Your Guide to Plantation Shutters
Many homeowners don’t realize how much of a difference their choice of window covering can make in their homes. No matter the type of window treatment, these covers help control natural light and provide privacy.
While most people understand the importance of a window covering, they don’t know the difference between each type. Look around your home, and you might notice your window covering. Do you have blinds, shutters, or shades?
New homeowners and those currently looking for new window treatments prefer plantation shutters to other types. Shutters offer an updated look that many homeowners want for their space. These window treatments provide a professional look that fits in with any style, whether you prefer modern, contemporary, transitional, minimalistic, or something entirely your own.
However, narrowing down your choice in window treatments is only half the battle. There are plenty of variations you can choose between when selecting a plantation shutter for your home, including material, color, and size. If you are looking for a complete guide to shutters, then look no further.
The experts at Stanfield Shutter put together a comprehensive guide on plantation shutters, including the different types available. Here is everything you need to know to make an informed choice for your next window treatment.
Shutters come in several material types that work best depending on your home’s location, room type, and style preferences. These larger window treatments are a popular choice for many homeowners as they offer an elegant look. While shutters work well throughout the home, many people especially prefer them in their dining room and bedrooms. But the versatility of plantation shutters also translates to kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms.
Plantation shutters come in different variations. Here’s a breakdown of each, to help you determine which is best for your home.
Vinyl Plantation Shutters
Vinyl shutters are an excellent choice for homeowners looking for an easy-to-clean, cost-effective option. The major advantage of vinyl is its waterproof abilities, which makes it a great choice for bathrooms and above the kitchen sink. Unfortunately, some vinyl shutters don’t meet the mark thanks to structural issues and low-quality manufacturing.
Shutters made from vinyl material are a newer type on the shutter scene. In fact, many vinyl shutter manufacturers have only been in the industry for a short time. But thanks to the increased popularity of these plantation shutters, new vinyl shutter companies seem to appear every day.
If you are going to weed out the good vinyl shutters from the bad, you will need to know what to look for when purchasing. Some of the different vinyl shutters include composite and solid vinyl.
Solid Vinyl Shutters
Solid vinyl is 100% solid extruded vinyl material. You can expect that manufacturers using solid vinyl make shutters that are durable, waterproof, and high quality. Stanfield Shutter always recommends a solid vinyl shutter compared to a composite. While they are a little pricier than other vinyl varieties, they will last longer.
Composite Vinyl Shutters
Composite shutters compose of a mix of materials that typically include wood and vinyl. You won’t always know what variation you will get from one manufacturer to the next. One way you can test the quality of a composite vinyl shutter is by determining if it is hollow. Squeeze the shutter noticing if the louver blades squish together. Shutters with hollow vinyl will feel empty and less durable than those that are better quality.
The best choice when selecting a vinyl plantation shutter is a solid vinyl product. Solid vinyl shutters are more durable and will not discolor, crack, chip, or peel like a composite vinyl shutter. Vinyl, however, is not as strong and durable as Engineered Hardwood or natural hardwood, which is why our experts recommend limiting its use to humid areas in your home, such as a shower stall or above a kitchen sink.
Wooden shutters are another variety that works well in homes and commercial spaces. Perhaps the biggest draw to wood shutters is their timeless look and durability. Thinking long-term will also give you a reason to select wood shutters for your window treatment. These shutters can last for decades with the proper care.
It is also crucial that you consider a wooden shutter’s ability to block sunlight and maintain energy efficiency. Homeowners that experience hot summers will find that these plantation shutters are better equipped to prevent UV rays from seeping into their homes. This will, in turn, help you save on energy bills by better regulating the temperature of your space.
There are also several types of wood that you can choose between, including engineered wood, Basswood, and knotty alder.
In the early 1960s, lumber mills started reinventing their products that fit new Federal regulation standards that also combatted with increasing foreign competition. As a result of these efforts, lumber mills produced MDF (medium density fiberboard). As time passed and technology improved, these manufacturers perfected their creation with HDF (high-density fiberboard), a more refined and durable version of MDF.
The process of creating High Density Fiberboard (HDF) involves refining the wood into long fibrous strands. These strands are then cleaned to remove any imperfections, damaging natural resins, pitch, and sap. After the fibrous strands are clean, they are refined to remove any physical flaws or defects that could lower performance. Then, the fibrous strands undergo intense heat and pressure that pull everything together using high-grade industrial adhesives and bonding agents.
All in all, engineered wood shutters are some of the most durable products on the market. The processed material ensures strength, durability, smoothness, and a warp-free finish. However, HDF engineered wood shutters do not have a natural grain like other wood shutters.
Another type of wooden shutter is made of Basswood. Basswood is one of the most versatile hardwoods available in the United States because of its natural creamy-white color. It also adapts well to any application or shape. Basswood can also be painted or stained depending on the needs or desires of the customer, but most homeowners do not use a painted finish.
Basswood also has a smooth, clear grain structure which, when staining, gives the shutters a classical or traditional look and feel. There are no open knots in Basswood, but offers a more streamlined finish. Its light, natural color also makes it a great option for staining.
Stain colors can vary from the lightest maple to the darkest cherry or oak color—no matter what stain color you choose. Basswood shutters, as well as all our lines of Stanfield Shutters, use dowel joinery to significantly increases durability and extends the life. We also use adjustable tensioning screws on each panel to provide a secured louver tilting tension, which offers an attractive look.
The wood used in Knotty Alder shutters grows along the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The wood is also a popular choice in the construction industry, as many manufacturers us knotty alder for furniture, kitchen cabinets, shutters, and moldings.
Homeowners looking for shutters that offer a beautiful grain structure and knots to accent their rustic style love Knotty Alder shutters. These wooden shutters include a unique and beautiful grain structure and lower cost compared to other hardwood shutters.
Knotty Alder shutters usually feature a light brownish-red natural grain color that varies from the very light to the medium side of the color scale. Stanfield Shutter experts typically recommend that homeowners choose a stain color that is as dark or darker than the natural color of Knotty Alder. Those looking for a lighter stain are better off using Basswood, as Knotty Alder’s natural color is difficult to match.
Overall, Knotty Alder’s unique grain structure works best on 4 ½” louver, as it shows off more of the grain structure and characteristics of the wood then a smaller blade. The larger louver also looks best with the contemporary and rustic styles, which is perfect for Knotty Alder plantation shutters.
After deciding which wood shutter will suit your needs best, you can choose which stain you would prefer on your new window treatment. Working with a shutter company, you can select the stain option that creates the perfect look and texture for your home. Engineered wood paint finishes typically range from pure white to cream, and customized options. Basswood and Knotty Adler also offer a variety of light, medium, and dark stains.
Shape and Styling
You can also customize your wooden plantation shutter to fit your windows’ shape, including angles, arches, or standard square/rectangular windows. Whichever configuration you need, you can find a wood shutter that fits your window like a glove.
Stanfield Shutter offers homeowners a custom creation process on all their shutter products. Whether you need a wooden shutter structure to cover your large backside windows or to accommodate sliding glass doors and French doors, a custom shape will make all that possible.
How to Decide Which Plantation Shutter is Best
Several plantation shutter options will work in your home. Knowing the advantages and options each offer will help you narrow down your selection. However, you could still be struggling to find the perfect fit. If you are having trouble knowing which plantation shutter you should buy for your home, contact Stanfield Shutter.
Stanfield Shutter Company is Utah’s premier interior shutter manufacturer serving Utah for over 70 years. Let the Stanfield Shutter team find you the right plantation shutter. Contact us today to get started. You can also receive a free quote using our online contact system.