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Are there blinds that look like Plantation Shutters?

It’s a question that we have heard before – “do you have blinds that look like shutters?”.

The answer is… Not really. Often times if a person really wants plantation shutters the best answer for their home is to get plantation shutters. But if you would like us to explore venetian blinds we can?! (*NB: stay tuned for a post about our zebra / double vision / sheer light blinds)

The closest blind that looks like plantation shutters is the venetian blind. Made from horizontal slats of either timber, polymer or aluminium, venetian blinds can come in a range of colours – most commonly however, white blinds or timber blinds. The horizontal louvres can appear similar to the horizontal blades of a plantation shutter however there are a few key differences you should be aware of if you’re not familiar with both products.

Most commonly, plantation shutter louvres are made at an individual width of 89mm, while venetian louvres are narrower – usually below 63mm wide. Yes, you can get plantation shutters with 63mm blades (or 115mm blades for that matter), and yes you can get Venetians with an 89mm blade, but those widths are not the typical appearance when someone is imagining the “plantation shutter look”.

Secondly, individual plantation shutter blades are typically an elliptical shape, and 10.5mm thick at their widest, while the venetian louvres are typically a flat, 3mm wide, rectangular slat.

Plantation shutters are a completely cordless product, opened simply by tilting the blades by hand to any position of your choosing. The only vertical lines seen with a plantation shutter is the vertical control rod – which can be hidden on the internal side of the shutter if you want an unobstructed view and a modern design style. If you want to keep a more traditional style for your interiors, a tubular tilt rod in the same colour as the shutter louvres can be built onto the front of your plantation shutters.

Venetian blinds in contrast however, are laddered together using a number of vertical fabric tapes, or strings threaded through small holes in each slat. The laddering tapes feed into the hanging cords at the front of the blind that are necessary to both lift the blinds open and closed and to tilt the individual blades. You can opt to reduce the number of hanging cords to try and achieve a more cordless blind look by replacing the tilt cords with a tubular hanging wand instead. Ladder tapes and lift cords will still remain however, so you will never fully achieve a “no-cord” appearance.

So why choose one product over the other?

Well obviously design preference is individual! One person, family or house may prefer once product over the other. Both products are available in a range of colours, timbers and wood look finishes so neither is more superior there.

Both products are easy to clean, requiring only a duster or a damp cloth if necessary. Plantation Shutters do have the edge with being the easiest to clean due to the increased size of the blades meaning less blades to have to dust, and no fiddly cords to deal with.

From an insulation point of view, plantation shutters are the more environmentally efficient interior window covering. Venetian blinds are not terrible with the timer or polymer designs having an insulation efficiency better than a roller blind, however plantation shutters are still the best internal window covering for insulation.

For a job requiring quick turn around, venetian blinds are faster to have manufactured and installed than plantation shutters. At the time of writing this (August, 2019) our lead time for Australian venetian blinds is custom-made and installed in around 2-weeks. Plantation Shutters (while subject to which range is chosen) have a lead time anywhere from 3-weeks upward.

If price is a factor it’s not a simple answer to say that one product is more expensive than the other. Size of your window, material of manufacture (i.e. Polymer Shutters vs Timber Shutters vs Timber Blinds), final colour chosen, and framing type can all affect the final price of both products. In some quotes a venetian blind would be cheaper, and in others plantation shutters have worked out cheaper. There is no standard answer and that is why we do individualised consultations to quote from.

So if you are busy searching for venetian blinds on the assumption that blinds are cheaper than shutters, maybe contact us at the top of the page and we can help you find exactly what you are after.

– Riverina Plantation Shutters

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