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Plantation shutters in a dining room

How Different Faux Wood Plantation Shutters Compare To Polywood Shutters

September 15, 2020

While there are many faux wood plantation shutters on the market, they are not all the same. While some faux wood window treatments will last a lifetime without warping, cracking, or yellowing, other faux wood treatments will start to degrade in just a few year’s time.

It might be tough to tell the different faux wood plantation shutters apart. But once you know about the different types of faux wood, it will be much easier to tell which interior shutter is built to last. The following list looks at the different types of faux wood shutters and rates them from least ideal to most durable and stylish.

Discolored shutter louvers 

Vinyl Shutters

Some shutter products that use vinyl are misrepresented as a faux wood product. But make no mistake, vinyl should not be considered a faux wood. Vinyl’s plastic look and slick veneer is hard to match to a decor style, unlike some other faux wood or real wood-based shutter. They may be one of the cheapest plantation shutter products on the market, but they also may be the least durable of the non-wood treatments.

Vinyl is also easily affected by heat. It’s not uncommon to see vinyl shutters melt or discolor due to extensive exposure to the sun. Because of their habit of warping or cracking, and its poor insular qualities, vinyl shutters do not provide much energy-efficiency to your windows -- especially if the louvers are hollow.

  • Benefits: Cheapest of the non-wood plantation shutters.
  • Drawbacks: Looks plastic; flimsy materials; hollow louvers; low energy efficiency; will often warp, crack or discolor.

Synthetic Wrapped Product

A step up from vinyl shutters are wrapped plantation shutters. These window treatments are comprised of pressed wood, wood chip materials, or MDF glued together, and then wrapped with a synthetic, vinyl, or plastic coating. The shutters feel more substantial and can look much more like a traditional wood plantation shutter than their hollow louvered counterparts.

However, synthetic wrapped shutters have many drawbacks. The pressed wood under the wrapping can be extremely porous, leaving the treatment to be vulnerable to humidity and moisture. It’s not unusual to see a warped or cracked louver or find that the vinyl wrapping has chipped or peeled away. Also, wrapped shutters cannot be custom-fitted for specialty shapes windows like arches or octagons.

  • Benefits: More substantial than vinyl shutters; can resemble real wood
  • Drawbacks: Not suitable for high humidity or high moisture areas; wrapping can chip away; warps or cracks easily, no specialty shapes

Solid Extruded Faux Wood Shutters

Plantation shutters made from solid extruded synthetic materials give you more durability than any of the other faux wood plantation shutters. Because the synthetic fibers permeate throughout the product, they have more substantial, solid louvers that are more hesitant to warping. They will also last longer on average and will function much more like real wood shutters. Solid extruded faux wood shutters also can be custom-crafted to fit any window shape and size -- even arches.

But a solid extruded shutter is only as good as its faux wood formula. Some formulas create a brittle shutter, which can be cracked or chipped by nails or screws during installation. If the faux wood composite doesn’t have a UV inhibitor, then the shutter will fade and yellow over time. Some manufacturers need to paint their products, which also leads to chipping and yellowing over time.

  • Benefits: A more substantial product that compares favorably to a real-wood plantation shutter.
  • Drawbacks: Quality depends on the formulation of the faux wood composite.
Weatherstripping on plantation shutters 

And Then There’s Polywood® Plantation Shutters

Polywood plantation shutters are made from an extremely durable extruded faux wood compound that will never warp, chip, crack or fade. Its patented formula gives it a feel like real wood, but with a density that repels moisture. We add a UV inhibitor into the faux wood mixture so that the entire shutter will always stay looking great for decades to come. They are even a snap to clean -- just a duster for day-to-day work, and a damp rag for deeper cleaning.

This structure helps Polywood not only in durability but also in keeping your windows energy efficient. In fact, Polywood shutters are constructed to be 70% more energy-efficient than regular wood, and 1600% more energy-efficient than aluminum blinds. And all these benefits come with a lifetime warranty. Those are combined features no other shutters offer.

  • Benefits: Lifetime warranty against warping, cracking or yellowing; most energy-efficient window treatment on the market; looks great in any decor.
  • Drawbacks: Higher cost than flimsier vinyl interior shutters -- but worth it!

Contact Sunburst Today To Get Your Long-Lasting, Beautiful Polywood Shutters

When looking at the benefits and drawbacks of the different faux wood plantation shutters, it’s easy to see that Polywood is the clear winner. Our Sunburst representatives will be happy to show you the benefits of our Polywood shutters, and how they can help any room in the house. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call (877) 786-2877 today!