Shutter Guides 06.12.17

Wood or MDF shutters?

In the world of interior window shutters, the two most commonly used materials are wood (namely, basswood) and MDF (medium-density fibreboard). But what is the difference between the two, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each, and which should you opt for in your own home? Our customers often ask us these questions, and their final decision between wood or MDF shutters usually comes down to a few simple considerations.

Note: although MDF and wood are the main materials used to manufacture window shutters, there are many more materials to consider (not to mention different kinds of wood). As such, you can read our blog post on the best materials for window shutters for a more inclusive list. But for now, we will weigh up the pros and cons of wood vs MDF shutters to help you decide which of the two is best suited to your requirements.

Wood Shutters

Wood is a versatile and diverse material, with its exact qualities depending on the kind of tree from which it is sourced. Our shutters come in a range of hardwoods and finishes, with fine-grained basswood (sourced specifically for use in shutters) being the most common.

Pros:

  • Stronger than MDF – due to their strength, they are a logical choice for larger openings where a more sturdy fixture is required (i.e. doorways and bay windows).
  • Natural and organic – the different grains and finishes of wood can add a certain charm and authenticity to your shutters, especially when incorporated into traditional interiors.
  • Lighter than MDF – a more lightweight shutter is easier to use (especially in the case of tracked shutters, which are opened and closed horizontally) and install.
  • Different types of wood– with options including pine, oak, teak, cedar and many more, wooden shutters come with a variety of individual qualities and benefits.
  • Various finishes – wood is available in an extensive range of colours and finishes, with enough variation to suit any style of home interior.

Cons:

  • Pricier than MDF – wood falls under a higher price range due to the high quality of the material, which may pose a problem for those operating on a smaller budget.
  • Susceptible to humidity– they are generally not suitable for rooms that are more humid, although resistance to water largely depends on how tight the wood grain is.

MDF Shutters

Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood composite made with compacted residue from a mixture of hardwoods and softwoods. Our MDF shutters are finished with a plastic coating, giving them an ever so slightly glossy look.

Pros:

  • Increased durability – since MDF is made of various different woods and topped off with a plastic coating, these shutters benefit from increased resilience to scratches and dents.
  • Natural appearance – many of our customers are unable to distinguish them from more expensive real wood options at a glance, making them a logical alternative.
  • Easier to clean – since they are manufactured with a plastic coating instead of a painted finish, MDF shutters usually only require a quick once-over.
  • Cheaper than wood – although this price difference isn’t immediately obvious in their appearance, it certainly makes them a great choice for people operating on a budget.

Cons:

  • Fewer colours compared to wood – our MDF shutters come in five shades of white, which may deter those looking for a wider palette or darker tones.
  • Heavier than wood – heavier shutters are harder to install and could pose a threat to the integrity and functionality of the covering (it’s worth asking your technician about this).
  • Limited placement options – being somewhat less flexible when it comes to intricate shapes and designs, these aren’t suitable for circular or triangular windows.

Still a bit spoilt for choice? Don’t worry, our team of window shutter specialists are here to help! For help discerning which material is best suited to your specific interior design needs, feel free to get in touchwith Diamond Shutters and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help.