Faux wood plantation shutters are products made from composite and designed to mimic the look of real wood. They can be deceiving and look very real until you get up close and touch them. There are several kinds of faux wood shutters: vinyl composite, hybrid, hollow vinyl, or vinyl-clad hybrid shutters.
Real wood shutters typically come from Oak, Basswood, Poplar, Alder, Pine, Cherry, or Maple wood. These are known as hardwood which have a more complex structure than softwood. To give you a picture of the difference between hardwood and softwood: hardwood is used in construction for walls, flooring, furniture, ships, and even fine paper. Softwood is used mostly for boxes, cladding for furniture and décor, and other home woodwork projects.
Hardwood or hard timber is not necessarily harder than softwood but they are more durable and more resistant to scratches and dents.
Here’s the clincher: American hardwood is one of the most beautiful in the world. When you buy shutters made of US hardwood, you are contributing to the protection of the environment because these trees are protected under a simple rule: on-going replenishment, not mining or created with the use of a chemical procedure.
When choosing hardwood, you have a choice from most expensive to affordable. For instance, alder hardwood is called the “poor man’s cherry” while cherry hardwood is considered the highest value wood.
You can be misled about hardwood because some marketing hype include certain wood from other countries as hardwood when they fail in comparison to US hardwood like the Malaysian Oak which is not from the Oak tree but from rubber trees. There are also so-called cherry hardwood from Brazil which is actually from the jatoba tree or the cherry hardwood from Chile or fireland cherry wood which really comes from the lenga tree. The lenga tree is a hardwood but is less dense and hard than US hardwood.
Faux wood, on the other hand, is made of a composite of recycled wood fiber, resin, and wax, PVC resin, or PolyResin 3, aluminum, and vinyl. Just on the basis of the materials used for faux wood shutters, it is easy to conclude that if you want window dressings that will last several decades and look beautiful, then you should get real wooden plantation shutters. More importantly, for the price of real wood plantation shutters, make sure to get yours from the professionals who can custom fit and install the shutters plus give you after sales service and guarantees.