Which Is Better – Vinyl Shutters or Real Wood Shutters

Window shutters are one of the most popular window coverings among homeowners looking for a long-lasting option.  Shutters are designed for interior and exterior use. Out of the various materials they are made from, vinyl and real wood are the most preferred materials.  Both have several features that make them an ideal choice for modern homes. However, when it comes to choosing the right one that suits the functional requirements of your living space, the decision is hard.

Well, we’ve made it easier for you to decide. This post outlines a comparison between real wood and vinyl shutters. Toronto-based residents will find numerous reputed stores that have both the types of window shutters in a variety of sizes and designs.

White faux wood shutters

Criteria to Consider

The following are important criteria to compare between wood and vinyl window shutters to find the ideal match for your home.

  • Aesthetics

For many homeowners, the aesthetics is the primary concern making real wood the winner in this aspect. While it is true that the warmth and beauty of wood cannot be substituted, it is difficult to tell apart real and faux wood louvres made of vinyl, unless you look closely.

The major difference between real wood and vinyl lies in the colour. While the real wood louvres, as well as composite wood, can be repainted and stained; you get what you see with vinyl or faux wood shutters. They are available in a wide array of colours ranging from louvres replicating natural wood texture to solid colours but they must be replaced if you want a different colour someday.

  • Budget

If you have a limited budget, your choices will also be limited. Wood is a natural resource and manufacturing wooden shutters is a long and laborious procedure that adds to its price, rendering it much more expensive than faux wood. Composite wood is a good alternative which closely resembles solid wood texture but is less durable. If you want to cut down the costs further, getting high-quality vinyl California shutters for windows is a wise decision. Both composite and faux wood shutters are manufactured artificially, making them a much more economical choice.

  • Energy efficiency

Both the wood and vinyl shutters can block light and keep the interior temperature moderate. Since the louvres can be moved, you have absolute control over its tilt. The insulation of your home is enhanced when you can keep the outside elements away and ensure the heat or cold inside does not escape either. This, in turn, will significantly reduce your energy bills. If your primary requirement is energy efficiency of the window coverings, then either of these materials will work for your home equally well.

  • Durability

Wood plantation shutters are the typical choice among homeowners looking for a long-lasting window treatment that are stylish as well. Wood shutters are very durable provided they are not exposed to humidity and moisture. They may become brittle and chip but that will happen after many years of usage.  Unlike wood, vinyl or faux wood shutters tend to fade after years of exposure to rain, snow and sunlight.  Cheap and low-quality wood shutters, are also less durable and get discoloured after a few years.

  • Maintenance

Cleaning the louvres is tricky which calls for a material that is easy to maintain. Vinyl perfectly fits this criterion and all you need to do is, lightly dust the individual louvres every few days. For a more thorough cleaning, wipe the louvres with a slightly damp cloth. While cleaning the wood louvres is equally easy, you cannot wipe them clean to prevent moisture damage. The alternative is vacuuming the dust using a narrow nozzle attachment.

  • Versatility and convenience

The texture of wood is versatile and universally complementary to every type of décor. If you are opting for faux wood blinds which are made to replicate the wood graining, they will be equally versatile. However, solid wood shutters are the most adaptable as you can simply re-paint or stain them if you wish to alter the interior look of your home.

Convenience is another important factor that should be considered when you are exploring the materials used for making the shutters. Wooden shutters are heavier than vinyl window shutters which can be a problem to operate for older people and children. Safety is another important factor that should be taken note of, and both wood and faux wood shutters are equally safe since they do not have cords and can be motorized as well.

Vinyl window shutters

Faux Wood


  • Lightweight and durable
  • Budget friendly and costs less than solid and composite wood
  • Versatile enough and can be used in the kitchen and the bathroom
  • Does not warp, flake or mould
  • Comparatively resistant to fire


  • Limited colour choice
  • Cannot be painted, stained or refinished
  • Too flexible and hence, tend to sag without proper support when used for large windows

Solid Wood


  • Ideal for creating a natural and traditional interior style
  • Extremely durable
  • Available in a wide range of colour, and stains
  • Can be availed in wider slat variations as well since they are stiff and don’t not sag because of their own weight
  • Adds to the resale value of your home


  • More expensive than composite or faux wood shutters
  • Susceptible to mould and moisture
  • Need to be routinely cleaned and maintained to retain their lustre

You can also check this post which elaborates on the benefits associated with wood shutters.

Both solid wood and faux wood shutters have several advantages and disadvantages associated with them. Which material you want is entirely a matter of personal choice that should be made keeping your requirements and budget in mind. Explore the variety available at reputed stores to find the most suitable and cost-effective option for your home.