Thinking of installing shutters in your home?

If so, this is the best home improvement idea you could have picked. Shutters protect your treasured investment, enhance privacy, add a dash of style and boost energy efficiency. Among shutter materials, wood shutters rank high with homeowners due to their classical style, timeless beauty, low-maintenance, versatility, and protection.

But how do you choose the best wood for your window shutters?

To determine the best type of wood shutters for your home, there are various issues to consider. This article explores the main wood types for shutter manufacture and offers tips on choosing the best wood for their construction.

What to Look For in Wood for Shutter Construction

When looking for wooden window shutters on the market, you will come across Basswood shutters, Poplar shutters, Oakwood shutters, Maple, Cedar, Pine, Alder shutters. Before making your choice, consider the following:

  • Availability of wood: Go for easily available wood in your region because this not only lowers the initial cost of the shutters but also makes replacement in the future easier.
  • Low maintenance: Go for sturdy hardwoods that don’t require special care. The best wood for shutter construction can withstand the elements with proper treatment.
  • Customization: To get the best out of your wooden exterior shutters, the material used should be easy to customize. Go for wood that is easy to work with for customization purposes.
  • Bug-resistant wood: Some woods are prone to bugs attacks and this makes them unsuitable for construction. Go for wood that bugs hate and if you are to use any other type of wood, make sure you treat the panels properly.
  • Great finish/attractiveness: The best thing about natural wood shutters is that they ooze natural beauty. They are attractive in their original form. However, you should pick the most attractive and authentic-looking wood for your shutters for the best impact.
  • Lightweight: It is advisable to go for lighter wood species for easier installation and customization of your window shutters. It is easier to work with lighter hardwoods and fixing and installing doesn’t require special hardware.
  • Flexibility: The best wood species can work both for interior and exterior shutters. If you want interior and exterior wood shutters, go for a versatile wood species that suits both applications for uniformity.
  • Durability: The best wood for shutters’ construction doesn’t warp, twist or bend and this means you will not have to worry about regular repairs or replacement for your window shutters. Look for wood species that has been used in construction for ages as this proof enough of its reliability and suitability for shutter making.

Different Wood Shutter Options

With the above checklist, you can now compare different wood species to find the best for your home’s wooden exterior shutters.

Below are the most common of these wood shutters:

Basswood Shutters

If you are in the market for wooden exterior shutters, it is highly likely that you have come across basswood shutters. Basswood is one of the most popular options in shutter manufacture and for many good reasons. Basswood is readily available in many regions from Atlantic coast west to Eastern Kentucky to Quebec south to Delaware.

Over the years, careful forest management has made it possible to harvest basswood in a sustainable manner. Some popular features of basswood window shutters include:

  • Authentic wood appearance and timeless beauty
  • A fine uniform texture with an indistinct grain
  • Ease of customization to suit your construction needs. You can finish it through sanding or staining.
  • Quick drying wood
  • Superior gluing and finishing properties.
  • Lightweight wood without compromising on strength
  • Durability with no risk of warping
  • Due to its low resin and tannin in its composition, basswood can bleed through the chosen finish.

Redwood Shutters

California Redwood is another popular option used in Redwood wood shutters. Some of its features include:

  • Durability and resistance against bugs/insects and decay
  • The broad range of wood grades based on color, excellence of appearance
  • Reddish-brown heartwood found in the inner portions of a tree is best for wood shutters due to its composition of extractives for decay resistance.

Poplar Shutters

Poplar wood shutters are easy to work with and it is no wonder they are popular with homeowners. Some outstanding features include:

  • Polar wood is easy to mill and paint for customization purposes
  • Widely available and is reliable for shutter manufacture

While poplar is a popular option in construction, it is a moderately heavy wood for shutters. Moreover, it features mineral streaks and a greenish color making it unsuitable for staining.

Oak Shutters

Oak shutters are also available on the market. Oak is renowned for its strength and durability but one major drawback is its weight. As a shutter material, Oakwood would cause a lot of stress on wood jambs and fixing hardware.

Installation is not easy and worse still, Oakwood is not great for painting thus limiting your customization options. If you create louver panels from Oak, there’s a risk of warping over time necessitating costly replacement.

Cedar Shutters

Western Red Cedar shutters are a popular alternative to the more popular wood species such as Basswood. Some characteristics of cedar include:

  • Milling and finishing is easy
  • A wide range of colors
  • Durability and resistance to decay making cedar shutters perfect for exterior use
  • Low-maintenance wood species with proper finishing
  • A very low shrinkage factor
  • Resistance to warping, twisting, and checking.
  • Alder Shutters

Alder is not a common choice for outdoor shutter construction but it is a great choice for interior shutters. It is a short tree meaning only shorter length timber is available. For larger window openings, you need to combine several panels.

On the market, you will also find pine wood shutters, cypress shutters, maple shutters among other wood species. To choose the best wood for your window shutters, make sure you evaluate your window treatment windows to find the most suitable wooden shutters. Go for a durable, attractive, easily available, low-maintenance and strong wood species to guarantee your window shutters last long.