Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better? | Louver Shop of Western Carolina
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Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better?

If you're searching for window treatments that are both stylish and convenient, plantation shutters may be the perfect choice. Shutters can be customized to match your home's color scheme and style, as well as give protection from UV rays and noise pollution. Plantation shutters are also energy efficient, which will help lower your monthly utility bills.

On the other hand, if you want a more classic look, shades could be better for you. Shades can be personalized in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures. And they emit a friendly, welcoming glow in certain lighting conditions. With so many options available now it's hard to decide on just one window treatment!

Over the years, Louver Shop of Western Carolina has aided many homeowners with choosing and customizing window treatments. With your vision and our expertise, we're sure to discover a solution together. We'll start with a free, in-home consultation where you can check out samples up close, from the convenience of your living room. Then your local design consultant will be with you each step of the way, from your free quote to professional installation.

For now, let's review plantation shutters vs. shades so you can learn more about the distinct features of these window treatments.

What Are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are considered hard window treatments, because they're made from either wood or faux wood. They're often white but are also available in a collection of stains.

Plantation shutters have broad louvers that are operated by a tilt bar, enabling you to customize the amount of light in your rooms. Unlike other window treatments, shutters are permanently installed to the window frame.

What's the Difference Between Blinds and Plantation Shutters?

The terms plantation blinds and plantation shutters are frequently used interchangeably when talking about window coverings. But window blinds and plantation shutters have some key differences. Let's go over them so you can find the ideal style for your home.

Budget and Personal Preferences

Both are a beautiful window treatment. But what works best for your home is determined by your personal taste, interior design, existing décor and budget. Our custom-made plantation shutters are a high-quality product created to last a lifetime, while blinds can accommodate a larger range of budgets. Horizontal blinds are also available in a few different materials, including wood, faux wood and aluminum.

Louver Thickness

Both use vertical slats. But plantation shutters have much wider and thicker louvers than horizontal blinds. These widths range from 2 1/2" to 4 1/2" and can be customized based on the style you select.

Pull Cord vs. Tilt Bar

Blinds are frequently controlled by a pull cord, while plantation shutters have a tilt bar that makes it possible for you to let in different levels of natural light. This makes window shutters a better option for homes with small children or pets, since they don't have dangling, long cords that can be a safety hazard.

Window Size and Shape

Plantation shutters are best for a broad variety of window sizes and shapes, from large windows to specialty shapes. Real wood shutters are best for the largest windows, since they're much lighter.

Light Control and Room Darkening

Plantation shutters provide the most light control. Unlike blinds, they can provide a full room-darkening effect. They're able to provide superior light blockage and your desired level of natural light because they're mounted within the window frame.

While horizontal blinds give some relief from the heat, window shutters provide the best energy efficiency. This is true whether you choose a real wood or faux wood design. They help keep you more comfortable by stopping energy loss at the window, where your home loses the most air. This may even help reduce your energy bill!

What Are Shades?

Shades are soft window treatments manufactured from fabric, vinyl or woven wood. Our designer shades from Hunter Douglas are available in various colors and styles, such as sheer shades, honeycomb shades, Roman shades and roller and solar shades. Certain shades are on a continuous roll while others fold into neat pleats when brought up.

Roller shades have the biggest selection of fabric to select from, including sheer fabric allowing more light coming through but less privacy. Roman shades bring a more elegant look, while honeycomb and roller and solar shades offer the greatest energy efficiency.

Which Window Treatments Are Best for My Home?

This answer depends on a couple of things, including your budget and home décor style. Here are a couple of points to take into account that will help you narrow the selection process.

Most Customizable

Winner: Tie

With Louver Shop of Western Carolina, your plantation shutters will be just like you envision them. You’ll have your choice of wood or faux wood, plus louver size, color and more.

Similar to our superior shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are manufactured just for your home. When you work with Louver Shop of Western Carolina you’ll have access to all the latest fabrics, colors and patterns you need to elevate your home. You can see samples of our innovative shades from the comfort of your sofa during your free, in-home consultation.

Smart Home Automation

Winner: Shades

Whether your shades are on large windows, hard-to-reach windows or you just don’t like the appearance of dangling cords, PowerView® makes it even simpler to adjust your shades. You’ll be able to adjust your window treatments with a touch of your smartphone or with a voice command via Amazon Alexa, Siri® on your Apple device or Google Assistant.


Winner: Plantation Shutters

You’re limited with how much you can adjust your shades. With plantation shutters, you’ll be able to personalize how much natural light comes through, from fully open to full blackout.

Energy Efficiency

Winner: Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are one of the best energy-efficient window treatments. Our LouverWood® shutters are crafted from an exclusive polymer that insulates up to three times better than wood. This material blocks heat, keeps you comfier and may even help lower your energy bills.

A close second for energy efficiency is honeycomb shades. These shades have geometric cavities that capture air at the windows. The result is less heat transfer, improved comfort and potentially lower heating and cooling bills.

Most Current


You might not consider plantation shutters as a modern window treatment, because they’ve been around for so long. Offered in contemporary neutrals like white, gray and brown, plantation shutters flatter a wide variety of home styles.

Designer Roller Shades or Designer Screen Shades are a great choice for minimalist homes. The Designer Roller is available in more than 400 fabrics, so you’re certain to find an option that complements your décor. Designer Screen is great for rooms with intense sunlight, as these shades block at least 75% of damaging UV rays when shut.

Light Filtering

Winner: Shades

Want to transform harsh sunlight into a warm, pleasant glow? Look no further than sheer shades. You can customize the opacity of the fabric then enjoy the full adjustability of blinds, which float between the shades. Sheer shades are available in horizontal and vertical styles so you can create a united look across your home.

Blackout Capabilities

: Winner: Tie

Plantation shutters are prized for their blackout capabilities. Ours are able to deliver excellent light control because they’re customized for your windows and installed inside the frame.

Some Hunter Douglas shades are available with an integrated, room-darkening panel. That way, you can enjoy light filtering or blackout capability when you need it.

UV Defense

Winner: Shades

With Designer Screen Shades, you’ll be able to enjoy your surroundings while protecting your furniture, floorings and belongings from damaging sunlight. When down, these solar roller shades shut out 75% of UV light.

Start Creating Your Custom Window Treatments Today

Personalizing window treatments for your home shouldn’t feel stressful. It should be a pleasant and even exciting experience. You’ll have plenty of styles and fabrics to look at, but you’ll have expert assistance from your local Louver Shop of Western Carolina design consultant. We’ll be there to help, from your free, no-pressure quote to professional installation. Ready to begin? Give us a call at 888-428-1415 to schedule your consultation now.