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A Quick Guide to Common Shutter Materials

February 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 234

Shutters are becoming an increasingly popular solution in the UK's homes, both for interior use, to compliment internal decor and to regulate conditions, and for use on the exterior of the home, to keep out the weather. As their popularity grows, so do the options available to consumers regarding this already versatile product, with, in particular, a greater variety of materials into play. Below are a few of the options.


The main attraction of plumping for MDF (i.e., Medium-density fibreboard, manufactured wood or craft wood as it sometimes known) is its price, but it can offer great quality and therefore value for money too.

The wood is akin to a processed wood whereby it is manufactured by binding together the fibres of natural woods (soft and hard) with resins. Consequently, it is almost uniform in its make up and can offer specific properties, such as a resistance to shrinkage, although it can equally suffer from problems with water absorption. If you are installing shutters yourself or repurposing old ones, it can be an ideal material to use due to its price and the fact that it is easy to work with.


There are various forms of plastic shutter with the lower end of the price scale including PVC and vinyl shutters whilst fiberglass shutters tend to make up the higher end of the scale. As with wood shutters the price generally reflects the quality of finish and longevity and whilst vinyl shutters may be prone to weathering and damage, such as staining and warping, fibreglass will offer more durability.

Plastic shutters are usually more restrictive in terms of the amount they can be customised, either through painting etc or their ability to be moulded to fit bespoke requirements and spaces.


Basswood, a hardwood commonly known as Lime in the UK or Linde in the rest of Europe is a popular mid range choice for shutter manufacturers because it is very easy to work with to provide the bespoke shapes and sizes of shutters that many customers require whilst still giving a high quality natural wood finish. Although it is durable, it is most suited to use on interior shutters.

For those not looking for the natural wood finish, Basswood also lends itself to staining and painting due to the properties of the grain if the natural wood finish. In fact its qualities make it a good choice for those DIY enthusiasts looking to install their own wooden shutters.


There are many other types of hardwood which can and are used to make quality shutters but there are a few particular woods that are commonplace including Larchwood, Oak and the lesser known Phoenix wood (popular for its unusual flame retardant properties).

Hardwood shutters are appealing for the durability they offer and their resistance to warping and are therefore a good choice for exterior as well as interior shutters. However, they can also provide real character with, for example, oak shutters lending a more antiqued look to compliment older properties.

Cedar Wood

Often the premium choice of shutter material, cedar wood, or red cedar to more precise, is a very attractive addition to any home. It has both visual appeal, with its distinctive natural red wood, and aromatic, with a unique cedar fragrance.

However, its place as a premium wood is not only down to its more aesthetic qualities, it also has a high level of durability and longevity (more so than a comparable wood such as pine), to the extent that it can be used as an exterior weather proofed shutter if desired. It even has the unusual ability to repel insects (very handy at certain times of year).

Whatever your requirements there will be a style and material of shutter to suit, whether you're looking for weather proofing exterior window shutters or full height interior shutters.

© Stuart Mitchell 2012

I'm a small business owner. If you want to find out more about the benefits of installing shutters in the home then visit Shutters.

Source: EzineArticles
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