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 perfect choice. Shutters can be custom made 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 personalized in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures. And they emit a warm, inviting glow in certain lighting conditions. With so many choices available today it's difficult to decide on just one window treatment!

Through the years, Louver Shop of Greensboro has aided many homeowners with selecting and customizing window treatments. With your vision and our expertise, we're sure 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 each step of the way, from your free quote to professional installation.

In the meantime, let's compare 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, since they're made from either wood or faux wood. They're usually white but are also available in a variety of stains.

Plantation shutters have wide 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 some big differences. Let's review them so you can choose the ideal style for your home.

Budget and Personal Preferences

Both are a beautiful window treatment. But what fits best in your home is determined by your personal taste, interior design, existing décor and budget. Our custom-made plantation shutters are a premium product designed to last a lifetime, while blinds can fit a larger range of budgets. Horizontal blinds are also available in a few different materials, including wood, faux wood and aluminum.

Louver Size

Both have vertical slats. But plantation shutters have much bigger 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 select.

Pull Cord vs. Tilt Bar

Blinds are usually adjusted with a pull cord, while plantation shutters have 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 use dangling, long cords that can be a safety hazard.

Window Size and Shape

Plantation shutters are best for a broad 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 most light control. Unlike blinds, they can offer a full room-darkening effect. They're able to provide superior light blockage and your desired level of natural light since they're installed within the window frame.

While horizontal blinds offer 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 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 are available in various colors and styles, like sheer shades, honeycomb shades, Roman shades and roller and solar shades. Some shades are on a continuous roll while others stack into orderly pleats when raised.

Roller shades have the biggest selection of fabric to choose from, including sheer fabric allowing more light coming through but less privacy. Roman shades bring a more elegant look, while honeycomb and roller and solar shades offer the greatest energy efficiency.

Which Window Treatments Are Right for My Home?

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

Most Customizable

Winner: Tie

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

Just like our premium shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are made just for your home. When you work with Louver Shop of Greensboro 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 couch during your free, in-home consultation.

Smart Home Automation

Winner: Shades

Whether your shades are on big windows, hard-to-reach windows or you just don’t like the look of long cords, PowerView® makes it even easier to adjust your shades. You’ll be able to adjust 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 made from an exclusive polymer that insulates up to three times better than wood. This material stops heat, keeps you cozier and may even help reduce 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 less heat transfer, better comfort and potentially lower heating and cooling bills.

Most Modern


You might not think of 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 great choice for minimal homes. The Designer Roller comes in more than 400 fabrics, so you’re certain to find a style that fits your décor. Designer Screen is great for rooms with strong sunlight, because these shades block at least 75% of damaging UV rays when closed.

Light Filtering

Winner: Shades

Want to change harsh sunlight into a warm, 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 create a cohesive look across your home.

Blackout Capabilities

: Winner: Tie

Plantation shutters are prized for their blackout capabilities. Ours are able to provide superior light control because they’re custom made for your windows and installed within 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 need it.

UV Protection

Winner: Shades

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

Start Creating Your Custom Window Treatments Now

Personalizing window treatments for your home shouldn’t feel stressful. It should be an enjoyable and even fun experience. You’ll have plenty of styles and fabrics to review, but you’ll have expert support from your local Louver Shop of Greensboro 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 schedule your consultation today.