Polymer vs Wood Shutters: Choosing the Best for Yourself

Buying window shutters may feel like a big deal and, truth be told, it may significantly affect your interior and the curb appeal of your house. Real estate agents argue that window dressings are one of the easiest ways to make a big difference, which adds to benefits like comfort, privacy, and insulation. Plantation shutters are an evergreen classic that’s been Aussies’ go-to window covering for decades. There are many materials we go for, though, and these depend on budgetary constraints, needs, and wants. Below, we’ll discuss the key differences between two popular picks in wood and polymer.

Wood Shutters Pros

Design Flexibility

There’s no accounting for taste, and finding a one-size-fits-all solution with shutters is impossible. You’ll have to consider many factors before settling on a style. However, it’s only fair to note that wood as a material of choice will give you the greatest flexibility with design.

For example, cedar, pine, and basswood plantation shutters will each bring something new to the table. On the other hand, you also get other choices like the finish, where painting or staining them makes a big difference as you look to suit your interior design best.

Premium feel

Most materials you can go for will have polished looks and undoubtedly decorate your windows in style. However, not each of them will be the same when up close and personal. Wood will have a peculiar touch and a genuinely premium feel when you touch the shutters to open and close the louvres.

Durability & sturdiness

While it may differ from one hardwood to another, wood generally provides excellent durability and sturdiness. Materials like basswood have a great weight-to-strength ratio and will typically last for years. Toddlers, as well as pets, will have a hard time breaking it even if they decide to do so.

Such hardwood shutters will not warp easily regardless of the conditions. They can be used on large windows without fear of sagging, but you may want to add divider rails with heavier materials on full-height doors. Keeping it in top condition will take some maintenance, though, bringing us to the cons

Wood Shutters Cons

Price & maintenance

Depending on the wood you choose, these shutters can be quite pricey and there are certainly cheaper options out there. If you are on a tight budget and find none of the features listed above important, you may want to go for other solutions.

On the other hand, hardwood like basswood will require more regular care to keep it looking fresh and clean. While it is easy to dust and wipe plantation shutters, you may feel poly and aluminium solutions are more straightforward and worthwhile.

Poly Shutters Pros


While wood shutters provide a great deal of insulation, light control, and privacy, it’s important to note that you’d need a so-called blackout blind to prevent light leakage. Polymer shutters, on the other hand, are more efficient in both light and heat insulation.

Polymer is renowned for its energy efficiency, which could be one of the biggest benefits you will see in the long run. This means saving even more on air conditioning during scorching summers and keeping the nights warmer inside in the winters.

Long-lasting Finish

As said, plantation shutters made of wood require more care and refreshing to keep them in top condition. Poly shutters have a long-lasting finish that will keep them in mint condition for years, as long as you don’t use abrasive cleaning products. Make no mistake, though, vinyl is no aluminium and will not provide the same sort of strength.

Still, your shutters will look as good as new for much longer with no refreshing needed. This can certainly play a significant role if you’re looking for a long-term solution and don’t want to change your shutters regularly.


Last but not least, poly plantation shutters are more budget-friendly and can cost up to 30% less than premium wood solutions. Polymers entered different spheres of our lives for this reason exactly, offering cheaper alternatives while coping well with pricier options.

Polymer is affordable because of dipping and spin-coating technologies that make for easy processing. While not really eco-friendly, shutters are long-term solutions that pay dividends with little to no extra investment. Louvres and even frames are sometimes hollow, which enables even lower prices but makes way for cons we will discuss below.

Poly Shutters Cons

Customisation and weight issues

Indeed, one of the first things you may see is that polymer shutters will provide far less design flexibility or chances for customisation. This means your shutters are white or off-white, and you take them as they are if they fit your interior design.

There is a more pressing issue in the long run, though. Poly shutters are lighter than wood, but with hollow hardware, they often fail to bear their own weight. This can result in sagging and bowing. You will thus need to be extra careful when installing these shutters, adding extra hinges and divider rails where possible

Final Thoughts

It may be slim margins to help you decide, but we’ve now listed some of the major upsides and downsides to both wood and poly shutters. We focused on salient features and prime selling points for both, where it all comes down to your taste and what you are actually looking for.

If you are looking for design diversity and don’t mind paying the premium to get that premium feel, one of the most common picks will be basswood plantation shutters. On the other hand, if you are on a tighter budget and want superb insulation, polymer is the way to go.

We strongly suggest getting quotes and taking a look at a couple of samples before making a decision too, as you don’t want to touch your shutters and see that wasn’t what you were looking for when they are already installed.