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Most mini-blinds are constructed with tiny routing holes in the slats to accommodate string ladders. When the cords are pulled these ladders contract or expand to raise or lower the blinds. They also tip the slats up or down when the mini-blind’s wand is twisted clockwise or counterclockwise. Unfortunately these routing holes create a lack of privacy, particularly at night when the interior of a house or building is lit. This led to privacy mini-blinds, which maximize privacy.
Privacy mini-blinds come in different designs, all of them eliminating the large, visible routing holes of standard mini-blinds. Some privacy mini-blinds do have routing holes but they are very small holes placed at the rear of the slats. When these mini-blinds are closed or tilted downwards, each slat’s face hides the routing hole of the slat beneath it.
Some privacy mini-blinds are routeless, or do not have holes in the slats at all. Instead the stats have notched backs to hold the ladder strings. Other types of privacy blinds lack routing holes in central ladders, but do have holes on the outermost ladders. It is assumed these routing holes will be in alignment with window trim, inaccessible to the glass. If you choose this type mini-blind be sure the measurements will place the holes over your window trim.
When shopping for privacy mini-blinds, ensure that the blind slats close all the way to lie flat against one another. Blinds might lack routing holes, but if the design is poor the ladder strings can keep the slats from tipping fully downwards and closing. The result is an open space between each slat through which one can look down and into a room or building. Most stores have sample blinds available. Get close to the blind and look up against the closed slats to check for space, or if shopping online, email the retailer to ask if the blinds lay completely flat and closed in the downward position.
Some privacy mini-blinds feature slats that are contoured into an “S-shape” to fit more securely atop one another when tipped in the downward position. This prevents individual slats from “creeping up the ladder string” to leave a space or reveal a rear routing hole.
Privacy mini-blinds are commonly made of either vinyl or aluminum. Vinyl mini-blinds allow more light to pass for a brighter interior, and are also flexible, resisting damage from being accidentally bent. On the minus side vinyl can collect dust easier than aluminum and might require a little more elbow grease to clean. Aluminum privacy mini-blinds help block light for rooms exposed to constant sunlight. They might also resist dust better than vinyl, but they can be damaged if bent.
Custom ordered privacy mini-blinds are normally higher quality than off-the-shelf blinds, but they are also more expensive. If you find blinds than suit your purpose off the shelf, you can give them a try. Custom blinds normally have smoother working mechanisms for raising and lowering the blinds, and also offer more colors. They can also be made to fit any size window.