What’s the best wood for shutters?

When it comes to choosing the best wood for your plantation shutters, there are 101 options available to you.  But probably among the most popular are Basswood, Poplar, Cedar and MDF.

Cedar is generally recognised as the best material for moveable louvre plantation shutters due to its lightweight nature and overall stability.  However it is quite expensive and while beautiful in a stained or oiled finish, it really is a shame to paint over the beautiful grain.

In my opinion, the next best timber is basswood.  It also is lightweight, very stable, accepts a paint or stain finsh equally well, while it is very easy to machine.  It’s also much more durable than cedar so will live up to the rough and tumble of everyday life.  Most importantly of all, for such a good quality hardwood, it is not very expensive.

Poplar is a good timber for shutters, however it is prone to sap bleeding around knots and this can sometimes manifest itself in small surface blemishes.

MDF has it’s place as a cheaper alternative to solid wood, however I wouldn’t advise using it where bi-folding panels are required.  It’s quite a heavy material and in wider openings will most certainly result in your panels sagging down towards the sill.  To be honest it’s probably a material best suited to framing, skirtings, etc rather than products with moveable parts like shutters.

Take a look at this informative US site I came across for everything you need to know about shutters http://www.allaboutshutters.com/

Hugo Clancy

21 June 2012