Plantation Shutters for Patio Doors: A Buyer’s Guide

plantation shutters for patio doors

Plantation Shutters for Patio Doors: A Buyer’s Guide

Plantation shutters are a type of window covering that consists of horizontal slats that can be adjusted to control the amount of light and air that enters the room. If you want to enhance the beauty and functionality of your patio doors, consider plantation shutters. Plantation shutters are aesthetically pleasing and offer many benefits, such as insulation, noise reduction, privacy, and durability. This buyer’s guide will explain everything you need about plantation shutters for patio doors, including the different types, styles, materials, and installation options. By the end of this article, you can decide whether plantation shutters are the right choice for your home.

What are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are a type of window covering that originated in the colonial era when they were used to protect the windows of plantation houses from the harsh sun and heat. They are also known as louvers, slats, or blinds, and they consist of horizontal panels attached to a frame that fits inside or outside the window. The panels can be opened or closed by tilting them up or down or sliding them along a track. This allows you to adjust the amount of light and air that enters the room and the level of privacy and security.

Plantation shutters are especially suitable for patio doors, as they can cover the entire door or just a portion, depending on your preference. They can also be customized to fit any size and shape of the patio door, whether sliding, hinged, or French. Plantation shutters can add value and curb appeal to your home, as they are considered a permanent fixture that enhances your property’s architectural style and character.

Types of Plantation Shutters for Patio Doors

There are two main types of plantation shutters for patio doors: bi-fold and bypass. Both types have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and preferences.

Bi-fold Plantation Shutters

Bi-fold plantation shutters comprise two or more panels hinged together and fold like an accordion. They can be mounted on the inside or outside of the patio door frame and opened or closed by pulling them to one or both sides of the door. Bi-fold plantation shutters are ideal for patio doors with enough side space to accommodate the folded panels. They also provide a full view of the outside when opened and a complete coverage of the door when closed.

Some of the benefits of bi-fold plantation shutters are:

  • They are easy to operate and maintain
  • They can be customized to fit any size and shape of patio door
  • They can create a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces
  • They can enhance the natural light and ventilation in the room

Some of the drawbacks of bi-fold plantation shutters are:

  • They can take up a lot of space on the sides of the door when folded.
  • They can be noisy when opening and closing.
  • They can be more expensive than other types of plantation shutters.

Bypass Plantation Shutters

Bypass plantation shutters are composed of two or more panels mounted on a track that runs along the top and bottom of the patio door frame. They can be opened or closed by sliding to one or both sides of the door. Bypass plantation shutters are ideal for patio doors with limited side space or a high traffic flow. They also provide a partial view of the outside when opened and a partial coverage of the door when closed.

Some of the benefits of bypass plantation shutters are:

  • They are space-saving and convenient.
  • They are quiet and smooth when opening and closing.
  • They are more affordable than other types of plantation shutters.

Some of the drawbacks of bypass plantation shutters are:

  • They cannot be fully opened or closed, leaving some gaps on the sides of the door.
  • They cannot be customized to fit irregular shapes of patio doors.
  • They can block some of the natural light and ventilation in the room.

Styles and Colors of Plantation Shutters for Patio Doors

Plantation shutters for patio doors come in various styles and colors that can match any decor and personal taste. Some of the most common styles are:

Traditional Shutters

These are the classic plantation shutters with narrow slats (usually 2.5 inches wide) and a tilt rod that controls the opening and closing of the panels. They are suitable for homes with a traditional or colonial style and can create a cozy and elegant atmosphere in the room.

Contemporary Shutters

These are the modern plantation shutters with wider slats (usually 3.5 inches or 4.5 inches wide) and a hidden tilt rod concealed behind the panels. They are suitable for homes with a contemporary or minimalist style and can create a sleek and spacious look.

Louver Sizes of plantation shutters interior

Cafe Style Shutters

These are the half-height plantation shutters that cover only the lower portion of the patio door, leaving the upper portion uncovered. They are suitable for homes that want privacy and light control while enjoying the outside view. They can also create a casual and charming feel in the room.

cafe plantation shutters

Plantation shutters for patio doors also come in various colors that can complement or contrast with the shade of the door and the walls. Some of the most popular shades are:

  • White: This is the most versatile and timeless color that fits any style and decor well. White plantation shutters can create a bright and clean look in the room, and they can also reflect the natural light and make the space appear larger.
  • Wood: This is the most natural and warm color that can add some texture and character to the room. Wood plantation shutters can create a rustic and cozy look in the room and blend in with the outdoor environment.
  • Black is the most dramatic and bold color that can make a statement in the room. Black plantation shutters can create a contrast and focal point in the room, blocking unwanted light and noise.

Materials of Plantation Shutters for Patio Doors

Plantation shutters are a stylish and functional option for covering patio doors. They offer privacy, light control, ventilation, durability, and energy efficiency. However, not all materials are suitable for outdoor use, as they may be affected by weather, moisture, or insects.

Some of the most popular materials for plantation shutters are:

  • Composite wood: This blend of wood and synthetic materials mimics the look and feel of real wood. Composite wood shutters are more durable, moisture-resistant, and low-maintenance than real ones. They can withstand temperature changes and humidity without warping, cracking, or fading. They are also more affordable than real wood shutters.
  • PVC: This type of plastic is waterproof, fire-resistant, and UV-resistant. PVC shutters are ideal for areas with high moisture or exposure to sunlight. They are easy to clean and do not require painting or staining. They are also the cheapest option among plantation shutters.
  • Natural wood: This is the most traditional and luxurious material for plantation shutters. Natural wood shutters offer a warm and natural look that can enhance the beauty of your patio doors. They are also the most customizable option, as you can choose from various wood types, colors, and finishes. However, natural wood shutters are expensive and require the most maintenance. They are prone to warping, cracking, and fading due to weather, moisture, or insects. They also need regular painting or staining to protect them from damage.
a comparison chart summarizing the key features of different plantation shutter materials

The best material for plantation shutters depends on your preference, budget, and patio door location. You may want to consider the following factors when choosing the material for your shutters:

  • Climate: If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, such as high heat, humidity, or rainfall, you may opt for composite wood or PVC shutters, as they are more resistant to the elements. Natural wood shutters may not suit such climates, as they may warp, crack, or fade over time.
  • Style: If you want a classic and elegant look for your patio doors, you may prefer natural wood shutters, which offer a rich and natural appearance. However, if you want a more modern and sleek look, you may like composite wood or PVC shutters, which come in various colors and finishes. You can also match the color and style of your shutters to your patio furniture and décor.
  • Maintenance: If you want a low-maintenance option for your patio doors, you may choose composite wood or PVC shutters, which are easy to clean and do not require painting or staining. On the other hand, natural wood shutters require more care and attention, as they need regular painting or staining to prevent damage and deterioration.

Installation Options of Plantation Shutters for Patio Doors

Plantation shutters for patio doors can be installed in two ways: inside mount or outside mount. Both options have pros and cons, depending on the size and shape of your patio door and the look you want to achieve.

Inside Mount

Inside mount is when the plantation shutters are installed within the patio door frame, leaving some space between the shutters and the glass. This option is ideal for patio doors with a deep, flat frame that can accommodate the shutters and have a standard size and shape. The inside mount can also create a neat and flush look, as the shutters are aligned with the door and the wall.

Some of the benefits of the inside mount are:

  • It preserves the original look and function of the patio door.
  • It maximizes the view and the light when the shutters are opened.
  • It minimizes the dust and dirt accumulation on the shutters.

Some of the drawbacks of the inside mount are:

  • It reduces the window opening and the ventilation when the shutters are closed
  • It exposes the edges and the hardware of the shutters to the outside
  • It requires precise measurements and installation to avoid gaps and misalignment
Inside Mount or Outside Mount

Outside Mount

Outside mount is when the plantation shutters are installed on the wall or the trim around the patio door frame, covering the entire door and the frame. This option is ideal for patio doors with a shallow or uneven frame that cannot accommodate the shutters or have an irregular size or shape. Outside mount can also create a dramatic and custom look, as the shutters can extend beyond the door and the wall.

Some of the benefits of the outside mount are:

  • It increases the window opening and the ventilation when the shutters are closed
  • It conceals the edges and the hardware of the shutters from the outside
  • It allows more flexibility and creativity in the design and the size of the shutters

Some of the drawbacks of the outside mount are:

  • It alters the original look and function of the patio door.
  • It reduces the view and the light when the shutters are opened.
  • It increases the dust and dirt accumulation on the shutters.

Costs of Plantation Shutters for Patio Doors

The cost of plantation shutters for patio doors depends on several factors, such as the material, size, and customization of the shutters and the supplier and installation fees. The average cost of plantation shutters is $270 per pair for basic wood shutters, installed yourself. If you hire a professional to measure and install the shutters, the average cost is $520 per pair. 

The most common materials for plantation shutters are wood, composite, vinyl, and PVC, each with different price ranges and advantages. Wood shutters are the most expensive but also the most durable and customizable. They can range from $40 to $100 per square foot. Composite shutters are made from engineered wood and are more resistant to humidity and warping than real wood. They cost between $30 and $45 per square foot. Vinyl and PVC shutters are the cheapest and lightest options, but wood may look more natural and elegant. They start around $20 to $30 per square foot.

costs of plantation shutters for sliding glass doors

To estimate the cost of plantation shutters for your patio doors, you need to measure the width and height of each door in inches and multiply them to get the area in square feet. Then, multiply the area by the price per square foot of your chosen material and add any installation fees if applicable. For example, an 80-inch by 24-inch French patio door will cost about $640 for wood shutter installation, and the price will decrease to approximately $480 for composite shutters or $384 for vinyl or PVC shutters. 

How to Care for Your Plantation Shutters for Patio Doors?

Plantation shutters for patio doors are easy to care for and maintain if you follow some simple tips and guidelines. Here are some of the best practices for keeping your plantation shutters for patio doors in good condition and extending their lifespan:

  • Dust your plantation shutters regularly with a soft cloth, a feather duster, or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. This will prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt on the slats and the frame and keep them looking fresh and clean.
  • Wipe your plantation shutters occasionally with a damp cloth or a mild detergent, especially if they are exposed to moisture, grease, or stains. This will remove any marks or spots on the surface and restore their shine and color.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, or bleach on your plantation shutters, as they can damage the finish and the material of the shutters. If you need clarification on the suitability of a product, test it on a small and inconspicuous area first, or consult the manufacturer or the installer for advice.
  • Adjust your plantation shutters gently and carefully, and avoid forcing or slamming them. This will prevent any damage or misalignment of the slats, the frame, or the hardware of the shutters.
  • Repair or replace any broken or worn-out parts of your plantation shutters as soon as possible, and contact the manufacturer or the installer for assistance. This will prevent further deterioration or malfunction of the shutters and ensure their safety and functionality.
Maintenance of wood plantation shutters interior

Plantation shutters for patio doors are a great way to enhance your patio doors’ beauty and functionality and enjoy the benefits of insulation, noise reduction, privacy, and durability. They are also available in various types, styles, colors, materials, and installation options to suit any taste and budget. However, before buying plantation shutters for patio doors, research, compare, and consult a professional plantation shutter company in your area. They can help you choose the best plantation shutters for your patio doors and provide high-quality installation and service.

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