The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Material for Your Plantation Shutters

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Material for Your Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters bring elegance, versatility, and functionality to any room. With their clean lines, adjustable slats, and superior light control, it’s no wonder they remain a popular window covering choice today. However, with the wide variety of materials available, selecting the right option for your home’s needs and style can get overwhelming. 

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the most common plantation shutter materials, weighing the pros and cons of each to help you make the best decision. We’ll also explore what impacts the total cost of installation and provide answers to frequently asked questions. Let’s get started!

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What are the Main Options for Plantation Shutter Materials?

When evaluating plantation shutters, you’ll encounter these primary material choices:

Wood

The traditional go-to wood plantation shutters are renowned for their enduring beauty and durability. Crafted from solid natural wood, they come in various stains, paints, and finishes to complement any home’s style and décor. Poplar and basswood are two of the most common woods used.

Composite

A lower maintenance alternative, composite plantation shutters offer a close resemblance to real wood without some drawbacks. Made from PVC, resins, polyurethane, or other synthetic materials, composites resist moisture, humidity, and warping. They can mimic the look of traditional wood as well.

Aluminum 

A budget-friendly option, aluminum plantation shutters are ideal if cost is a major factor. Lightweight and affordable, aluminum withstands the elements, humidity, and moisture well. However, it lacks the natural warmth and beauty of real wood.

Faux Wood

For a casual cottage look, faux wood plantation shutters are constructed from manufactured wood products like particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Then, they are given an outer veneer layer mimicking wood. Affordable and low maintenance, the tradeoff is durability and authenticity.

How to Choose the Best Material for Your Plantation Shutters?

With each option having advantages and disadvantages, deciding the “best” material comes down to aligning with your priorities:

Durability & Longevity

If lifetime value is important, natural wood shutters are the most durable and can last for decades when properly cared for. Composite is also extremely resilient and stands the test of time. 

Cost

Wood shutters have the highest upfront investment. Composite follows, still costlier than other materials but more affordable than real wood. Aluminum and faux wood are the most budget-friendly options.

Appearance & Aesthetics

For a genuinely upscale, timeless look, wood shutters are unrivaled. Staining, painting, and customizing them makes them versatile too. Composites come remarkably close to real wood’s appearance. 

Weather Resistance

Composite and aluminum materials resist warping, discoloring, and damage from humidity, rain, and sun exposure. Unfinished natural wood can be vulnerable if not adequately sealed and maintained.

Noise Reduction

With their density and insulation qualities, wood shutters excel at damping sound. Composites and aluminum don’t reduce outside noise as effectively.

Eco-Friendliness

For an environmentally responsible choice, composite shutters made from recycled materials have less impact. Some woods, like bamboo, can be sustainable as well.

Key Factors that Determine Total Costs

Installing plantation shutters requires an investment that will upgrade your home for years. The total costs are driven by:

shutter materials
  • Size 

The more coverage and surface area needed, the higher the price. Larger windows or specialty shapes like arched windows also boost costs.

  • Materials

As discussed, wood is generally the most expensive, followed by composites and aluminum, which are the most budget-friendly. Unique stains and finishes add cost. 

  • Specialty Features & Upgrades  

Consider customized options like divided lite inserts, concealed tilt rods, motorization, and built-in privacy screens. These trends result in a higher-end look and price point.

  • Labor 

Complex installations, higher-end materials, and custom options will demand more professional expertise and man-hours, increasing labor fees.

  • Location

Material and labor costs vary by region. Urban areas also average higher prices than rural areas.

Frequently Asked Questions on Plantation Shutters

1. What is the best wood type for plantation shutters?

Hardwoods like basswood, poplar, ash, and red oak are excellent choices that take stain beautifully. Avoid soft, uneven-graining woods like pine that show wear.

Quality composites are treated with UV inhibitors and color stabilizers. They resist fading and discoloration, retaining their like-new appearance for years.

Yes, most materials can be dusted and wiped clean on the window. Caustic cleaners should be avoided on wood and composites.

Make A Statement With The Right Material for Plantation Shutters

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The right plantation shutters can upgrade any room with added elegance, functionality, light control, and privacy. By carefully selecting materials that align with your priorities for appearance, longevity, cost, and performance, you will surely be satisfied with this worthy investment. Contacting a professional shutter company for advice is recommended to make the optimal choices for your unique situation. For a free in-home consultation on custom plantation shutters tailored for your space and style, contact the experts at Made In the Shade Hilton Head today.