Choosing Shutters

Wood, Faux Wood or Vinyl Shutters


Looking for an alternative to draperies, shades, or blinds? Shutters are an attractive option (and one of favorite choices for window treatments). They are versatile, durable, and can increase the value of your home. They also have optimum insulating and privacy properties. What more could you possibly ask for in a window treatment?

Your options for choosing shutters are endless. They are available in your choice of wood, faux wood, or vinyl. They are also available in a wide range of colors. You can even choose the size louver you’d like. Different louver sizes include 2 ½” for a more traditional look, 3 ½” for a more contemporary look, and 4 ½” for a more modern look.

Here we discuss your material options and what factors to consider when choosing between wood, faux wood or vinyl shutters.

Shutter Materials

Vinyl shutters are lightweight and work well in areas prone to moisture because they will not warp. They cannot be painted or stained, but come pre-finished in a number of popular neutral colors, such as white and off-white tones. Vinyl shutters are usually the least expensive or the three materials and make a great budget option.

Faux wood shutters are made of wood strands and fibers that are bonded together to produce a composite unit both stronger and more durable than real wood shutters. They too work well in moisture prone areas because they will not warp. Faux wood shutters typically come pre-finished in your choice of either a smooth or wood-grain finish.

Real wood shutters are constructed from superior grade North American hardwoods. The challenge with this option is that wood may warp over time – especially in moisture prone areas such as kitchens or bathrooms. Wood shutters are, however, built to last and many manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on their finishes.

Which Material is Best?

When making this decision, there are several factors to consider.

Cost: You can find quality shutters for every budget. If you want to get the best bang for your buck, while getting a shutter that looks like real wood, choose faux wood. Vinyl, as mentioned previously, is generally only available in neutral colors such as white. Of the three options, real wood is the most expensive.

Color: These window treatments come in a wide range of finishes to help you complete your décor.

Location: When deciding which material to buy – wood, faux wood or vinyl  – it is important to first consider where they will be going. Rooms prone to moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens, would be a poor choice for wood. You should consider either faux wood or vinyl for these type of rooms.

Energy Efficiency: Shutters can help optimize energy efficiency by reducing the heat gain and loss in your home. Properly installed they may provide the best possible window insulation system. You can combine them with other window treatments such as draperies for even greater efficiency.

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