Understanding Louver Size

The biggest choice you’ll face while designing your plantation shutters is selecting the louver size, which refers to the depth of the horizontal slat that can be tilted open and closed on the shutter. Typical louver sizes include 2.5 inches, 3.5 inches, and 4.5 inches.

Are 2.5 inch shutters out of style? The short answer is Yes, 2.5 inch shutters are out of style. They’re just not as trendy as they once were. They used to be quite popular back in the early and late 90s, but in the late 2000s, interior design trends leaned towards bigger, bolder, and simpler designs.

Nevertheless, our factory still produces 2.5” louvers. They account for approximately 3% of all our shutter sales. So, who purchases them? Some individuals opt for them to match their existing 2.5 inch shutters, while others with historic homes prefer the traditional look over more modern designs.

A 2.5" louver plantation shutter with a divider rail cutout on a transparent background.

A 2.5 inch shutter with a divider rail

A 2.5 inch shutter requires extra cleaning

The Problem with 2.5 inch Shutters

The catch with 2.5-inch shutters? They can really hog your view. As Alan Thomas, our Senior Installer puts it, “Those little louvers gobble up a lot of your glass.”

“2.5-inch louvers are like a step up from those 2-inch faux wood blinds. If you’re going with shutters, you might as well upgrade your view.”

Plus, there’s the added fun of dusting off many of those louvers – more surface area, more dusting adventures! 😄

A Transformation Story

Thinking about a more modern louver size for your shutters? We upgraded a customer’s Charlotte shutters from 2.5″ louvers installed in 1998 to the contemporary 3.5″ louvers in 2013, and the 15-year difference is astonishing.

A before photograph of 2.5 inch louver shutters captured in 1998

BEFORE (2.5 inch Louvers)

An after photo showing upgraded 3.5 inch louver shutters in 2024

AFTER (3.5 inch Louvers)

Not only did the room undergo a complete makeover with new furniture, fresh paint, and a new rug, but the larger louvers also opened up the space, offering a clearer view of the outdoors. Paired with new drapery panels, this living space received the well-deserved upgrade it needed.

The History of 2.5 inch Louvers

The Predecessor to 2.5 inch Louvers

The “original” louver size was the 1-7/8 inch louver, commonly referred to as “California style.” This style fell out of favor more than a century ago.

This style was particularly popular in Charleston and lowcountry cottages. As time passed and windows grew larger and wider, these louvers could only be built around 16” before they began to warp.

Due to the challenges posed by the sheer number of these small louvers, their lack of stability, and the dwindling demand, we have never offered shutters with 1-7/8” louvers in our product offerings.

An example of 1-7/8 inch shutters

The Rise of 2.5 inch Louvers

Dalton Taylor, Owner and Founder of Artisan Shutter, reminisces about the high demand for the 2.5-inch louvers:

“When we first started our business, 2.5 was all that anybody wanted. 3.5 were too contemporary and 4.5 was so modern for what anyone wanted at the time” 

Artisan Shutter opened its doors in 1993. 

“But, as time went on, 3.5” became more popular. Interior Designers drove the demand for a cleaner, more contemporary look, and today, 4.5” louvers with our hidden tilt have become our most popular seller. Designers wanted an even larger, cleaner look, and 4.5” louvers with no visible control rod are the most modern form of our product”.  

2.5 inch shutters in 1993

2.5 inch shutters in 2001

A bathroom sitting area with 2 inch shutters

2.5 inch shutters installed in 2022

Help! I don’t have enough depth for a larger louver!

Worried that 3.5 inch or 4.5 inch will stick out too much? Our Charlotte shutter experts can help you determine which mounting options are best for your shutters. Don’t worry too much about louvers protruding into your room – keep in mind that the frame size on the shutter is the determining factor when it comes to how much the shutter louvers will protrude into your room. Our smallest depth frame, the L0 profile, has only 1-5/8” of depth, perfect for keeping your shutters tight to your window.