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

If you're searching for window treatments that are both elegant and convenient, plantation shutters may be the perfect choice. Shutters can be custom made to match your home's color scheme and style, as well as provide 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, inviting 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 Charlotte has aided many homeowners with choosing and customizing window treatments. With your vision and our expertise, we're certain to find a solution together. We'll start 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 learn more about the unique features of these window treatments.

What Are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are also called hard window treatments, since they're manufactured from either wood or faux wood. They're usually white but are also available in a variety of stains.

Plantation shutters have broad louvers that are operated by a tilt bar, allowing 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 referring to window coverings. But window blinds and plantation shutters have several key differences. Let's review them so you can choose the right style for your home.

Budget and Personal Style

Both are a beautiful window treatment. But what fits best in your home is based 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 broader range of budgets. Horizontal blinds are also available in a few other materials, including wood, faux wood and aluminum.

Louver Width

Both have 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 design you choose.

Pull Cord vs. Tilt Bar

Blinds are frequently controlled by 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 safer 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 largest windows, because they're lightweight.

Light Control and Room Darkening

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

While horizontal blinds offer 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 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 made 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. Some shades are on a continuous roll while others stack into neat pleats when raised.

Roller shades have the widest selection of fabric to choose 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 most energy efficiency.

Which Window Treatments Are Right for My Home?

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

Most Customizable

Winner: Tie

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

Just like our superior shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are manufactured just for your home. When you partner with Louver Shop of Charlotte 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 appearance of long cords, PowerView® makes it even simpler to adjust your shades. You’ll be able to adjust 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 regulate 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 more comfortable and may even help lower your energy bills.

A near second for energy efficiency is honeycomb shades. These shades have geometric chambers that capture air at the windows. The result is less heat transfer, improved 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 many years. Available in contemporary neutrals like white, gray and brown, plantation shutters complement a wide range of home styles.

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

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 convenience 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 excellent light control because they’re customized for your windows and installed inside the frame.

Some Hunter Douglas shades are available with a built-in, room-darkening panel. That way, you can enjoy light filtering or blackout capability when you want it.

UV Defense

Winner: Shades

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

Start Creating Your Custom Window Treatments Today

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