Which materials are best for window shutters?
When it comes to choosing which interior window shutters are best for your home, the materials from which they are made should be a primary consideration. The room in which your shutters will be installed, the design and colour scheme of your room, the width of your window frame, the purpose of your shutters – these are all factors that you should take into account when trying to decide which materials are best for window shutters.
If you make the wrong choice, your shutters may clash with the rest of your interior, or worse, be prone to long-term damage that you did not foresee. So in this post, we hope to provide some clarity and make your purchase a lot easier by explaining which types of material are best for window shutters. Let’s start with something obvious…
The most common choice of material for solid window shutters is wood. As well as being a noticeably hardwearing material, the natural features of wood (grains, textures and colours) can give your shutters an authentic look and feel that is becoming of a traditional and stylish home. Likewise, wood is known for being a versatile, insulating and sustainable material for any home – whether traditional or modern in design.
Of course, your shutters can be made from wood of many different types, but your choice ultimately comes down to your own requirements and tastes. Let’s take a look at the main types of wood found in window shutters.
Hardwood is a general category of wood that includes materials like beech, teak and oak. Since these materials are sourced from slow-growing trees, they are among the most strong and robust materials on the market. As such, hardwood is typically found in shutters that are designed with both durability and elegance in mind.
Carolina shutters are made from dense hardwood with an engineered core, offering a tight grain and a smooth finish that easily withstands warping. This makes the material suitable for rooms that require more sustainable materials. On the other hand, Phoenix shutters are made from a more lightweight hardwood characterised by its light colour and rich texture, making it most appropriate in rooms filled with natural light.
One of the woods most frequently used by shutter manufacturers is basswood, a smooth and fine-grained material sourced from lime trees. Due to its popularity in the industry and the high standards with which it is treated, basswood shutters are able to accommodate a lower price range without compromising on quality.
Our very own Boston shutters enjoy the benefits of beautiful basswood and come in a range of bright and airy finishes that complement the texture of the material. Since basswood is a fairly soft and light wood, these shutters are made with mortise and tenon joints that prevent warping and guarantee maximum durability.
Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood composite made out of the compacted residue of hardwoods and softwoods – this gives the material a great deal of durability at a much lower cost. The specific raw materials involved in its manufacture could be anything from pine to bamboo; it depends on which purpose the material will serve. Despite being a cheaper option, MDF is in no way lacking in the looks department – indeed, many of our customers are unable to distinguish it from more expensive real wood options.
Seattle shutters are made with laminated veneer lumber (LVL) at their core and have a polypropylene coating that gives them a long-lasting edge. This makes the shutters easy to maintain and able to withstand warping, chipping and moisture damage. In addition, the smooth and shiny qualities of MDF give the shutters an aesthetic more befitting of a contemporary interior than a traditional one.
When looking for tracked window shutters that can withstand the humidity of bathrooms, perhaps the safest option is to opt for plastic shutters. If you’re concerned about wooden shutters absorbing moisture and sustaining damage during those hot steamy showers, plastic is a completely impervious material that cannot physically absorb water.
Hollywood shutters are made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), a closed-cell plastic that resists moisture and lasts a lifetime. But these shutters aren’t just amazing because they can withstand humid environments; they also have a beautiful matte finish (available in a range of white colours) that gives them an elegant appearance on the whole – not bad for a plastic!
Plastic can also be sturdy and stable in ways that other materials are not, allowing for longer louvers that can fit a wider frame. For instance, our Georgia shutters boast a maximum panel width of just under a metre since their louvers are made of high-quality ABS.