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What is the Best Material for Plantation Shutters – Keep the Heat Out


When deciding what shutters to use in your home, plantation shutters can be made to match different style preferences quite effortlessly. These days, the Southern-born plantation shutters are available in more than just wood and faux wood designs, which begs the question: what is the best material for plantation shutters? Let’s explore some of the popular choices.

Best Material for Plantation Shutters

1. PVC

PVC shutters have been around for more than a decade, and are considered a cost-effective type of plantation shutter. However, they are generally weaker and less durable than other materials. PVC offers a limited range of color choices, so it’s not very popular. What’s more, it is known to develop a yellow hue when exposed to strong sunlight and will become brittle after a while due to exposure to UV rays.

Aged PVC is virtually impossible to clean too. Furthermore, the plastic connectors that hold the shutter blades to the tilt rods are very weak, so they break too often. PVC is only a good choice when cost is an issue because it is inexpensive.

2. Finger-Jointed WoodWhat is the Best Material for Plantation Shutters

Finger-jointed wood can be comprised of either one type of wood or several different species glued together. One of the main advantages of plantation shutters made out of finger jointed wood is that they’re stiff, and therefore suitable for covering wide spaces. Because it is made primarily from low-grade wood, finger jointed wood isn’t expensive.

However, this type of wood cannot be stained because its joint lines become exposed. Furthermore, using wildly different materials can cause joint failure due to the uneven contraction and expansion of the finger jointed wood.

3. Medium Density Fiber (MDF)

MDF shutters, also known as composite or hybrid shutters, are made from a mixture of sawdust and industrial glue. This concoction is poured into a cast and formed into the desired shape. MDF shutters can be coated with either paint or vinyl wrap to enhance their resilience. Good quality MDF shutters look every bit like wood shutters, but they all suffer from the same limitations. They are prone to moisture damage, cannot be stained, and are quite brittle.

4. Alder

Alder is a top-notch wood used in shutter construction. It is considered the best in the business. Alder is a decent hardwood that won’t break easily even when subjected to pressure. It is naturally stunning, but can also be stained or painted quite successfully. However, it is more expensive compared to other materials, and very susceptible to moisture damage.

5. Laminated Wood

Laminated wood shutters can be a decent replacement for solid wood shutters. They are usually well made and can be wrapped in vinyl, stained, or painted without any problems. These are quickly becoming a cheaper alternative to solid wood shutters. However, they cannot withstand high moisture conditions, and after a while, they tend to get delaminated.

6. Synthetic Shutters

Foamed synthetic shutters are great because they are waterproof, fire-resistant, and generally free of toxins. They are also great insulators. Most of them come with aluminum reinforcing and are therefore resistant to sagging. Though they are available in several colors and shapes, they are heavier than wood, but not as stiff, and cannot be stained.

Bottom Line

If you are still wondering what is the best material for plantation shutters, consider the style and needs of your home. Shutters can be a great option to keep your home cool during the warm months. If you live in a wet climate, some shutter materials will be more resistant to the moisture than others. If durability is a must, that will eliminate some options as well.