A plantation shutter is an interior style window treatment option that features larger panels than standard shutters. The larger panels allow plantation shutters to cover a larger surface area. While the general style of shutters is similar for different manufacturers, these window treatments differ in terms of the material used in their fabrication and louvre size, as well as the installation process. Discussed below are a few materials commonly used to make plantation shutters.
The most affordable plantation shutters are made from hollow vinyl. Apart from their affordability, vinyl shutters are preferred for their lightweight nature, their ability to withstand exposure to moist conditions, and for the fact that they don't fade. Vinyl shutters feature a wide variety of colours, and they therefore cannot be stained or painted after installation. On the down side, the vinyl in these shutters is known to soften when used in areas that experience hot climate conditions. Once this happens, vinyl plantation shutter panels and louvres tend to sag. Similarly, the soft nature of vinyl limits the maximum width of shutter panels.
Traditionally, plantation shutters were made of wood. Wooden plantation shutters allow for larger sized panels as compared to that of vinyl shutters because wood is not as soft a material. Wooden shutters can be stained or painted if the homeowner so wishes. This is despite the fact that the shutters already come in various colours. Basswood is the most widely used type of wood in the fabrication of standard plantation shutters, while hardwoods such as alder and cedar are reserved for fabrication of high-end plantation shutters. Wooden shutters have the greatest aesthetic appeal, but they easily shrink and warp when exposed to extreme moisture.
Synthetic Plantation Shutters
Synthetic shutters are made of compressed and processed fibers. The fibers are then molded into solid plantation shutter components. Synthetic shutters are preferred for their durability and ease of maintenance. Unlike wooden shutters, their synthetic counterparts will not warp or shrink upon exposure to moisture. Synthetic shutters are suitable for painting but cannot be stained. On the down side, the synthetic material used in their fabrication is relatively soft, which limits the maximum size of shutter panels. A slight variation of these shutters is made of synthetic material with an aluminium core. This addition provides extra strength, the possibility of larger panel sizes and greater insulating capability of the shutters.
There are various options when it comes to the material that plantation shutters are made of. Choice of plantation shutter materials largely depends on the homeowner's personal preference as well as the allocated budget.