantation shutters

This is a standard plantation shutter, and the most common option for our clients. The shutter panels attach to the frame on a hinge, with the frame itself screwed into the wall. The shutter panel opens into the room on the hinged side and fits back into the frame when closed using magnets. To open the shutter you grasp the shutter from the bottom or side of the frame, rather than the louvres, and pull until the magnets release the panel.

Opening a plantation shutter hinged view web

A basswood shutter panel left open in The Shutter Studio showroom


This solution works well if you’d like intermittent access to your windows, but not if you want to leave the shutter open for long periods. If you have a view you’d like to admire we’d recommend a bifolding shutter, but if you want to leave your hinged shutter open there are two things to consider. First, will there be enough wall space for the shutter to sit comfortably when open? If not will you be comfortable with the shutter hanging into the room? Second, tell your surveyor how you envision your shutters opening so they can make sure the shutters sit flush against your wall. Finally, if you’d like to leave your shutters open we’d always recommend choosing basswood shutters over MDF shutters. While MDF is a robust material it is heavy and, over time, this puts a lot of weight on the hinges. Although most companies will fix any resulting issues, basswood will cause you fewer headaches in the long term.

Shutters stay in the frame using magnets

A closed shutter will click into the frame using magnets


Hinged plantation shutters. Key points:

  • Standard shutter fixing
  • The shutter frame screws into the wall. The shutter panels attach via hinges to the frame
  • Not the optimal option if you’d like to leave the shutters open for long periods of time
  • When open the shutters will hang into the room
  • If you’d like the shutters to sit flush against the wall you need to tell your surveyor this
  • If you want your shutters open for long periods of time we wouldn’t recommend MDF shutters

Bi-folding plantation shutters

Bi-folding shutters have multiple panels that attach to the frame on a single hinge. Then panels concertina fold back against each other and are much better suited to windows you’d like to admire the view from. Each panel has a set of magnets to keep the shutter panels together when folded back. When closed those same magnets mean the shutter stays in the frame.

Bifolding white teak shutters with the hinge visible

Two shutter panels connected by a hinge. These will fold back against the wall.


As with hinged shutters, make sure there is enough space to fold your bifolds back, and speak to your surveyor about how they should sit. The same concerns about the weight of MDF shutters also apply; if you’d like to leave your shutters open, basswood shutters will cause fewer problems.

Bifolding white teak shutters fitted to a kitchen window

Make sure there will be enough space, either within the recess or against the wall


Finally, from the outside the folded joins will hardly ever match your window fixings as each panel must be the same size to fold away neatly. If you have three panes of glass in your window, there will be a join in the middle of each pane. For some clients this is exactly the look they want, for others it’s a dealbreaker when it comes to bifolding shutters. Make sure you consider the look and shape of your windows before going ahead.

Tier on tier bifolding shutters with a hidden tilt rod and 64mm louvre external view

Bifolding shutters are unlikely to line up with your window fixings, which will mean joins in the middle of the window pane


Bifolding plantation shutters. Key points:

  • Best for an unobstructed view
  • The shutter frame screws into the wall. The shutter panels attach via hinges to the frame or another panel
  • The optimal option if you want to leave your shutters open for long periods of time
  • Make sure there is enough space for the shutters to fold back as you would like
  • In most cases we wouldn’t recommend MDF shutters
  • The individual shutter panels are very unlikely to line up with your existing window fixings

Fixed plantation shutters

If you don’t want your shutters to open, we can also install fixed plantation shutters. Fixed plantation shutters have no visible hinges and attach to the frame using magnets. This choice is standard for our shaped shutters, but is also an option for regular windows. Rather than fixing the shutter in the frame, magnets all you to remove the shutter as and when you need to. This style of opening is suitable for MDF shutters, but if the shutter is large make sure you have help when you take them down.

A fixed shaped shutter attached via magnets

A circular shaped shutter fixed in the frame. Magnets attach the panel in four places.


Fixed plantation shutters. Key points:

  • Best for shaped shutters
  • No hinges
  • Attached via magnets
  • Can be heavy to open, depending on the size of the shape

So can plantation shutters be opened?

Yes – plantation shutters can be opened. And you now know more about the subject than you’ve ever wanted to know. Hopefully we’ve managed to cover all your questions, but if anything is unclear or unanswered we’re always happy to help. You can call us with questions on 0208 662 0126 – or contact us through our website to book your free consultation and survey at a time that suits you.