A Spotlight Of Plantation shutters
Plantation shutters can be purchased at almost every price imaginable. If you’re not a professional in the shutter industry, how do you distinguish between high-quality and low-quality products? There are a number of factors you can use to compare plantation shutters before making a commitment. In this article, we will explain how to tell the good from the bad.Do you want to learn more? Visit more info
Only wood plantation shutters will be discussed, since shutters made from MDF, composite, and polymer materials are different enough from wood plantation shutters in design and construction as to make fair comparisons impossible.
Thicker Is Better
A strong indication of quality is a plantation shutter’s thickness. The stiles (vertical supports on the left and right side of a panel) can range in thickness from 3/4″ to about 1-1/4″. The rails (horizontal supports across the top and bottom) can be as thin as 1/2″. Thicker stiles mean higher quality. More material means the shutter will be more stable and less likely to warp or sag over time.
In general, a quality plantation shutter will have stiles greater than 1″ in thickness. Rails on shutters can be the same thickness as the stiles, or they can be thinner. In my experience, about half of all wood shutters are made with the rails thinner than the stiles. This is done as a design element, so it doesn’t really factor into our comparison of quality. Thicker rails are better than thinner rails, but it is OK for the rails to be thinner than the stiles.
A Rabbet Cut Makes For A Better Joint
Plantation shutters are usually built with more than one panel. When two panels meet, there are a couple of ways to join them. The simplest is to cut each panel so it has a straight, flat edge, and let the two panels butt up against each other. The downside to this approach is that it creates an unsightly gap between the panels that light can seep through.
A better way to fit the panels together is to rabbet them. A small lip is carved into each panel in such a way that one panel overlaps the other by about 1/4″. The rabbeted panels block light and ensure privacy.
It’s common for panels to be rabbeted when they meet in the middle of the window. But the mark of a higher-quality plantation shutter is that rabbets are used every place the panels meet, even where two panels are hinged together. When you see plantation shutters with rabbets between hinged panels, you are looking at a hand-crafted piece of high-quality furniture.
Look For Dowel-and-Glue Joints
Stiles and rails are usually joined with dowels and glue, the most common method of joining wood throughout the furniture industry today. Almost every shutter manufacturer uses two dowels in each joint. This is true of all shutters, from the least to the most expensive, with very few exceptions.
Buy A Quality Shutter…But Don’t Buy More Than You Need
There are literally thousands of shutters on the market today. Most of them display a mix of high-quality and lesser-quality characteristics. Buying quality is important; but buying more shutter than you need is a waste of money. Hopefully you are now armed with the information to shop knowledgeably for the quality shutters you need and want for your home and lifestyle.