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

If you're seeking window treatments that are both stylish and convenient, plantation shutters may be the right choice. Shutters can be customized 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 reduce your monthly utility bills.

On the other hand, if you want a more traditional look, shades could work better for you. Shades can be customized in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures. And they emit a warm, welcoming glow in certain lighting conditions. With so many options available now it's difficult to choose just one window treatment!

Through the years, Louver Shop of Tampa has aided many homeowners with selecting 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 see samples up close, from the convenience 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.

For now, let's compare plantation shutters vs. shades so you can find out more about the distinct features of these window treatments.

What Are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are considered hard window treatments, because 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 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 frequently used interchangeably when referring to window coverings. But window blinds and plantation shutters have several big differences. Let's go over them so you can choose the right style for your home.

Budget and Personal Preferences

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

Louver Size

Both use 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 design you select.

Pull Cord vs. Tilt Bar

Blinds are frequently adjusted with a pull cord, while plantation shutters have a tilt bar that makes it possible for you to let in varying levels of natural light. This makes window shutters a safer choice 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 biggest 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 level of natural light because they're mounted within the window frame.

While horizontal blinds give some relief from the high temps, 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 preventing 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, including sheer shades, honeycomb shades, Roman shades and roller and solar shades. Certain shades are on a continuous roll while others fold into neat pleats when brought up.

Roller shades have the biggest selection of fabric to select 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 Best for My Home?

This answer depends on a number of factors, like 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 Tampa, 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.

Similar to our premium shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are made just for your home. When you work with Louver Shop of Tampa 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 look 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 regulate 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 best 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 comfier and may even help reduce your energy bills.

A near second for energy efficiency is honeycomb shades. These shades have geometric pockets that trap air at the windows. The result is less heat transfer, better comfort and potentially cheaper heating and cooling bills.

Most Modern


You might not consider plantation shutters as a modern window treatment, since they’ve been around for many years. Available in contemporary neutrals like white, gray and brown, plantation shutters flatter a wide variety of home styles.

Designer Roller Shades or Designer Screen Shades are a fantastic choice for minimalist homes. The Designer Roller is available in more than 400 fabrics, so you’re certain to find a style that suits your décor. Designer Screen is great for rooms with intense sunlight, as these shades block at least 75% of harmful UV rays when shut.

Light Filtering

Winner: Shades

Want to change bright sunlight into a cozy, pleasant glow? Look no further than sheer shades. You can personalize 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 create a cohesive look across your home.

Blackout Capabilities

: Winner: Tie

Plantation shutters are prized for their blackout capabilities. Ours are able to deliver 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 want it.

UV Defense

Winner: Shades

With Designer Screen Shades, you’ll be able to enjoy 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 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 assistance from your local Louver Shop of Tampa design consultant. We’ll be there to assist, from your free, no-pressure quote to professional installation. Ready to get started? Give us a ring at 888-428-1415 to schedule your consultation today.