Center Tilt Rod vs. Hidden Tilt Rod: Which Option is Right for You?


One of our favorite products to sell is shutters, also referred to by some as ‘Plantation Shutters.’ There are many benefits to this product and in Southern Texas it is a very popular window covering choice amongst homeowners. Besides the beautiful aesthetic quality of a shutter, they are great for energy efficiency and light control. Shutters also eliminate cords and controls and are therefore a great choice for pet owners or families with kids concerned about child safety. Shutters are definitely an investment but they also have double the life expectancy of any other window covering product!

Now that I have convinced you why shutters are a good purchase, I want to discuss one of the big decisions when purchasing shutters.

Should you order with the center-tilt rod or hidden-tilt rod (sometimes referred as ‘Invisible Tilt or Clearview’)?

Let me first start by saying that you can’t make a bad decision! Ultimately, homeowner preference is the most important factor. I can, however, introduce a few key points in making this decision.  Let’s start with Center-Tilt.


Traditionally, shutters include a tilt rod in the center of each panel, which allows the louvers to move simultaneously at one time. Many people would assume that this center-tilt rod is meant to be used to open and close the louvers. However this common misconception is a BIG NO NO! The proper way to operate a shutter is by grabbing the louvers and moving them up or down without touching the tilt bar. The center tilt is there for function of the louvers moving together. If misused, over time the staples that secure the rod to the louvers might become loose and damaged. Therefore, if you can foresee the potential threat of children and/or pets damaging this alluring center-tilt rod…I would suggest the next option.

Center Tilt Shutters


Hidden tilt rods are usually positioned on the backside of the panel, nearest the hinges. I am often asked how shutters are operated with hidden tilt and the answer is the same above, by grabbing the louvers. Over the years I have had less call backs or problems with hidden tilt because I have found that the first thing a child will grab and/or a pet will bite, is the center tilt rod.

Hidden Tilt Shutters


Aesthetic quality is a large factor in purchasing shutters. Typically my preference in advising potential customers is that the center tilt rod looks best with traditional décor, and hidden tilt with a transitional or modern look. This isn’t to say that you can’t mix any décor with either tilt, but I have especially noticed that a very modern home looks best with a larger louver and hidden tilt.

Shutters are also my favorite look from the outside of a home. It is usually easier to confirm that a home has shutters with the center tilt rod present. Another important consideration is that if your windows have ‘grilles’ in between the panes, the hidden tilt helps prevent the creation of another line in the window. This can also be true for multiple panels in one large opening. If the window is a three or four panel shutter, and a divider rail is used, this translates to six or eight center tilt rods!

The last point I want to make is light control and view-through. Most customers prefer a shutter for its ability to allow light in and also the amazing view-through capability. The vertical line of the center tilt creates an obstruction in viewing outside. It can also create a shadow on the interior of your home. Hidden tilt allows for more light to come in and also a cleaner view to the outside.

I hope these points help in making your decision when purchasing shutters for your windows. To learn more about shutters, and explore some of their Pros and Cons, check out this blog. If in the San Antonio and surrounding areas  – please schedule an appointment with us today if we can help or answer any other questions!

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