What Type of Shutters Are Best?

It’s a popular question homeowners ask: what type of shutters are best?

Since we began working with Hardwood Plantation Shutters nearly twenty years ago, their popularity has increased massively. 

From ‘niche’ beginnings, they may now justifiably be considered one of the mainstays in the world of window treatments.

This is due mainly to their aesthetic appeal, practicality, durability, and versatility.

They can transform a room and a whole house like no other element of interior design.

Offering practical benefits like light control and insulation while enhancing the overall decor from inside and outside the home.

With a wide variety of designs and configurations available, browsing the different types and choosing the right plantation shutters can be daunting.

This article explains in simple terms some of the options that may be available when choosing the best type of shutters for your home.

Plantation Shutters Outside

Understanding Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are interior window dressings with adjustable slats or ‘louvres’.

These slats vary in size, typically from the smallest 64 mm up to the largest 114 mm, used on the biggest windows.

They consist of shutter panels mounted onto a frame and attached using hinges, just like a standard door.

The number of panels defines whether a shutter design is a single panel, a bi-fold panel, or even a tri-fold panel. Panel slats can be opened or closed to control light, privacy, and airflow.

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Types of Plantation Shutters

There are various types of plantation shutters and styles. 

All of which play a huge factor into choosing the best type of shutter for your home. 

At West Country Shutters are only opt for the finest hardwood which we install in various styles. 

Shutter Materials

Hardwood Shutters

If you’ll excuse the pun, these are the very ‘top of the tree’.

Quality hardwood timber interior shutters look and feel like no other wooden shutters.

They are manufactured using either POPLAR timber or ASH, both from FSC-certified sustainable sources.

Other timbers commonly used are Cedar, Basswood, and Paulownia.

These shutters can be painted or stained in a wide array of finishes and custom-made to any size or shape window, making them one of the most popular window covering options on the market.

They are light in weight yet strong and extremely durable. However, they are the most expensive type and unsuitable for windows with excess water exposure.

Polyvinyl Shutters

The notion of using a polyvinyl or plastic shutter does conflict with our preference for hardwood timber only.

However, Polyvinyl shutters are a practical solution for windows with excessive moisture.

Typically, this is within wet rooms and in windows positioned within striking distance of water in bathrooms, i.e. right next to a bath or within a shower enclosure.

They are virtually unbreakable, easy to clean, and a great choice for moisture-prone areas.

Design-wise, they are more limited in choice of slat sizes and colour options but are cost-effective and durable.

MDF Shutters

Often termed ‘entry-level’ shutters, MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) shutters are a budget-conscious choice.

They are heavier, limiting the types of window sizes they can handle.

Custom shapes and tier-on-tier shutters are not typically options with MDF.

They come in solid colours through a foil wrapping system but are less well-engineered than hardwood shutters.

Composite Shutters

These are a hybrid of MDF frames with panels made of lightweight vinyl composite material or faux wood with an aluminium core.

Composite shutters are hardwearing and durable but have more limited colour options than hardwood.

They are suitable for larger doors and windows and are priced mid-range.

Exeter Hardwood Bathroom Shutters

Shutter Styles

Full Height Shutters

These cover the entire window and are popular for their clean look and excellent light control. 

They are versatile and suitable for most window shapes.

If tracked shutters are not a viable option, full-height shutters are great for patio doors, French doors, and large windows. 

tier on tier shutters taunton

Tier on Tier Shutters

These shutters have two sets of panels, one on top of the other, allowing for separate operation of the top and bottom panels. 

This style offers great flexibility in light control and privacy.

Cafe Style Shutters

Café Style Shutters

For period properties, cafe-style shutters are a great option for several reasons. 

They cover only the lower half of the window, allowing natural light to enter from the top while providing privacy on the bottom. 

Cafe-style shutters are often seen on street-level homes with a lot of foot traffic. 

We believe they are the best way to maximise privacy and lighting control in period properties.

Solid Panel Plantation Shutters Bathroom

Solid Panel Shutters

These solid shutters feature solid panels instead of slats and provide excellent insulation and light blockage. 

They are ideal for bedrooms or any room where light needs to be blocked out completely.

Solid panel shutters look amazing in period style homes.

Full Height Tracked Shutters

Tracked Shutters

These are mounted on a track system, making them ideal for large windows, patio doors, french doors or room dividers. 

They can slide open and closed smoothly, offering a modern look.

Track shutters are a great way to increase security and lighting control and transform your home.

Watch the team carry out a track shutter installation in Cornwall

Hardwood Bathroom Plantation Shutters

Bi-fold Shutters

All of the shutters we install are bi-fold shutters.

These fold back completely, allowing full access to the window. 

They are great for window types and even doors, such as French doors offering flexibility and a sleek design.

Exeter Plantation Shutters In Kitchen

Slate sizes make all the difference to the appearance of your shutters both inside and outside of your property.

Slat Sizes

The size of the slats can significantly impact the appearance of the shutters and the look from both inside and outside the home. 

If curb appeal is an important factor for you, slat sizes are key when choosing shutters. 

Regardless of slat size, privacy is not compromised. 

The ones listed below are standard in the shutter world:

  • 64mm slats are Traditional in feel. However, this smaller slat can look a little ‘busy’ and limit the viewpoint.

  • 76mm is a great option for small and mid-size panels and balances traditional and modern aesthetics.

  • 89mm gives a contemporary open look perfect for large windows, maximising light and views 

  • 114mm is a great option for the largest windows and provides a clean, architectural feel to the interior. Less is most definitely more with these.

Window Shutters Insp 8

Bedroom shutters with Tilt rod visible in the centre of the shutters. Tilt rods, tend of the a thing of the past nowadays.

Tilt Rods

The tilt rods are the mechanism on a panel that is used to adjust the slats. 

There are two main types:

  • Central tilt rod – a traditional option where the visible rod runs down the centre of the shutter. It’s easy to use but can obstruct the view and make slats more difficult to clean.

  • Hidden tilt rod: This option offers a more modern look by discreetly placing the tilt mechanism to be invisible to the eye, providing an unobstructed view.

In our opinion, the hidden tilt rod is best option.

Full Height Patio Door Shutters

Choosing The Right Shutters

Light Control

Consider the amount of natural light you want to let into your room. Larger slats offer a more open feel and maximise light, while smaller slats provide a traditional look and more control over light and privacy.

Exeter Arched Window Shutters

Window Shape and Size

Custom-shaped windows such as arches, circles, and triangles require bespoke shutters. Bay window shutters and sash windows benefit from made-to-measure designs to fit perfectly.

Bathroom Shutters

Room Conditions

Moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens need waterproof materials like polyvinyl or PVC shutters. Hardwood or composite shutters are excellent choices for living rooms and bedrooms.

Plantation Shutters In A Listed Building

Style and Décor

The style of shutters you choose should complement your home’s interior design. Hardwood shutters offer a timeless and luxurious look, while Café shutters and tier on tier shutters add charm to period properties. With different types of shutters available in a range of colours, we can guarantee our shutters will give your home that extra ‘wow factor’!


We argue that even at the lowest price point in the shutter world, there is no really ‘cheap’ option.

The nature of having a window dressing made bespoke, indicates you are by definition in a world where you are not looking at the most budget-friendly window treatment.

Of course, we all want value for money and in that regard, what stands the test of time and delivers over many years, will represent excellent value.

Hence hardwood shutters at the premium price point are worth the investment in our opinion.

MDF, Composite, and variations are certainly a more cost-effective option, however, the compromise in the quality and long-term standing should be carefully considered.

Conclusion: Choosing The Best Shutters

Choosing the best shutters for your home involves considering style preferences, light control needs, room conditions, and budget.

By understanding the pros and cons of each type and the various style options, you can make an informed decision that enhances your home’s look and functionality.

With years of experience, we can help guide you to the perfect shutters, ensuring a perfect fit for every window and a lasting improvement to your living space.

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