How to choose the right plantation shutters from all of the options available?
The cost of plantation shutters is largely affordable and will remain so, even with installation included. However, choosing the appropriate type of plantation shutters from all of the available options can severely impact the bottom line on the invoice. This could be due to damage, maintenance costs, and even increased wear and tear from the wrong choice.
But with so many types of different materials that you can purchase plantation shutters in, where do you start? Well, we’ve created a guide to buying the right plantation shutters for you and your family’s needs. This guide will cover all aspects of what a window covering should and shouldn’t offer, as well as a few minor tips and pointers for specific scenarios and home styles.
The four main types of plantation shutters
Plantation shutters can be made in pretty much any material that you can think of. Whilst traditionally they were manufactured from hardwoods found in the United States, advances in manufacturing technology has created a wide variety in the present day. For the purpose of this guide, we’ve whittled it down to the main four types that are commonly found. These are:
- Basswood, a very strong and durable soft timber. Also known as lime timber.
- Poplar, a very hard and brittle timber, used commonly in furniture.
- Polyvinyl Chloride, better known as PVC, a widely used synthetic polymer.
- Aluminium, a highly strong and durable metal, used widely for its resistance to corrosion.
The table below goes into a little bit more detail as to the pros and cons of each, focusing on some of the more commonly asked questions regarding shutters. As you will see, not one shutter meets all of the criteria, and some excel far beyond in certain aspects over all of the others.
|Suitable for use outside?||Yes.||No.||Depending on the area’s climate.||Yes.|
|Easy to maintain?||Requires little maintenance.||Require more maintenance than the other three.||Yes, simple dusting needed.||Very little required.|
|Colours available||Only the natural basswood.||Yes, but in limited pastel varieties.||Large array of colours.||Wide variety of colours available.|
|Insulation||Minimal.||Minimal.||The best option for insulation.||Yes, but not to the same extent as PVC.|
|Aesthetics||Works great with a warm interior design.||Will work with a more traditional style of home.||Offers a clean, modern look and feel.||Suitable for both old and new.|
|Durability||Incredible durability.||Will require a lot of care to last.||Will last a long time, however may be susceptible to breaking.||Long durability that only requires a little maintenance from time to time.|
All of these materials have their positives and negatives, and it is wrong to say that there is one prevailing option over all of the others. It really depends on what you’re after in terms of material, and whether you are looking for a purely aesthetic option, or something that helps to maintain your home’s temperature.
Since they hit the market with a bang a few years ago, one of the most endearing qualities of plantation shutters has been their insulative qualities. In a similar way to Venetian blinds, plantation shutters allow you to fine tune the light that enters your home in a way that curtains and roller blinds cannot.
No matter what type of material you choose, they will all offer some degree of insulation quality. However, PVC and aluminium will do this better by far than timber shutters. Both aluminium and PVC are constructed to trap sunlight and heat dead in their tracks, keeping the heat out and leaving the interior temperature untouched.
PVC plantation shutters are the optimal option for this, as they are less prone to increasing in temperature than aluminium shutters. However, the PVC material hasn’t quite endeared itself to many, with some still preferring the natural feel of timber, or the sleek style of aluminium. If you want pure insulation, PVC plantation shutters is the way to go. For a more aesthetic approach, however, choose aluminium.
Plantation shutters are highly customisable, from the colours chosen, right down to the treatment of the material. This is one of the many reasons why plantations have been such a big trend. Shutters that have been made to complement the interior or exterior of the home often work best, and each of the four materials above cover almost every design style there is.
Traditional homes and townhouses will hugely benefit from basswood or poplar as a material. These two offer a rustic aesthetic to the property, and also look great from the outside. Poplar works terrific with muted pastel colours, whilst basswood is perfect for homes working with a warm colour scheme. Think about your home’s design, and what will work best.
More modern homes often look towards using PVC and aluminium, depending on how contemporary the home is. An ultra-modern interior will benefit hugely from PVC, with its thin lines and simple shapes. Aluminium can cover all types of modern design, as well as being a handy alternative for traditional home designs.
At the end of the day, it should be about what you prefer, and what looks perfect with your particular taste of interior and exterior decoration. Think about what works and what doesn’t with your existing design, and go from there. The finest thing about plantation shutters is that, no matter what you choose, the costs are low and the installation process is very easy.
With different materials comes different purposes and practical applications, and plantation shutters are no different. Whilst the beauty of the poplar and basswood timbers are highly sought after, they are probably not ideal for homes that entertain young families. On the same token, aluminium shutters may pose a danger to these same types of families.
There are many other scenarios just like this that you can think of, and an objective review of what is practical may help alongside thinking about what looks best in your home. In some cases, a compromise may have to be reached. However, with the many varieties that plantation shutters come in, you shouldn’t have a problem reaching a suitable middle ground for all.
We hope that this guide helped you. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Awesome Blinds right away. Our staff will be more than happy to help you out in selecting the right shutters for your needs. We can also offer you a full, free quote and measure service, where we can best address your specific requirements.