When updating, refurbishing, or just redecorating your home, there aren’t many choices better for your window treatments than using indoor shutters. Shutters add elegance to an area, giving the room a traditional appeal that can work with style and grace. They bring to mind a rich history and magnetism, a comfort and warmth that looks as good as it feels. Different paints, stains, and looks can be chosen when deciding on using shutters for a room or house, but one of the more difficult choices would have to be the material with which shutters will be made of. The two main types of shutter material are a composite compressed hardwood and sawdust mix, and natural wood. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, which give them both different uses in different windows and openings.
Composite shutters are made from multiple materials compressed and glued together to give an appearance that is close to real natural wood. This process makes composite shutters durable, if a bit inflexible. This material is less expensive to manufacture and produce and is therefore cheaper to buy, but that doesn’t mean it is any less appealing to use. Without close inspection, composite materials are nearly impossible to discern from real wood. They also come in a variety of paint and styles, and will last longer than wood in most conditions. Unlike real wood, this material can be used in moisture-rich environments and areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens, or Florida. That said, they do have more weight than natural wood shutters, and longer boards can be prone to bending, sagging, or bowing. They also cannot be stained like real wood, nor is it easy to change their look after they have been treated. Still, what composite shutters lack in flexibility, they make up for in price and durability.
Natural wood, in contrast to its composite counterpart, is not as singularly tough to the ravages of time, but its rich appeal and appearance make up for that quite easily. Compared to composite, natural wood is not as durable, nor as cheap. There is something to be said, however, for the quality that the price and maintenance brings. While coming close, nothing truly matches the charm of a real stained grain finish. Not only can wood be painted in the same variety of colors as composite, it can be stained and finished either to keep its natural color or darkened to give the room warmth and luxury. Good maintenance can keep natural wood shutters looking exceptional for a long time, and the light weight means they can work in large and long windows as well as smaller ones. All this extravagance doesn’t come without cost however, and between the two, real wood will almost always cost more to keep and maintain. Poor maintenance can lead to cracking and chipping, taking away from the natural looks. If the shutters are painted, more will need to be applied later on as the paint fades. None of these take away from a well preserved natural bearing that real wood shutters have.