Unlike the old days, when shutters protected a home’s windows against vicious storms, shutters nowadays are almost exclusively decorative.

When it comes to choosing the right shutter material for your home, you have two options: wood and vinyl. In this article, let’s break down the differences between them. From aesthetics to cost to maintenance, we will explore every aspect to ensure you choose the best shutters.

Table of Contents:

    ● What Are Wood Shutters?
    ● What Are Vinyl Shutters?
    ● Differences
    ● FAQs
    ● Verdict: Which Is Better?


    What Are Wood Shutters?


    Wood Shutters

    Wood shutters are well known for their classic appeal. They add a touch of elegance with their rich grain patterns and warm tones. Wood shutters also seamlessly blend with both traditional and modern decor.

    Wood shutters come in different styles, such as:

    ●  Solid wood
    ●  Plantation
    ●  Cafe style
    ●  Louvered
    ●  Board and batten
    ●  Shaker style
    ●  Arched
    ●  Paneled


    What Are Vinyl Shutters?

    Vinyl Shutters

    Vinyl shutters are a cost-effective alternative to wood. They come in various styles and colors, so you can easily find a design that blends well with your decor. Vinyl shutters require low maintenance and are less susceptible to moisture damage and pests.

    Vinyl shutters come in different styles, such as:

    ●  Raised panel
    ●  Louvered
    ●  Board and batten
    ●  Shaker
    ●  Bahama
    ●  Colonial


    Here are the differences between wood and vinyl shutters.

    1. Appearance

    Wood shutters are usually made of basswood and poplar, but oak, maple, cherry, pine, birch, and hickory are also available. They look elegant with their rich grain patterns and warm tones. You can paint or stain wood shutters in various colors to match your decor.


    Vinyl shutters are usually made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and offer a sleek and modern appearance. They come in various styles and colors, so you can easily find a design that complements your home decor. Vinyl shutters that mimic wood are also available.

    2. Cost

    Wood shutters are usually more expensive than vinyl because of the cost of natural wood and the craftsmanship required. The maintenance costs are also higher as they need periodic painting or staining to prevent moisture and UV damage.

    Vinyl shutters offer the best bang for your buck. They look good and are durable while being significantly less expensive than wood. They are also low-maintenance.

    3. Customization

    Wood shutters have more design options and are more customizable than vinyl. They can also be painted or stained in various colors to match your home’s aesthetics.

    Vinyl shutters come pre-finished in various styles, sizes, and colors but aren’t as customizable as wood.

    4. Durability

    Wood shutters are durable but can warp or fade if not milled correctly or dried properly. Wood shutters are prone to moisture damage, so they aren’t a good choice if you live in a rainy region or if you like to keep your windows open.

    Vinyl shutters are highly durable and can withstand moisture, and decay. They are less likely to warp, crack, or fade. Vinyl shutters are a better choice for kitchens and bathrooms as they are more moisture-resistant.

    5. Maintenance

    Wood shutters require more maintenance than vinyl. They need periodic staining or painting to protect the wood against moisture, UV rays, and pest damage.

    Vinyl shutters resist moisture and insects and don’t require painting or staining. Routine cleaning with a damp cloth is typically sufficient to keep them looking good.

    6. Environmental Impact

    Wood shutters are more eco-friendly than vinyl, especially if you choose a sustainable source of wood. They are also easier to recycle.

    Vinyl shutters aren’t biodegradable and are difficult to recycle.

    7. Installation

    Wood shutters – A bit of finish carpentry skills are required.

    Note: Since wood shutters are heavy, ensure the frame can support their weight. Vinyl shutters are easy to install, making them a better choice for DIYers. They come

    pre-finished and don’t require painting or staining.


    How often should wood shutters be painted or stained?

    Wood shutters should be painted or stained every 12-15 years, depending on the weather conditions.

    What’s the average lifespan of wood and vinyl shutters?

    Wood shutters have an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years if properly maintained. High-quality vinyl shutters can last between 15-20 years.

    Should I DIY or hire a professional for shutter installation?

    It’s best to hire a professional for precise and secure shutter installation. If you have the necessary equipment and experience working on shutters, you can DIY.

    Do shutters increase the resale value of a home?

    Yes. Well-maintained shutters enhance your home’s curb appeal, making your property more appealing to buyers.

    Verdict: Which Is Better?

    Here’s why wood shutters are better than vinyl:

    ●  Timeless design
    ●  More design options
    ●  More customizable
    ●  More eco-friendly

    Here’s why vinyl shutters are better than wood:

    ●  Easier to install
    ●  More durable
    ●  Requires lesser maintenance
    ●  Cost-effective

    If you still can’t decide between wood and vinyl shutters, Family Interiors pros can help. We provide free in-home estimates and can help you with the entire shutter installation process, from sourcing the materials to installing them to clean up.