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 stylish and convenient, plantation shutters may be the right choice. Shutters can be custom made to match your home's color scheme and decor, as well as provide protection from UV rays and noise pollution. Plantation shutters are also energy efficient, which will help reduce your monthly utility bills.

On the other hand, if you want a more classic style, shades could work better for you. Shades can be custom made in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures. And they emit a friendly, inviting glow in certain lighting conditions. With so many choices available today it's difficult to decide on just one window treatment!

Over the years, Louver Shop of New Jersey has assisted many homeowners with selecting and customizing window treatments. With your vision and our expertise, we're certain 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 every step of the way, from your free quote to professional installation.

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

What Are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are also called hard window treatments, because 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 broad louvers that are controlled by a tilt bar, enabling you to customize the amount of light in your rooms. Unlike other window treatments, shutters are permanently mounted 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 referring to window coverings. But window blinds and plantation shutters have some key differences. Let's go over them so you can choose the right style for your home.

Budget and Personal Preferences

Both are a beautiful window treatment. But what works best for your home depends on your personal preference, interior design, existing décor and budget. Our custom-made plantation shutters are a high-quality product made to last a lifetime, while blinds can accommodate a wider range of budgets. Horizontal blinds also come in a few other 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 vary 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 frequently adjusted with a pull cord, while plantation shutters use a tilt bar that allows you to let in varying 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 great for a broad variety of window sizes and shapes, from large windows to specialty shapes. Real wood shutters are best for the largest 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 offer the best energy efficiency. This is true whether you choose a real wood or faux wood design. They help keep you more comfortable by preventing energy loss at the window, where your home loses the most air. This may even help lower 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, including 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 widest selection of fabric to select from, including sheer fabric allowing more light coming through but less privacy. Roman shades deliver a more elegant look, while honeycomb and roller and solar shades provide the greatest energy efficiency.

Which Window Treatments Are Best for My Home?

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

Most Customizable

Winner: Tie

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

Just like our superior shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are made just for your home. When you partner with Louver Shop of New Jersey you’ll have access to all the most current fabrics, colors and patterns you need to elevate your home. You can view 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 look of dangling cords, PowerView® makes it even easier to adjust your shades. You’ll be able to move your window treatments with a tap of your smartphone or with a voice command via Amazon Alexa, Siri® on your Apple device or Google Assistant.


Winner: Plantation Shutters

You’re restricted with how much you can adjust your shades. With plantation shutters, you’ll be able to customize how much natural light comes through, from fully 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 comfier and may even help lower your energy bills.

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

Most Contemporary


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 range 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 great for rooms with strong sunlight, as these shades stop at least 75% of harmful UV rays when shut.

Light Filtering

Winner: Shades

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

Blackout Capabilities

: Winner: Tie

Plantation shutters are valued for their blackout capabilities. Ours are able to deliver superior light control because they’re custom made for your windows and installed within 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 Protection

Winner: Shades

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

Start Designing Your Custom Window Treatments Now

Customizing window treatments for your home shouldn’t feel stressful. It should be an enjoyable and even exciting experience. You’ll have a lot of styles and fabrics to review, but you’ll have expert support from your local Louver Shop of New Jersey design consultant. We’ll be there to assist, from your free, no-pressure quote to professional installation. Ready to get started? Give us a call at 888-428-1415 to schedule your consultation today.

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