panel track blinds available from Strickland's Blinds, Shades & ShuttersCome azalea season in Wilmington and on the North Carolina coast, we are as thankful as ever for panel track blinds. As much as we love our sliding glass doors, we also need proper blinds to protect living rooms and sun rooms from overheating during hot spring and summer months. While traditionally the go-to blinds for sliding doors have been vertical blinds, sliding panels are threatening to take the crown. So, let the great debate continue! Which is the better option, vertical blinds or panel track blinds? Here are a few things to consider if you’re trying to decide between the two.

The Material
It used to be that vertical blinds were just big, long pieces of plastic put together. These days, though, vertical blinds are available in a wide variety of materials, from fabric to faux wood. Our Hunter Douglas Somner® Vertical Blinds offer the largest selection of colors and textures, from sleek metal to soft fabric. On the other hand, our Skyline® Gliding Window Panels are arguably just as varied in selection, with over 600 fabrics to choose from.

Light and Privacy Control
While vertical blinds and sliding panels are tied on material options, when it comes to light and privacy control, there’s one clear winner. Vertical blinds have two settings: blinds tilted open, or blinds tilted closed. Sliding panels, on the other hand, offer a wider range of light and privacy controls, depending on what fabrics you use to filter out some light or completely black out solar energy.

Opening Up
Vertical blinds are elegant in their simplicity and ease of use. This is especially true when it comes to opening them up to let the light in. Vertical blinds slide in one direction, and tightly stack for a clear view outside. Sliding track panels, on the other hand, can slide in one direction or split draw. Split draw means they open from the center and slide out in both directions. For some homeowners, this is an attractive change that adds a nice sense of balance to an open window. For others, it’s an unnecessary complication.

The Size
While vertical blinds can fit any window space, sliding panels are wider and take up more space, even when they’ve been drawn. For this reason, vertical blinds, like Hunter Douglas Luminette® Privacy Sheers, make a better space-saver, but sliding panels may make a more striking visual statement for a window-filled room.

The Price
Vertical blinds have been around over a century, whereas sliding panels are relative newcomers to the window treatment scene. Unsurprisingly, vertical blinds are generally a more economical choice, whereas sliding panels require a bit more spending.

Clearly, the winner of the panel track blinds debate ultimately depends on your personal style and needs. Whether you choose vertical blinds or sliding panels, either option will do the trick for your sliding glass doors. Still conflicted? Contact us at Strickland’s Blinds, Shades and Shutters for a free consultation or in-home estimate today.