California shutters, also called plantation shutters, have long been a staple for homeowners wishing to control the light streaming into their homes. Before air conditioning, they were a practical way to close out the heat of the day and let in the cool breezes at night. Today's California shutters have become a fashion statement as well, appearing in many new homes and commercial buildings throughout North America.
Wooden Interior Shutters--Advantages
Wooden plantation or California shutters are custom made to fit any room and to enhance interior decor while eliminating the need for sheers or heavy cloth window treatments. The shutters need only a light dusting and the expense of dry cleaning curtains is eliminated. Wooden shutters are available in several louver or slat sizes with flat or beaded side stiles. Hardwoods such as yellow poplar or furniture-grade maple or oak may be painted or stained in almost any custom color.
Vinyl Interior Shutters--Advantages
Vinyl shutters have advantages for certain areas of the home. Where moisture or high humidity is an issue, such as in kitchens and bathrooms, vinyl shutters are guaranteed not to warp or mildew. Vinyl shutters made of polyresin3 can be designed with a wood-grain effect or left with a smooth surface. The vinyl shutter will not absorb stains or the ink found in permanent markers. Vinyl shutters are color fast and will not fade over time.
Wooden Interior Shutters--Disadvantages
Wooden California shutters offer a high-end look but also carry a high-end price. Manufacturers justify the difference by referring to wooden shutters as " furniture for your windows." For the homeowner who likes the look of real wood, faux wood or composite shutters made of vinyl offer almost the same look at a fraction of the price. Wooden shutters in damp areas are prone to warping, and finishes may need touch-ups where water damage occurs.
Vinyl Interior Shutters--Disadvantages
Vinyl shutters are usually only made in white or off-white colors and cannot be matched to existing woodwork. If other colors are desired, they come at a cost and require longer manufacturing and shipping times. Windows that are shallow in depth may not be able to accommodate the wider vinyl frames, which are not customizable. Obstructions such as security devices and latches impede proper mounting, whereas a wooden application can be immediately adjusted on site.
California shutters have a clean, crisp look with an ageless design style. Both wooden and vinyl shutters are a vast improvement over oppressive, heavy fabric window coverings which need constant vacuuming or dry cleaning to stay fresh. The option to let in as much or as little light as desired make the California shutter extremely versatile and a lovely addition to any room. As for wood or vinyl--the choice is a matter of taste, application location and budget.
- Photo Credit corsican houses and buildings image by jeancliclac from Fotolia.com
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