Defining Plantation Shutters

Defining Plantation Shutters

We’ve discussed this in our blog before but it has to be talked about every few years as new people come to the conversation. So what is a Plantation Shutter? In every industry you can describe something a number of different ways, and there’s rarely a standard way to do it. It may be easy for someone with a passing familiarity of shutters to mix up what we would call a Traditional Shutter and a Plantation Shutter. A Traditional Shutter refers to a shutter that has smaller panels and a small louver to move them, you’ll find them mostly in the North Eastern and upper Mid-Western parts of the United States. In many cases the shutters will be built in what’s called cafe style, only covering the bottom half or so of the window and are quite narrow.

The shutters we’ve come to call Plantation Shutters are most common in the South and Western parts of the United States. States like California where you have amazing mountain and ocean views are excellent for Plantation Shutters as they allow you to preserve the view. Plantation Shutters will typically have larger panels than it’s traditional cousin, having a single shutter panel covering a window up to five feet tall is not uncommon.

It takes all Kinds

At Kirtz we sell more Plantation Shutters than any other kind and we’ve made a name for ourselves doing it. But just because Plantation Shutters are more popular doesn’t mean we exclude a style of shutter. We will sometimes make a Traditional Shutter if a customer has a need. Because of our equipment setup we do ask that if a customer would like a Traditional Shutter we ask they they have a larger project or a project that require very specific shutter dimensions. We pride ourselves on our ability to accommodate the needs of all our clients.


Plantation Shutters Vs. Traditional

Plantation Shutters Versus Traditional Shutters

What Makes Plantation Shutters Different?

When you think about shutters are you picturing the traditional style or plantation shutters? How can you tell the difference? If you don’t know what to look for in a shutter design, then you are not alone. In fact, there are many home builders and homeowners that don’t know the differences for these varied window treatments. Today, we’re going to discuss the key differences between traditional shutters and plantation shutters to help you make an informed decision when you’re shopping for a brand new look!

The Look Of Traditional Shutters

The main design element to look for in traditional shutters is the small, narrow louvers. The louvers are the angled slats that allow the light to enter a room. The older style shutters can still be seen in some homes with louvers that are 1 1/4 inch. As a result of the small space in between each slat these shutters were more popular for smaller windows.

The Look Of Plantation Shutters

The biggest difference for plantation shutters is the much wider louver style. With Kirtz® plantation shutters you get even more control over the width of the louvers as we offer 3 different sizes. The options are there for flexibility in balancing interior décor with your view of the world around you. The larger the louvers are, the more of a spectacular view to the outdoors you will have. For a better understanding of our louver sizes, you can click here for an example photo.

For some people, the bigger the louvers the better. Of course, not everyone is keen on letting the outside world in too much so going with a smaller shutter louver may be your cup of tea. When shopping for plantation shutters, there are a lot of important features to look for. If you need help deciding what is right for your space, we can help.

Contact Kirtz® at 1-800-416-6455 for your next shutter project!

A traditional take on plantation shutters + installation with corner block trim

This project shows the Kirtz Custom Shutter in a very traditional application.  The panels are small, the louvers a 2 1/2″ wide.   The shutter were built of Red Oak and custom stained to match the homeowners mill work.

The home, colonial in style, has corner blocks in window mill work.   The windows were double hung and had about 1″ of mounting space.  Although many shutter professionals will tell you the obvious choice was an outside mount, perhaps around the casing- that unnecessarily increases your cost by making the shutter unit larger, not to mention covers up what, in this instance, was very nice mill work.

 Our solution?

An L frame that sits inside the window jamb, and protrudes out slightly past the casing.  This allows the shutter to be inside the window, showing off the mill work, and yet allow enough room for the louvers to tilt without hitting the glass.

Then, to help make the transition, we sent our standard trim.  The installer then cut a groove into the trim onsite so that it would miter  flush around the corner blocks.

The result? 

Shutters that look like they were part of the homes design, not an after thought.