Plantation Shutters 101: Everything You Need to Know
Plantation shutters have been a popular choice for window coverings for centuries. Their timeless design and durability make them a wise investment for any home. At New View Blinds and Shutters, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality, custom plantation shutters that will last a lifetime.
When choosing the suitable material for your shutters, wood, composite, and vinyl are the top choices. Stained wood shutters provide a deep, warm feeling to any room. In contrast, vinyl or composite shutters offer a sleek, modern look that complements any decor.
Unsurprisingly, shutters have become the go-to choice for interior designers looking to make a statement with their work. Their clean lines and classic design add a touch of elegance to any room, and their versatility means they can be used in any home style.
This article will explore everything you need about plantation shutters, including the different types, customization options, mounting options, configurations, and specialty shutters. We’ll also discuss shutters’ energy efficiency and how they can cover large windows and doors. By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of plantation shutters and how they can enhance the beauty and functionality of your home.
What Are Plantation Shutters?
Plantation shutters are window coverings that consist of a frame with horizontal slats or louvers that can be adjusted to control the amount of light and air that enters a room. They are typically made from wood, composite, or vinyl and are custom-fit to the windows in your home.
One of the main benefits of plantation shutters over other window coverings is their versatility. They can be adjusted to let in just the right light while providing privacy and insulation. They also add a touch of elegance to any room, and their clean lines and classic design make them a popular choice among interior designers.
Plantation Shutters History
The history of plantation shutters dates back to ancient Greece, where they were initially made from marble and used to control ventilation in homes. Over time, they evolved into wooden shutters with fixed louvers that could be hinged for opening and closing.
It wasn’t until the colonial era that shutters were introduced to America, where they were popularized in the southern plantation homes. They were used for cross ventilation in the hot summers, and when summer storms came, the louvers could be quickly closed to stop the rain from entering the home. Today, plantation shutters provide practical benefits while being a popular choice for their aesthetic appeal.
Types of Plantation Shutters
Plantation shutters come in various types, including wood shutters made from basswood or alder, composite shutters, polycore shutters, and vinyl shutters. Each type has its unique features and benefits.
Wood shutters are the most popular type of plantation shutters and are available in different stains and finishes. Basswood is lightweight and durable, while alder is a more rustic alternative with a grain pattern with larger knots.
Composite shutters are made from engineered wood and are a budget-friendly option resistant to warping and fading.
PolyCore shutters have a synthetic with an aluminum core covered with a hard coating, making them a durable option that is also moisture resistant.
Vinyl Shutters are an affordable, low-maintenance option immune to moisture and humidity. They are ideal for spaces with high humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Each type of plantation shutter has its unique characteristics, making them suitable for different spaces and preferences. Wood shutters are perfect for those looking for a classic and traditional look, while composite and vinyl shutters are great for those looking for a budget-friendly, durable option. PolyCore shutters are ideal for those looking for a highly durable and moisture-resistant option.
Customization Options for Plantation Shutters
Plantation shutters can be customized to fit any window or room decor. Different finishes are available, such as painted or stained, color options, and material choices, such as wood, composite, polycore, and vinyl. Each type of material has unique features and benefits, which should be compared and contrasted to determine which is best suited for each space and preference.
When it comes to finishes, painted shutters are the most popular choice and can be applied to wood and poly shutters. A painted finish is perfect for a consistent look with other interior elements such as doors, baseboards, chair rails, and crown moldings. However, if painted shutters are scratched or dented, they must be repaired and repainted.
Stained finishes, on the other hand, can only be applied to wood shutters and are ideal for achieving a rich, natural look. Choosing a shutter company that uses a water-borne, baked-on stain process for a furniture-grade finish is essential.
Vinyl finishes cannot be painted and are durable, but scratches or dents cannot be fixed. Poly wrap finishes are a thin layer of plastic applied to composite shutters, creating a sleek look that is highly resistant to intense sun.
Proper measurements and professional installation are crucial for achieving a custom fit and ensuring that the shutters are functional and aesthetically pleasing. By carefully considering customization options and working with a reputable shutter company, homeowners can create beautiful and long-lasting plantation shutters for their homes.
Mounting Options for Plantation Shutters
Most plantation shutters are inside mounted. This option provides a cleaner and more finished look as the shutters are installed inside the window opening. Several inside mount choices exist, such as direct mount, hanging strip, L Frame, or Z Frame mount.
Outside Mount and Face Mount
If the window opening is shallow or has no depth, outside mount or face mount plantation shutters may be necessary. This means the shutters will be mounted on the wall or casing outside the window opening. This option can visually make the window look more extensive and is excellent for covering up ugly trim around the window. When mounting shutters outside the window, L Frame is the most popular, followed by the hanging strip. Some plantation shutter factories have other face-mount frames to choose from.
Choosing the Right Mounting Option
Choosing the correct mounting option for different window types is essential. Generally, an inside mount is the best option for most windows. However, an outside or face mount may be better if the window opening is shallow or has no depth. Homeowners should consult a certified dealer to help them make the right decision.
Shutters for Large Windows
If you want plantation shutters on more oversized windows in your home, look for shutter brands that can make shutter panels more comprehensive than 30 inches. If a shutter company can make more comprehensive panels, they will likely use the most robust materials and have an excellent joinery system. Also, imagine the strength of their smaller shutters if they can make a larger shutter panel.
Plantation Shutters Configurations
Plantation shutters are available in various configurations, including double-hung, tier-on-tier, bypass, and bi-fold shutters. Each configuration offers unique benefits and suitability for different window types and preferences.
Basic Plantation Shutters Configurations
Since many shutter companies custom-make shutters, they can customize configurations to fit any application. Consult a local certified shutter dealer to help you choose the correct configurations for your window. Below are examples of some of the more popular configurations.
Double Hung and Tier on Tier, Divider Rail, or Split Tilt Shutters
Double-hung plantation shutters feature two panels, one on top of the other. The panels can be opened and closed independently, offering greater light control and privacy flexibility. Tier-on-tier shutters, also known as double-hung shutters, provide similar functionality and allow for more customization in terms of panel placement. These configurations are ideal for windows that require maximum privacy and light control. However, it is essential to ensure that there is enough wall space to fold back the shutter panels and that the panels are not wider than 24 inches. A Divider rail is a fixed rail usually located near the middle of the panel. Split tilt divides the louvers into upper and lower sections without a rail.
Bypass and Bi-Fold Shutters
Sliding glass doors can be challenging to cover, but plantation shutters offer an elegant and durable solution. Bypass sliding shutters feature an above-tracking system that allows panels to be easily slid to the left or right. In contrast, bi-fold sliding shutters contain hinged panels that fold against each other, similar to a closet door. Both bypass and bi-fold sliding shutters are used with a track, which helps to guide and support the panels. Both configurations are ideal for sliding glass doors and can be customized to open all to one or both sides of the door.
Common Plantation Shutters Misconceptions
There are common misconceptions about plantation shutter configurations. For example, many assume that bi-fold shutters are only suitable for large windows or sliding glass doors when used for any window. Similarly, some assume double-hung shutters are unsuitable for small windows, but this is not necessarily true. It is essential to consult with a local certified shutter dealer to determine the best configuration for your window type and preferences.
Specialty Plantation Shutters: Enhancing the Beauty of Unique Windows
As modern homes increasingly feature unique and exciting window shapes as focal points, it’s essential to have suitable coverings that provide privacy and protect furnishings from direct sunlight while allowing natural light to shine. Specialty plantation shutters offer a versatile solution for covering a range of window shapes, from arches, sunbursts, eyebrow, half-circle, and rake to slant-top windows and French doors. In this article, we’ll discuss some popular specialty plantation shutters and guide you in choosing the right shutter for different window types and preferences.
Arched Window Shutters: Adding Style and Functionality
Arched windows can be a beautiful architectural feature but require privacy and sun control. Arched panel shutters or sunburst shutters can provide the necessary coverage and enhance the window’s aesthetic appeal. While arched panel shutters are available in both wood and faux wood vinyl, sunburst shutters are preferred for smaller half-round or eyebrow windows due to their design’s cleaner look. Arched window shutters are energy-efficient and offer complete privacy and sun control.
Sunburst Shutters: Adding Pizzazz to Your Windows
Sunburst shutters cost more than traditional shutters, but they make a statement and add a unique design element to your windows. Perfect for round-top windows, they are energy-efficient and durable, making them a worthwhile investment.
Cafe Shutters: The Perfect Solution for Half Windows
Cafe shutters, popularized initially in French coffee shops, are ideal for covering only the lower half of a window where privacy is needed. These are half the price of full window shutters, making them an affordable alternative that still adds an elegant touch to your home or business.
French Door Plantation Shutters: Perfect Match for Your French Doors
French doors and plantation shutters are a match made in heaven, as shutters can be seamlessly integrated with the door to create a unified look. Adding a divider rail to your French door shutters can offer greater flexibility and privacy, with options for privacy on the lower half and views to the outside on the top. Plantation shutters are also energy-efficient, helping to regulate temperature and reduce energy costs.
Specialty plantation shutters are a unique and versatile solution for covering a range of window shapes and types. Whether you opt for arched window shutters, sunburst shutters, cafe shutters, or French door plantation shutters, you can rest assured that your home or business will be functional and stylish.
Plantation Shutters for Improved Energy Efficiency
Plantation shutters are an excellent choice for homeowners looking to regulate their indoor temperature and reduce energy bills. These window treatments work by creating an air pocket between the shutters and the window, which serves as an effective insulator. However, keeping the panels and louvers closed during the hottest or coldest times of the day is essential to maximize energy efficiency.
When appropriately used, plantation shutters are the most energy efficient window treatment. While all shutter materials are energy efficient when closed, some provide better insulation than others. Poly, MDF, and PVC plastic shutters are some of the best insulators.
By investing in plantation shutters for improved energy efficiency, you can enjoy a more comfortable home and save money on your energy bills. By keeping your shutters closed during extreme weather conditions, you can see a significant decrease in energy bills. Some homeowners have reported that their energy savings paid for their plantation shutters within seven years.
Consider Plantation Shutters for Your Home Decor
After learning everything there is to know about plantation shutters, it’s clear that they offer a variety of benefits and customization options. With their versatility and energy efficiency, plantation shutters are a smart choice for any homeowner looking to upgrade their window coverings.
We encourage you to consider plantation shutters for your home decor and invite you to contact New View Blinds and Shutters for more information and a consultation. Our team of experts can help guide you through the process and ensure you get the perfect plantation shutters for your space. Contact us today!
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