What are plantation shutters? (And other questions you always wanted to ask about shutters) Posted on 05 Dec 12:52 , 0 comments

With over 30 years in the business of supplying and installing plantation shutters in the UK, we have heard many different questions on shutters. Some of them were quite obvious, like “how much do plantation shutters cost?” Other questions, were much more focused on the meaning of the term and the products subtle differences.

image showing two bedrooms with two different types of plantation shutters on the bedroom windows

To be honest, not many clients have really asked “what are plantation shutters and why are they actually called like this?”  but judging from the number of times this question is found on Google, this is something people want to know, but are probably too shy to ask.

So, if you are one of those who wanted to ask this, or if you are simply curious, read on!

What are plantation shutters and why are they called this?

Originally, plantation shutters were louvred shutters that were installed on the windows of large mansions in the southern American states, where plantations of cotton, sugar or tobacco were very common. The louvred shutters became a standard feature of those properties, because large and heavy curtains were not an ideal solution for a highly humid climate.

white half open shutters on a bay window with cream sofa in front with light coloured cushions

Although in the UK the weather is quite different, plantation shutters have become very popular here too, because they provide many advantages compared to other window dressing like roller blinds, Venetian blinds or curtains. They are also stylish, and can fit well both in modern rooms and in very traditional ones. You can browse our shutter gallery to see how many variations of styles, shapes and colours are available!

What is the difference between traditional shutters and plantation shutters?

The main difference is that plantation shutters are louvered shutters, and the adjustable slats allow the light through the windows, as with Venetian blinds.

luovred shutters in a bathroom on the left and solid panel shutters in a bedroom on the right

Traditional shutters are usually solid shutters, and their main purpose is to block out the light completely and to add security to a window, but they do not allow the regulation of the amount of light entering the room

Plantation shutters or plantation blinds?

In theory, plantation shutters and plantation blinds should be two different products, where the common feature is the presence of slats (or louvres). “Plantation”, in this case, would be the word identifying this feature.

wooden Venetian blinds behind a sofa

In reality, plantation shutters and plantation blinds are nowadays used as synonyms, while the term “Venetian Blinds” are now used to identify the slatted blinds. At the Shutter Shop we supply both types!

What are plantation shutters made of?

The most commonly used materials are MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard), wood and plastics. MDF is a man-made material, that derives from recycled wood fibres pressed with resin. The great advantage of MDF is that it stands better humidity and heat changes compared to wood. It is also a much more affordable material, and for this reason our ranges of MDF shutters (Antigua and Bermuda) are extremely popular among our clients.

half closed shutters on a bay window letting only a little light through the window

We also use natural wood obtained from sustainable sources, like basswood, paulownia and – for our top quality Sumatra rangewhite teak. Wooden shutters show more of the natural grain of woods, and they become a perfect choice with stain colours. We also use ABS, for waterproof shutters, that are used in high humidity rooms like bathroom or kitchen. Our 100 % waterproof Java range belongs to this category.

What do plantation shutters cost?

The cost is based on product range and the surface area that the shutters will cover. The easiest way to answer this question is to direct you to our online calculator, where you can have a rough estimate of the cost of the various shutter ranges. The costs are based on a DIY installation. For a complete supply and fit service, you can contact us for a free survey, so we can take the measurements and send you a an accurate quotation with a full breakdown of costs.

Which plantation shutters are best?

The simplest answer is the plantation shutters that best match your home, your specific requirements and of course personal preference! Wooden shutters would be ideal if you want a particular colour or stain, but they would not be ideal in rooms like bathrooms!

white plantation shutters mounted on a corner window in a bathroom letting a lot of light through but still assuring privacy

You can browse our range of shutters for more information or you can contact us for some help and advice: 30-year experience in the field cannot be reduced to a few lines in a blog post!

Are plantation shutters in style?

We are not the best people to ask this, because our answer would be clearly a strong YES! However, you can see many interior design blogs, or specialised websites where plantation shutters are often suggested as ideal window treatment.

Here some examples:

Elle Décor: http://www.elledecor.com/home-remodeling-renovating/home-makeovers/tips/g505/great-ideas-window-treatments/?slide=8

Moderncountrystle: http://moderncountrystyle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/swedishfrench-style-victorian-house-tour.html

Apartmenttherapy: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/plantation-shutters-design-ideas-inspiration-235313?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=tracking&utm_campaign=inline-img-share


Now you know what plantation shutters are and why they are called like this, but If you do have more questions to ask, feel free to use the space for the comments below. You can also find more answers in our FAQ section, or you can simply contact us!