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What Are The Different Types Of Shutters?

types of shutters

To the untrained eye, it might seem that all shutters look the same, but there are significant distinctions that can really make all the difference to how shutters enhance your lifestyle. When it comes to home design, shutters play an important role, totally transforming a space, enhancing your lifestyle and fitting in seamlessly with your personal decor.

Taking a closer look at shutters lets you know just how distinct each style, design and material really is. While you might think you know what to expect from shutters, you may be surprised to find out just how much choice you have…

Shutters In General

Shutters are the pinnacle of light control and privacy in your home. They offer so much more than basic functionality and shading. While their main purpose has stayed consistent over the years – providing style alongside function – shutters have evolved along with new design possibilities. 

Nowadays, you have more choice than a simple white, wooden panel shutter, which were once a staple in Victorian and Edwardian properties. Now, shutters help you embrace the colour palette materials, ease-of-use and professional quality that’s true to your vision. 

While there are several types of shutters with common functions, their individual styles offer a uniquely fine tuned set of benefits, making it easier for you to select the shutters that will suit you perfectly. 

This might all sound a little overwhelming, but the best place to start with your shutter options is to gather a clear overview of each main style, and what they can offer you.

Full Height Shutters

The first type of shutter is possibly the most common. You’ve likely seen these full-height shutters in your neighbourhood without even realising it, as they’re sometimes also called plantation shutters. 

This is because they were once popularly used on American plantations, but their rich history goes much further back than that association.

This type of shutter, as you can probably guess from the name, reaches the full height of your windows. If you’re having your shutters custom built, they will be made to fit your windows no matter their shape, size or awkward positioning!

They offer a louvred shutter style for an extra touch of elegance, and only enhancing their main appeal for totally covering your entire window. So if you’re looking to create a calm and easily darkened space, full height shutters are the perfect choice.

You can find these shutters in a variety of materials such as oak, teak or even vinyl and aluminium.

Tier-On-Tier Shutters

If light were a symphony,  then tier-on-tier shutters are the conductor. They cover your full window just as full-height shutters do, apart from one big difference. Panels. They provide a set of upper and lower sections, granting you unbeatable light and privacy control. 

For example, if you know your neighbours can see into your home from a certain angle, you can close one particular panel to block their view, while keeping the others open or adjusted to let in just the right amount of light in simultaneously.

Their versatile design gives you just that – total versatility. As your light and privacy needs change throughout the day, these shutters can change along with you. 

These shutters can be crafted from a range of materials, such as classic hardwoods and polymers. 

Cafe Style Shutters

If you want your home to feel inviting, personable and charismatic, then cafe style shutters were made for you. 

Inspired by their namesake, these shutters cover the lower portion of your window while leaving the top portion totally unblocked. They’re intended for homeowners who need to keep out prying eyes while still letting in natural light all day long. 

This type of shutter translates beautifully into a home, inviting natural light to flood your space as if your windows were uncovered. These shutters are commonly wooden, but can also be made from vinyl and other high quality plastics. 

Solid Panel Shutters

Sometimes simple really is best. Solid panel shutters are the epitome of classic shutter design. They hold the key to perfection with their uncompromising style consisting of a single piece of wood without louvres. 

As you can imagine, this type of shutter is unmatched in its light-blocking power. Beaten only by blackout window treatments, professionally fit and custom made solid panel shutters are excellent for room darkening, keeping out cracks of light where other shutters may still allow a glimpse of sun.

Beyond the ultimate shading function, they’re also fantastic thermal insulators, helping you keep your environment the ideal temperature while reducing your home’s overall energy consumption.

What Your Shutters Are Made From

As you might have noticed, shutters can come in a range of materials to suit your exact requirements. Generally speaking, the highest quality shutters will be created from one or a mixture of the following…


Wooden shutters are the aesthetic peak of shutters in many people’s opinions. They offer a timeless look along with incredible thermal and sound insulating properties. You can most often find wooden shutters made from timber, oak, teak and MDF. 

wooden shutters


Aluminium shutters offer a sleek look, a light weight and can even add a layer of impenetrable security to your home. Because of the unparalleled strength and durability of aluminium, this is a material you can rely on to look chic while being strong. 


Vinyl shutters are made from polyvinyl chloride plastic, otherwise referred to as PVC. This is an incredibly reliable and long-lasting plastic that boasts a clean, flawless finish and an easily customised colouring. Other plastics commonly used are ABS plastics, which are of the highest grade. They can also be finished with a wood effect!

Choosing From The Different Types Of Shutters

The beauty of shutters is that you can choose the style that best suits the desired look and function you’ve been wishing for. 

If you don’t know where to start, our experts can help. Get started on your shutter choosing journey by downloading our free brochure, so you can consider all of your options at your own pace. 

Picture of David Browne

David Browne

David is Co-Founder and Project Director at the award-winning, Best Family Business 2020 – the Scottish Shutter Company. David has over 35 years’ experience in running and growing small businesses.

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