Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better?
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Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better?

If you're looking for window treatments that are both elegant and versatile, plantation shutters may be the right choice. Shutters can be customized to match your home's color scheme and decor, 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.

Having said that, if you want a more traditional style, shades could work better for you. Shades can be customized in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures. And they emit a warm, welcoming glow in certain lighting conditions. With so many options available now it's difficult to choose just one window treatment!

Over the years, Louver Shop of Jacksonville has assisted many homeowners with selecting and customizing window treatments. With your vision and our expertise, we're sure to find a solution together. We'll begin with a free, in-home consultation where you can check out samples up close, from the comfort 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 compare 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, since they're manufactured from either wood or faux wood. They're usually white but are also available in a collection of stains.

Plantation shutters have wide 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 often 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 right style for your home.

Budget and Personal Style

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

Louver Width

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 choose.

Pull Cord vs. Tilt Bar

Blinds are often adjusted with a pull cord, while plantation shutters use a tilt bar that allows 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 wide variety of window sizes and shapes, from large windows to specialty shapes. Real wood shutters are recommended for the biggest windows, because 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 amount of natural light since they're installed within the window frame.

While horizontal blinds provide 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 blocking 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 made from fabric, vinyl or woven wood. Our designer shades from Hunter Douglas come in various colors and styles, including sheer shades, honeycomb shades, Roman shades and roller and solar shades. Certain shades are on a continuous roll while others stack into orderly 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 appearance, while honeycomb and roller and solar shades provide the greatest energy efficiency.

Which Window Treatments Are Right for My Home?

This answer depends on a number of things, such as your budget and home décor style. Here are a couple of points to consider that will help you narrow down the selection process.

Most Customizable

Winner: Tie

With Louver Shop of Jacksonville, your plantation shutters will look just like you envision them. You’ll have your option of wood or faux wood, plus louver dimensions, color and more.

Similar to our superior shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are made just for your home. When you partner with Louver Shop of Jacksonville 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 couch 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 easier to adjust your shades. You’ll be able to move 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 regulate your shades. With plantation shutters, you’ll be able to personalize how much natural light comes through, from completely open to full blackout.

Energy Efficiency

Winner: Plantation Shutters

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

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

Most Contemporary


You might not think of plantation shutters as a modern window treatment, since they’ve been around for many years. Available 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 fantastic 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 perfect for rooms with strong sunlight, because these shades block at least 75% of damaging UV rays when shut.

Light Filtering

Winner: Shades

Want to transform bright sunlight into a cozy, welcoming glow? Look no further than sheer shades. You can personalize 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 cohesive look across your home.

Blackout Capabilities

: Winner: Tie

Plantation shutters are valued for their blackout capabilities. Ours are able to provide superior 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 see your view while safeguarding your furniture, floorings and belongings from harmful sunlight. When down, these solar roller shades keep out 75% of UV light.

Start Creating Your Custom Window Treatments Now

Customizing window treatments for your home shouldn’t feel difficult. It should be a pleasant and even exciting experience. You’ll have a lot of styles and fabrics to look at, but you’ll have expert support from your local Louver Shop of Jacksonville design consultant. We’ll be there to help, from your free, no-pressure quote to professional installation. Ready to begin? Give us a ring at 888-428-1415 to plan your consultation now.

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