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Do Wood Plantation Shutters Really Warp?

plantation shutterMany people who walk into our showroom at Naples Shutter announce, “I’m here to purchase poly composite plantation shutters because my friend told me that wood shutters warp.”  While we joyfully welcome clients that have done their homework and know what they want, we would like to take a minute to de-bunk this common myth.

What are “Poly” shutters anyway?

Poly is a man-made composite material that is durable, sturdy and readily available.  Manufacturers began using it to make plantation shutters as a lower cost substitute for wood (side note: click here for an interesting history of plantation shutters).  Many people believe that since the poly is made from a stable, plastic-like material, the louvers cannot warp.  While that’s mainly true, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to purchasing poly shutters.   Let us explain them to you here so you can make an informed decision.

How does Poly differ from wood?

The louvers of your plantation shutters are the horizontal pieces that tilt open and closed.  When people think of warping, they are thinking of the louvers bending and losing their shape over time.  It’s true that poly louvers are unlikely to warp since they are man-made and not subject to humidity like wood louvers.  However, since poly is heavier than wood, the entire shutter panels are prone to sagging on their hinges. 

How does Naples Shutter avoid poly sag?

  • By setting size limits on poly shutters that are smaller than wood shutters

  • By offering aluminum-reinforced poly shutters which are stiffer and less prone to bend

  • By installing poly shutters with extra hinges for greater stability

Do wood shutters really warp?

Wood is a natural material that is subject to humidity so it’s true that some woods are prone to warping.  Some shutter companies have been known to produce louvers that warp over time, but there are certain precautions that a reputable shutter company will take to avoid this.

How does Naples Shutter avoid wood warp?

  • Louvers and frames are finger-jointed to reduce warping.  This means that several pieces of choice wood are joined together to make one longer piece.  The result is a straighter, stronger piece of wood, and the seams are invisible once painted.

  • Our wood is shipped and staged in Florida and “adjusts” to heat and humidity before we cut it to make shutters.

  • Wood is carefully inspected and hand-selected to choose the straightest, best pieces.  Any warped pieces will be rejected.

  • If a problem does occur, Naples Shutter’s Limited Lifetime Warranty takes effect and we will repair or replace the product, which is a very simple process.

What advantages do poly shutters have over wood?

  • Poly shutters are suitable for moisture-prone areas like a bathroom or garage.

  • Poly may not warp, but may distort due to high heat.

  • Cleaning is simple – just use soap and water.

  • Poly is quicker to make, so you may get your shutters faster.

What advantages do wood shutters have over poly?

  • Wood shutters offer a more beautiful, natural finish without the “plastic” look of poly shutters.  Wood plantation shutters are a major selling point in homes on the market and can increase the resale value of the home.

  • Wood is lighter and stronger than poly.   Naples Shutter uses hardwood Poplar for superior results.

  • Cleaning and maintenance are very similar to poly, just use a dry or damp cloth to wipe clean.

  • Wood has more color options since you can paint it any color.  Poly shutters are generally available in only 2-3 colors.

  • Wood shutters are manufactured and installed with heavier-duty mortised hinges, giving them greater stability.

Are wood shutters more expensive?

Wood shutters are slightly more expensive than poly.  Many people who first visit Naples Shutter looking for poly shutters change their mind when they realize the advantages of wood.  However, every situation is different so you should carefully weigh both options before you decide what is right for you.

So which kind should I buy?

The bottom line is that there is a time and a place for wood shutters and a time and a place for poly shutters.  At Naples Shutter, our general rule of thumb is this:  if wood shutters fit within your budget, go with wood for the majority of your home, using poly shutters only in moisture-prone areas.  However, we have many clients who have chosen poly shutters for their entire home and are extremely pleased.  Weigh the benefits of both and choose what’s right for you.  Still not sure?  Call to schedule a free estimate or come visit our showroom and chat with one of our product experts.  They will guide you in the right direction.


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Topics: Window Treatments, Plantation Shutters, Wood Plantation Shutters, Poly Plantation Shutters, Naples Shutter,, plantation shutter manufacturer, Naples Shutters, plantation shutter company, Window Coverings, do wood shutters warp

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