Occasionally, people shopping for window treatments have misconceptions about blinds and plantation shutters. The terms are not interchangeable, and if you want to avoid confusion while you’re shopping around, you should know the difference. Even more confusing is the fact that different cultures use a combination of terms, like “plantation blinds” instead of plantation shutters. The difference between blinds and plantation shutters concerns many different areas such as decor choices, energy efficiency, and cost. Once you know what you’re looking for in these aspects, the choice might become a lot easier for you.
Window Shades and Blinds
Window shades and blinds were originally placed on spring-loaded rollers and mounted on the top frame of windows. As time progressed, materials were updated and pull-strings or motorized lifts were added. Blinds can now be made from synthetic materials that capture the look of wood or fabric. They can also be made of thin-gauge metal, such as aluminum.
Plantation shutters are permanently mounted on the interior side frames of windows. They are almost always made from wood, but there are varieties that use other solid materials. Polymer is a new product that mimics the look of wood and gives many of the same benefits as wood. Opening out from the center, plantation shutters use vertical stiles and horizontal rails to control the amount of light released.
Blinds have long been used for privacy in homes. Once hand-painted with scenes, manufacturing and automation replaced this time-consuming measure. Slats, cellular pockets, and fabric-based Roman shades are a few examples of what you can find in today’s window blinds. Colors and patterns can be woven into window shades to match the decor of a room.
Although plantation shutters are classically light in color, they can be stained or painted to match any room. They add a modern look with straight sleek lines and sturdy material. Plantation shutters stay perfectly aligned, never losing their shape. Homes wanting an upscale look will often opt for plantation shutters over blinds.
Blinds come in a variety of shapes and materials, with some being more energy-efficient than others. For instance, honeycomb shades came on the market in the 1970s as an answer to the energy crisis. The fabric design helps to trap cold or hot air inside the spaces and control the interior temperature. Slatted blinds do little to conserve energy except for the fact that they cover the window’s surface.
Plantation shutters are high in energy efficiency. Because they are custom-made to fit snugly against a frame, they have better control over airflow. The vertical stiles allow the user to close the shutters when temperatures are high or low outdoors. Whether you elect for blinds or plantation shutters, both should be installed properly in order to get the best protection possible.
One significant difference between blinds and plantation shutters is price. Wood plantation blinds can run into the range of hundreds of dollars per window. Blinds, on the other hand, can be found in relatively inexpensive varieties, like vinyl slatted ones. Depending on the number of features you want, window shades can become pricey, but hardly ever as much as wood plantation shutters.
As you can see, the difference between blinds and plantation shutters is a matter that requires careful choices. Think about what matches your home decor and your energy needs. And when you’ve zeroed in your pick, contact Blinds Brothers. We’ll get you started with a free estimate and help you out along every step of the window outfitting process.