You’re ready to update your home and your shutter researching has begun! Much like kitchen countertops and flooring, window and door shutters offer so many options and decisions. Shutters add a unique style and energy-efficient solution to your home, so making the right selection is important.
Avalon Shutters has specialized in the unique craftsmanship of custom wood shutters for more than thirty years. Our unique perspective on the industry allows us to better assist clients to make the right choices for their homes.
What should you consider when choosing shutters for your windows or doors? Materials are perhaps the biggest decision to make as you go through the process. Here we’ll walk you through some considerations when shopping including: strength and durability, as well as design flexibility. This overview will hopefully get you closer to the shutters of your dreams!
Wood is the standard by which everything else is compared to in the shutter industry. Even the producers of non-wood shutters use phrases like “wood-grain appearance”, “wood-like feel”, or “faux wood”. There are many types of wood used when manufacturing shutters including cedar, alder, basswood (which Avalon Shutters uses). Each has its own distinctive advantage based on specific usage.
Many consumers are often “sold” and misled on the idea that composite materials are superior to real wood as they would never need painting, would never crack, chip, fade, etc. However, wood is the best material for custom applications because of its strength, durability, and damage resistance, as well as the design benefits wood offers through ease of stain and paint treatments. The rich look and feel of wood makes it the clear choice for luxury homes. Also, when it comes to selling your home, wood shutters usually have a higher appraisal value compared to inferior shutters materials.
Pros: Strength and Durability, Good Insulation, Design Flexibility – Customizable, Paint and Stain Friendly
Cons: Not recommended in moisture prone areas
Composite MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) consists mostly of compressed hardwood and sawdust that’s been glued together with many harsh chemicals. Composite wood materials could be made from one wood species or several species combined. Interior grade MDF materials are commonly known to quickly disintegrate if they ever get wet and are also extremely heavy so they tend to have the most sagging and bowing issues.
Pros: Budget friendly
Cons: Design Flexibility – limited; Not customizable. Heavier than wood – tendency to sag.
Similar to wood in appearance, poly shutters are thought to be the best choice for a synthetic shutter. They are known for being moisture resistant. Poly shutters are an ideal choice for rooms such as bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms or garages. Also, an important point to keep in mind is that poly shutter options without a reinforcing aluminum core have a tendency to sag or bow due to the weight of the material.
Pros: Cost/Quality-friendly, Durability, Water and Fire Resistant, Good Insulation, Humidity-friendly
Cons: Design Flexibility – very limited, non-stainable, Semi-customizable, Heavier than wood. Tendency to sag or bow.
Hollow Vinyl shutters are easy to spot, due to unfinished edges, which are often “capped”. Vinyl shutters lack durability, as the connectors to their tilt rods are held together by plastic, which tend to break with use. Vinyl shutters also have a “plastic” appearance and tend to yellow over time. With prolonged exposure to sunlight, vinyl shutters become brittle. Color options are also limited, white being the most accessible color.
Pros: Budget Friendly
Cons: Appearance – “plastic”, Design Flexibility – very limited; Doesn’t hold up to prolonged sunlight.
Each shutter material on the market has some pros and cons to consider. If you are seeking the highest quality look, feel and durability, then real wood shutters are the clear choice. Avalon Shutters offers custom wood shutters as well as poly shutters as an alternative for high moisture areas.
Let Avalon bring the showroom to you and take the guesswork out of the process with a free in-home consultation. Our design consultants will work with you to select a beautiful and efficient shutter solution to fit within your budget. We start with the finest U.S. sourced materials and then our skilled craftsmen cut, shape and sand every component in our Southern California manufacturing facility to create the custom shutters of your dreams.