Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better?
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Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better?

If you're searching for window treatments that are both stylish and versatile, plantation shutters may be the perfect choice. Shutters can be customized 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 work better for you. Shades can be customized in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures. And they give off a friendly, inviting glow in certain lighting conditions. With so many options available now it's hard to decide on just one window treatment!

Through the years, Louver Shop of Atlanta has assisted many homeowners with choosing and customizing window treatments. With your vision and our expertise, we're sure to discover a solution together. We'll start with a free, in-home consultation where you can check out samples up close, from the convenience 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 compare plantation shutters vs. shades so you can learn more about the distinct 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 wide louvers that are controlled by a tilt bar, allowing 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 talking about window coverings. But window blinds and plantation shutters have several key differences. Let's go over 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 determined by your personal preference, 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 broader range of budgets. Horizontal blinds are also available in a few other materials, including wood, faux wood and aluminum.

Louver Thickness

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 select.

Pull Cord vs. Tilt Bar

Blinds are usually controlled by a pull cord, while plantation shutters have a tilt bar that makes it possible for 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 great for a broad variety of window sizes and shapes, from large windows to specialty shapes. Real wood shutters are recommended for the largest windows, since they're lightweight.

Light Control and Room Darkening

Plantation shutters provide 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 amount of natural light since they're installed within the window frame.

While horizontal blinds give some relief from the high temps, window shutters provide the best energy efficiency. This is true whether you choose a real wood or faux wood style. They help keep you more comfortable by stopping 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 manufactured 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 fold into neat 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 deliver a more elegant appearance, 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 couple 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 Atlanta, your plantation shutters will look just like you envision them. You’ll have your option of wood or faux wood, plus louver size, color and more.

Similar to our superior shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are manufactured just for your home. When you partner with Louver Shop of Atlanta 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 big windows, hard-to-reach windows or you just don’t like the appearance of dangling cords, PowerView® makes it even simpler 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 adjust your shades. With plantation shutters, you’ll be able to customize 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 crafted from an exclusive polymer that insulates up to three times better than wood. This material blocks 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 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, since they’ve been around for so long. Available in contemporary neutrals like white, gray and brown, plantation shutters complement a wide variety of home styles.

Designer Roller Shades or Designer Screen Shades are a great choice for minimalist homes. The Designer Roller comes in more than 400 fabrics, so you’re sure to find a style that fits your décor. Designer Screen is perfect for rooms with intense sunlight, because these shades stop at least 75% of damaging UV rays when closed.

Light Filtering

Winner: Shades

Want to transform harsh sunlight into a warm, welcoming glow? Look no further than sheer shades. You can customize the opacity of the fabric then enjoy the full convenience of blinds, which float 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 customized for your windows and installed inside 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 want it.

UV Protection

Winner: Shades

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

Start Creating Your Custom Window Treatments Today

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 look at, but you’ll have expert support from your local Louver Shop of Atlanta design consultant. We’ll be there to help, from your free, no-pressure quote to professional installation. Ready to begin? Give us a call at 888-428-1415 to plan your consultation now.