What Kinds of Wood Work Best For Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters can add a compelling architectural detail to your home, allowing you to have greater control of the natural light in each room and provide better insulation from the outdoor temperatures. There are a few things to consider when installing plantation shutters, though, including the size and shape of your windows and your current interior décor.

Finding the best materials for your plantation shutters is another important consideration. Not every kind of wood is suited to smoothly operating lovely plantation shutters. At Shenandoah Shutters, we take pride in only using the best materials for our handcrafted plantation shutters. Here’s an overview of the different kinds of wood used for plantation shutters.


Basswood is one of the most common types of wood we use at Shenandoah Shutters, as it’s lightweight yet durable and has a high degree of moisture resistance. Those qualities mean that your shutters can stand up against condensation and the elements for many years. Plus, basswood is ideal for custom-stained shutters, since it has a nearly uniform color and thus provides a neutral base.

Stained plantation shutters allow you to customize the look for each room, matching your existing trim or hardwood flooring, or providing a contrasting color for added visual interest. We like to top our stained basswood shutters with a silken lacquer finish, which protects the material and adds a touch of elegance.

Basswood trees can be found in several parts of the country. They’re a subspecies of the American Basswood tree family. It’s a fast-growing species and, as such, is considered a sustainable material. When you opt for basswood plantation shutters from Shenandoah Shutters, you know that you’re choosing environmentally friendly materials.

Yellow Poplar

Yellow poplar shares basswood’s qualities: lightweight, durable, and moisture resistant. However, unlike basswood, yellow poplar isn’t a uniform color but rather a blend of shades of yellow and white, and even sometimes a little bit of green. Yellow poplar works better from cream or ivory-colored plantation shutters instead of stained ones. It’s beautiful in homes where most of the trim is lighter, or for people who like a farmhouse aesthetic or shabby chic décor.

Yellow poplar is part of the magnolia tree family and is found in many different regions of the eastern part of the US. It’s a fairly common tree, although not as fast-growing as basswood. It’s not considered a renewable resource.

Hardwood Trees

Many of our clients at Shenandoah Shutters ask about certain kinds of hardwood for their plantation shutters, looking to match the material of a hardwood floor, cabinetry, or furniture. We do create custom hardwood shutters out of hardwood like mahogany, cherry, walnut, and oak, and many of our clients love the richness and authenticity of these woods as a window covering.

However, hardwood is heavier than yellow poplar and basswood, which means that the installation of your plantation shutters will be more extensive. The natural variations in the color of these woods may impact the final appearance of the stain that you choose, too.

We’re very happy to accommodate you if you wish to have hardwood plantation shutters. The craftsmen in our Richmond plant can create lovely shutters from oak, cherry, walnut, and mahogany.

Is It Harder to Maintain Plantation Shutters Made from Certain Kinds of Wood?

Custom-made plantation shutters are designed to last a long time and, with proper care, can stay beautiful and functional for decades. The silken lacquer finish that we apply to many of our shutters will protect the wood from moisture and warping. Regardless of which kind of wood you choose for your plantation shutters, avoid using water or harsh chemicals to clean them. Instead, simply wipe them weekly with a soft cloth, duster, or appropriate vacuum attachment.

Shenandoah Shutters Creates Beautiful Custom-Made Plantation Shutters

At Shenandoah Shutters, we focus on doing one thing incredibly well – creating lovely, custom-made plantation shutters. We make each shutter unique to the size and shape of your window, from large picture windows to unusually shaped windows, like half-moons or triangles. We specialize in plantation shutters and use only the finest quality of basswood, yellow poplar, and hardwood to make these window coverings.

We also offer our patented Softedge design, which conceals the hinges of the shutters and creates a more even, uniform appearance. Or, choose the traditional plantation shutter style, covering either the entire window or a café style shutter to cover just the bottom half of a window.

Whatever design you envision, the team at Shenandoah Shutters can make it a reality. We handcraft our shutters at our Richmond plant. Give us a call today to discuss your project and view our showroom, or contact us online.