One of the decisions that my clients have to make when purchasing horizontal blinds, whether wood or vinyl, is should I get traditional routing or should I get the blinds routless? There are a few things to consider when doing either.
As you can see in the photo, traditional routed blinds have a series of holes punched into the slat. This allows the lift cords to go from the center of the headrail, down through the center of each slat and down to the bottom rail where it is tied off. This has been the standard way of making blinds for many years. The system is pretty fool proof and it has a couple of advantages. First of all, the slats stay in place very well, as it’s hard to remove a slat without cutting the cord. In some cases, it is less expensive, as manufacturers consider the routless option to be worthy of up-charges. The biggest downside to traditional routing is that that hole punches seem to accentuate the light that floods through them at the most inopportune times, like when watching a TV show, or trying to get some sleep during daylight hours. The light that comes through those little tiny holes always seems to find your eyeballs!
One of the options that you might consider for your blinds are a routless version. They have many different trade names, like; de-light, routless, smart-privacy, among others. Using various methods, they usually notch the blinds on the front and back of the slat or punch a small hole near the back edge of the slat. This ensures that when the blind is closed, you don’t see the holes in the slat. This provides better privacy, eliminates the direct sunlight that can come in on traditional blinds and also provides a slightly better insulative barrier at the window. The one detractor that I’ve seen with these blinds is that because some of them do not have a cord running through them, if a client has children or pets, the slats can be removed easily, which can cause some issues. As previously mentioned, some manufacturers charge extra for this feature.
There is one other option for routing of blinds, and that is traditional routing with twill or cloth tapes. Usually there are 1 1/2″ cotton tapes that are placed over the ladders, which are the things that provide the spacing for the slats. These are not that popular in the western U.S., so I won’t spend too much time on them, except to show what they look like.
As always, in order to get the best solution for your windows, consult a professional.