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Too much choice? Shutter materials explained

Yasmeen 8/22/2019 11:40:36 AM
If you have spent any amount of time looking into ordering custom plantation shutters, you may be overwhelmed by all the options out there. What material should you choose? Why isn’t the choice just as simple as “wooden” or “plastic”? It doesn’t have to be quite so overwhelming. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your shutter material.


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With 8 product ranges, you’ll be sure to find an option that suits your needs!
 

The Shutter Store Promise

We make it simple by offering only solid materials – nothing hollow or composite. We don’t carry anything that won’t stand the test of time. With us there will never be a wrong or lesser choice. Our wooden shutters are solid hardwood, and our polyvinyl shutters are solid polyvinyl reinforced with an aluminum core.

Our interior shutters all have the same 3 year warranty and are treated with multiple layers of UV protectant and sealant - guaranteed not to fade, warp or crack over time, even with exposure to high heat and direct sunlight. With that said, we do have 8 product ranges, so let’s shed some light on the pros and cons of each so you can narrow down your choices.
 

Wooden Shutters

Classic Poplar Hardwood

Our best-selling and most versatile range, Classic Poplar Hardwood is made of solid poplar wood.
  • This range has 10 paint colors and 9 stain colors available. You can also get these shutters unfinished and ready to paint or stain yourself.
  • It also has the widest variety of frame styles and frame sizes. Whether you are looking for a frame with a minimal profile or something more decorative, you will find it in Classic Poplar Hardwood.
  • There are 4 slat sizes to choose from: 2 ½”, 3”, 3 ½” and 4 ½” to fit with any style and size window.
  • With a smooth surface, poplar wood allows for smooth, level paint coverage, and the wood grain is not visible when these shutters are painted.
  • This range offers solid panels, special shapes like arches and trapezoids, and accommodates special requests like custom color matching or fixed louvers.

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Solid Raised Panel shutters in Classic Poplar Hardwood
 

Designer Collection

For the same benefits listed above in Classic Poplar Hardwood, with a more modern look, opt for The Designer Collection.
  • This range has the most paint colors to choose from: 13 paints available in a wide range of colors with either a satin or a high gloss finish.
  • The Designer Collection offers the same frame variety and slat size options as the Classic Poplar Hardwood Range.
  • All our other shutter ranges have elliptical louvers which is more traditional. The louvers in this range are flat – meaning they are the same thickness from edge to edge for a sleek modern look.
  • Custom color matching and some special shapes are also available in this range.

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Designer Collection shutters in Twine with 3 ½” slats

Premium Elm Hardwood

For a more rustic shutter, opt for the Premium Elm Hardwood which has a deep wood grain and textured surface.
  • This range offers the same color, frame, and slat size options as the Classic Poplar Hardwood range.
  • With a deep textured grain, the wood grain is visible even when the shutters are painted. We recommend choosing one of our available paint or stain options, since this type of wood is harder to paint or stain yourself.
  • The natural variation in this wood gives a more rustic look, which is great for traditional or farmhouse style décor.
  • Some special shapes are available in this range.

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Premium Elm Shutters look great with existing woodwork or brick walls for a rustic style.

American Hardwood

This range is proudly American made from solid poplar hardwood in our California facility. We are often asked the difference between this range and the Classic Poplar Hardwood since both are made from the same material. The biggest difference is mainly where they are made and the manufacturing time.
  • This range has 8 paint colors and 9 stain colors available. You can also get these shutters unfinished and ready to paint or stain yourself.
  • American Hardwood offers L-Frames in 3 depths to work with any size window or slat size and offers decorative Z-Frames and Deco Frames.
  • This range has the narrowest frames available which are great if you have limited space to mount your outside mount shutters. Some tilt-in windows will even clear these frames with an inside mount.
  • There are 3 slat sizes to choose from: 2 ½”, 3 ½” and 4 ½”.
  • While the above ranges need 5-6 weeks manufacturing time, the American Hardwood is ready to ship in about 3-4 weeks, cutting out the transit time from overseas.
  • This range does not offer tier on tier style, special shapes, or custom color matching which some of our other wooden ranges do.
Express American Hardwood

This option puts your American Hardwood shutters ahead of other orders in the production line to cut the manufacturing lead time down to 2 weeks.


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Narrow frames in American Hardwood are perfect for mounting where space is limited, like on top of existing trim.


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Print the templates from our measuring guide to check how the frame will fit your window opening.

 

Polyvinyl Shutters

Affordable Fauxwood

Our most cost-effective range, Affordable Fauxwood is made from waterproof solid polyvinyl reinforced with an aluminum core.
  • This range has 10 paint colors to choose from.
  • These will have the same look and feel as our poplar wood shutters but are waterproof. This is great for bathrooms and kitchens or exposure to any moisture or humidity.
  • There are 4 slat sizes to choose from: 2 ½”, 3”, 3 ½” and 4 ½” to fit with any style and size window.
  • Choose from an L-Frame or two styles of Z-Frames for inside mount, or an L-Frame for outside mount.

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Choose a waterproof shutter for windows near a sink, tub or shower.

 
American Polyvinyl

This range is proudly American made from solid polyvinyl reinforced with an aluminum core, in our California facility. We are often asked the difference between this range and the Affordable Fauxwood, since both are made from the same material. The biggest difference is mainly where they are made and the manufacturing time.
  • This range offers 3 versatile and neutral paint colors: Arctic, White and Swiss Coffee
  • Choose from an L-Frame or two styles of Z-Frames for inside mount, or an L-Frame or Deco Frame for outside mount.
  • There are 3 slat sizes to choose from: 2 ½”, 3 ½” and 4 ½”.
  • While the Affordable Fauxwood needs 5-6 weeks manufacturing time, the American Polyvinyl is ready to ship in about 3-4 weeks, cutting out the transit time from overseas.
Express American Polyvinyl

This option puts your American Polyvinyl shutters ahead of other orders in the production line to cut the manufacturing lead time down to 2 weeks.

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Get your American Polyvinyl shutters in as little as 2 weeks!


Making your conclusion

The easiest way to start narrowing down your selection is to decide what shutter style you are looking for, and from there, choosing your material.

Overall, wooden shutters are the easiest to work with since they are a natural material and can be sanded down slightly to adjust for any variances in your window opening. They are the most versatile as they have the most design options and can work in nearly every room of the house. However, they are not waterproof.

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Wooden shutters offer more style and color options than polyvinyl.


Polyvinyl shutters are waterproof and a more cost-effective option than wood. They can also work in every room of the house. But if your windows are not level or square, polyvinyl shutters are a harder material and not as easy to modify. If you need a special accommodation like a cut-out to go around a door handle for example, opt for wooden shutters instead.


Many customers will order a combination of wood and vinyl. For example, if you have the Affordable Fauxwood range in your bathroom, it will nicely match any Classic Poplar Hardwood shutters in the rest of the house, and no one will be able to tell the difference.

 

Contact our friendly team of shutter experts for guidance if you are still stuck on what to choose. Call or email us with your questions and we will gladly help you get started!

 
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This post was brought to you by Yasmeen, one of The Shutter Store USA's experienced shutter consultants.  Contact our team today for advice on your shutters. We're here to help!