Shutters in a bedroom with a blue bed

Frame Types Offered by Sunburst Shutters

August 25, 2017

Frame Types

During the process of learning about shutters you quickly stumble on to frame options. There are many types of molding that are offered by different shutter companies. The shutter frame really dresses up the opening. So what type is best for you? You may already have wood casing around your windows, what then? What if your windows are “tilt-in” or “double hung”? I’ll cover all the options we offer at Sunburst Shutters Houston.

Dining room with shutters in Houston


Z-frame is the most popular type of frame used in the Houston area. This frame is great when the window is already surrounded by sheet rock. It can work with or without an existing window sill (covered later in the post). This frame type provides the window with a trim that appears to make the window look like it has wood casing around it. The frame is 3″ wide, with 1.5″ actually sitting inside the window. This frame is only .5″ thick and the shutter panel will sit flush with this type. If your window tilts or folds in, this type of frame WILL block it from doing that. The downside of putting a Z frame on a window that tilts or folds in is resale (meaning you decide to sell the home and the new homeowner is not happy about her shutters blocking in the window). Z-frame is also available in a 3.5″ flat Craftsman style.

Inside mounted shutters

Inside Mount

This inside mount frame is typically used when your window already has casing around it. The picture shows an installation we did in Meyerland that uses the inside mount in sheet rock because it is more visible. The frame is 1″ thick. This frame is sometimes referred to as “L-Trim” obviously because it resembles the letter L when you look at a cross section of it. Our installation team, Justin Warner and Temi Aluko, will caulk any gaps around the parameter. Note: We build the shutters .25″ narrow and .125″ short on purpose to be able to make sure the shutters sit true and plumb in the opening. Of course, we fill in those gaps with a similar color caulking to the shutters. In Houston we use a Sherwin Williams 45-year caulk. This type of frame will still block in a tilt in. Some customers, like the one pictured above like the lower profile, and more contemporary look it gives.

Kitchen with plantation shutters

Surface Mount

Surface mount is the go-to frame when you DO have a tilt- in style window. It’s also great when you do not have a very deep window or a french door. This frame is 1.75″ wide from the back side and 1.37″ from the shutter panel edge to the edge of the frame. It’s a simpler look around the edges and is not as ornate like the Z frame. No part of this shutter frame sits inside the window, so it does stick out into the room about 2″. Sounds like a lot, but as you can see in the photo here, it looks great. As a side note, this photo was taken from a prominent retirement community located in Houston. We have installed 55 of these apartments and counting!

Window sill


Most of the houses we install have window sills already installed. These are no problem when we use this piece known as the Sill Piece. This helps transition any of the frames listed above when they are going on top of an existing window sill.

Shutter options for colors and frames

Frame styles will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Even though the look may be different the concept is the same. Here I am installing a surface mount frame on top of casing.

Installing shutters in Houston

Please contact our office 713-853-9629 or email me at for more information.