Cafe Doors

We have produced a variety of cafe doors for both public and private use.   Interested in cafe doors?   Consider the following when designing your doors.

Fixed louvers– typically, all cafe door louvers are fixed.  The purpose of these doors is to obscure the view from one area into another and provide easy access, making fixed louvers a natural.  If you prefer the look of a tilt rod, it can be ordered as such.  You may want to tighten the louver tension so that the louvers are not moved unless that is your intention.

Design– the top of the cafe door can be a simple rectangular top, slightly curved or elaborately designed.  See example photos below or submit your own unique design.

Proportion- as with all our custom shutters, cafe doors are built to order.  Depending on the level of privacy you need, cafe doors are usually between 3′-5′ high, possibly higher.    A good rule of thumb is to take your opening height and order your shutters 1/2 to 2/3 the total height.  Also pay attention to where you want them positioned.  Are you taller than average?  You may want to hinge them higher to obstruct your site line.

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Plantation Shutter with Insect Screens

Yet another unusual custom shaped shutter shipped from our facility this week.  These shutters, were headed to a home in NY and had an insect screen built into them!

How did we do it?

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Italian Rustic- Tuscan Style Shutters

Tuscan interiors are very popular in the US right now.  A new book, Italian Rustic, written by Elizabeth Minchilli, details a variety of authentic Tuscan homes.    From wall finishes, to flooring, to windows and even shutters, she discusses the construction methods and how you can replicate this look in your home.

On my recent trip to Italy, I was intrigued with the shutters that are so common on the inside and outside of a Tuscan home.   According to Elizabeth, Italians have an intricate system for setting windows and shutters.     Interior shutters, called Scuri’s, are primarily designed to provide darkness.  Notice how in the photo from her book, the shutter itself is designed to fit snugly in the jamb area of the glass with a bit of overlap, insuring maximum darkness when closed.

Interior Tuscan Style Shutters

Interior Tuscan Style Shutters

If you are looking to bring a little Tuscany to your home, consider customizing your plantation shutter to be reminiscent of the style of a Tuscan shutter.   For instance, by adding a raised panel to the bottom of a shutter you can maintain the functionality and light control of a plantation shutter, while attaining the charm associated with a Tuscan home.

Tuscan inspired shutter by Kirtz Shutters

Tuscan inspired shutter by Kirtz Shutters

Choosing rustic materials, such as knotty alder or reclaimed wood for your shutters is another way to incorporate the feeling of age and permanence found in Tuscan farm homes.
Bring your shutter ideas to Kirtz Shutters, and we help you add a little Tuscany to your home.

Custom Louvered Doors

Kirtz is always doing something customized for our plantation shutters, from the finishes applied to the specs, we are very flexible about doing what it takes to meet our customers needs.

Recently 2 pair of custom doors moved through our production line with some very unusual specifications.  They were to be used as sliding pocket doors in a dining room.

The unique specs on these custom shutter doors were as follows (see photos below):

  • One stile was 5″ wide, the other 4″ wide, so that when taking into consideration the overlap inside the pocket, when they were pulled shut the doors would look symmetrical.
  • Each door was composed of an inner and outer stile.  The outside stile was 2 1/4″ thick, and the inner, drop down stile was 2″ thick with 1 3/4″ face.
  • All joints were mitered, instead of our standard butt joint.
  • Customers own, custom blended custom latex enamel was used, instead of our oil based lacquer finish.
  • Panels were 112″ high

These doors were quite different than anything else that has been through our factory before, but we were happy to contribute to this project.

If you need a shutter, louvered door or other product with unique specifications call Kirtz Shutters, we are ready to help!

Custom Louvered Doors

Custom Louvered Doors

Close up of door, showing special custom stile/rail configuration

Close up of door, showing special custom stile/rail configuration

Kirtz Shutter Craftsmanship; what a quality finish adds to your custom shutter

Without a quality finish on  a custom shutter, the value created by using a high quality wood, and rigorous construction standards would be minimized.   Let’s take a look at how Kirtz Shutters achieves a  quality finish on our custom shutters. 

Linear Priming (painted shutters only)

Components of our painted maple shutter are primed in lineal form.  By priming in lineal form we can ensure an even coating of primer, up to two mill thickness on each part of the shutter.  A high quality prime helps the shutter take finish coats well.

Wood Grading (painted and stained shutters)

Not all components make the final cut for a Kirtz Shutter.  All of our components are inspected before they reach the production line and undesirable sections of wood with flaws are marked as not suitable for a Kirtz Shutter.

Prep Work~ Where the Magic Happens

Even the best quality wood has some imperfections.   To get a smooth finish involves a high level of attention to detail during prep work.   Imperfections are fixed during 2 different stages of manufacturing.  

The Production Line — Filler is applied to the any noticeable flaws in the wood and sanded out smooth.  

Brown and Sand — Shutters enter this area after they are built, and before they enter the finish room.  High intensity spotlights shine down upon the shutters, highlighting any slight flaw that might show up in the final product.  These minor flaws are fixed with putty and sanding, and then the finish sanding begins. 

Finish sanding is done by hand, with very fine sandpaper.  Every inch of the Kirtz Shutter is finish sanded, including the top of the tilt rod, an area that few manufactures take the time to address.  After final inspection, they are ready for finish.

shutters are inspected for flaws under high intensity lights

shutters are inspected for flaws under hign intensity lights


any small flaws are fixed before finish is applied

any small flaws are fixed before finish is applied

During finish Kirtz Shutters are hung from a track system on cars that allow the shutter to rotate completely.  This makes sure, whether painted or stained, each shutter receives an even amount of paint/stain on all parts of the shutters resulting in a smooth, even finish from any angle.

plantation shutters in the paint finish room

plantation shutters in the paint finish room

Painted Shutters receive  two coats of  lacquer paint finish on top of the primer.  In between coats, shutters are quality inspected.  All our paint has UV inhibitors in it to help keep your custom shutters looking great, even in the most intense sun.

Stained Shutters are sprayed with your stain color, typically a custom mix done just for you.  Each shutter receives two coats of stain.  In between coats, the shutters are taken down off the track, hand wiped and lightly sanded    This step is the differential between standard finish and a truly furniture quality finish.    Without it the shutter color would appear a bit opaque, what some people call “muddy” .  To finish up, we put two coats of clear finish on the shutters to protect the wood and bring up the beauty of the grain.   We use a 20 sheen, which gives a nice luster to the wood and provides the finish with depth.  

After finishing is complete, Kirtz Shutters sit overnight to let the finish have time to cure.  Depending on the time of the year, painted finishes are given extra curing time in a cool room.

While each area of our factory plays a key role in making the Kirtz Shutter a bench quality product,  the finish department plays a critical role in making the work of all the other departments really shine.