Plantation Shutters for Sliding Glass Doors: Everything You Need to Know

plantation shutters for sliding glass doors

Plantation Shutters for Sliding Glass Doors: Everything You Need to Know

If you are looking for a window treatment that can enhance the beauty and functionality of your sliding glass doors, consider plantation shutters. Plantation shutters are a type of interior window covering that consists of horizontal slats or louvers that can be adjusted to control the amount of light and air that enters the room. Plantation shutters are also known for their durability, privacy, and style, as they can complement any décor and add value to your home.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about plantation shutters for sliding glass doors, such as the types, materials, installation, and maintenance of these window treatments. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of why plantation shutters are a great choice for your sliding glass doors and how to choose the best ones for your needs and preferences.

Types of Plantation Shutters for Sliding Glass Doors

One of the most important decisions you must make when choosing plantation shutters for sliding glass doors is the type of configuration you want. There are two main types of plantation shutters for sliding glass doors: bi-fold and bypass. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences, space, and budget. Here is a brief overview of each type and how they differ.

Bi-Fold Plantation Shutters

Bi-fold plantation shutters for sliding glass doors are designed to fold back concertina-like, similar to how bi-fold doors operate. This configuration is characterized by a series of hinged panels that fold against one another, providing unobstructed access to your sliding glass doors when fully open.

Bi-Fold Plantation Shutters


  • Maximum Access: Bi-fold shutters offer the widest unobstructed view when fully opened, allowing abundant natural light to flood your space.
  • Elegant Appearance: They lend a contemporary and visually appealing touch to your sliding glass doors.
  • Easy Cleaning and Maintenance: Individual panels are easy to access and clean.


  • Complex Mechanism: The folding mechanism is more intricate, which can increase the cost and potential maintenance requirements.
  • Space Requirement: Bi-fold shutters require space for the panels to fold back, so your room layout should accommodate this.

Bypass Plantation Shutters

Bypass plantation shutters, on the other hand, are designed to slide past each other horizontally, similar to how sliding glass doors operate. This configuration involves multiple shutter panels on tracks, allowing them to slide behind one another.


  • Space-Saving: Bypass shutters don’t require extra space for folding back, making them suitable for compact rooms or areas with limited clearance.
  • Simple Mechanism: The sliding mechanism is straightforward, reducing potential maintenance needs and costs.
  • Privacy and Light Control: You can adjust the position of the panels to control light and privacy effectively.


  • Reduced Unobstructed View: When fully open, some panels may partially block the view, limiting the amount of light that enters your space.
  • Aesthetic Considerations: Bypass shutters may not have the same sleek and open appearance as bi-fold shutters.

When choosing between bi-fold and bypass plantation shutters for sliding glass doors, consider your room layout, desired aesthetics, and how you plan to use the space. Both types offer unique advantages, and your decision should align with your needs and preferences.

Materials of Plantation Shutters for Sliding Glass Doors

Another important factor to consider when choosing plantation shutters for sliding glass doors is the material they are made of. There are four main types of materials that plantation shutters for sliding glass doors can use: wood, vinyl, composite, and aluminum. Each material has advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences, budget, style, and climate. Here is a brief comparison of each material and some tips on choosing the best one for your sliding glass doors.


Wood plantation shutters are the most traditional and natural option for sliding glass doors. They are made from solid hardwood, such as basswood, poplar, or cedar.

White Ash Shutters


  • Classic Aesthetics: Wood exudes timeless elegance, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a traditional, upscale look.
  • Customization: Wood shutters can be stained or painted to match your interior decor or achieve a desired finish.
  • Insulating Properties: Wood shutters offer excellent insulation, helping with energy efficiency and noise reduction.


  • Maintenance: They may require more regular maintenance, including re-painting or staining, to keep them looking pristine.
  • Cost: Wooden shutters tend to be more expensive compared to other materials.
  • Susceptibility to Moisture: Wood can warp or crack if exposed to excessive moisture, making it less suitable for high-humidity areas.


Vinyl plantation shutters are a more affordable and practical option for sliding glass doors. They are made of a synthetic material that mimics the look and feel of wood. 

Aluminium Core PVC Shutters


  • Affordability: Vinyl is often more budget-friendly than wood or composite options.
  • Durability: Vinyl is moisture-resistant and can withstand humid conditions without warping or deteriorating.
  • Low Maintenance: These shutters are easy to clean and require little maintenance.


  • Aesthetic Limitations: Vinyl shutters may have a different luxurious look than wood or composite shutters.
  • Limited Customization: They typically come in a range of neutral colors and may offer less variety in finishes.
  • Environmental Concerns: Some vinyl materials can raise environmental considerations due to their manufacturing process.


Composite plantation shutters are a hybrid option that combines the best features of wood and vinyl plantation shutters. They are made of a composite material that consists of wood fibers and synthetic polymers.

composite plantation shutters


  • Appearance and Durability: Composite shutters combine the aesthetics of wood with the durability of vinyl, making them an attractive and robust choice.
  • Moisture Resistance: They are highly resistant to moisture, making them suitable for bathrooms, kitchens, or high-humidity areas.
  • Low Maintenance: Composite shutters are easy to clean and require minimal maintenance.


  • Price Point: They are generally priced higher than vinyl but more affordable than real wood.
  • Limited Customization: The range of finishes and colors may be more restricted than wood shutters.
  • Weight: Composites can be heavier than vinyl, so proper installation is crucial.

By understanding the characteristics and trade-offs of each material, you can make an informed decision when selecting plantation shutters for your sliding glass doors. Each material has unique advantages, allowing you to tailor your choice to your needs and preferences.

Customization of Plantation Shutters for Sliding Glass Doors

Plantation shutters offer more than just practicality; they can also be an integral part of your interior decor. To ensure your plantation shutters seamlessly match your design vision, consider the following customization and design choices.

Louver Sizes

One of the primary design considerations for plantation shutters is the louver size. Louvers are the horizontal slats that make up the shutter panels. They come in various sizes, typically ranging from 2.5 inches to 5.5 inches. 

Your choice of louver size can significantly impact the overall look and functionality of the shutters.

  • Small Louvers (2.5-3.5 inches): Small louvers create a more traditional, elegant appearance. They work well with classic interiors and provide a clearer outside view when tilted open. However, they allow less light when fully closed.
  • Medium Louvers (3.5-4.5 inches): Medium-sized louvers balance aesthetics and practicality. They are versatile and complement various interior styles while offering a balance of light and privacy control.
  • Large Louvers (4.5-5.5 inches): Large louvers impart a more contemporary and open feel to your space. They are ideal for modern interiors and maximize natural light when fully open. However, they offer less outside visibility when closed.

Finishes and Color Options

The finish and color of your plantation shutters are critical in achieving the desired look for your home. 

You have several options to choose from:

  • Stained Finish: Stained finishes allow the natural beauty of wood to shine through. They are perfect for achieving a warm, rustic look.
  • Painted Finish: Painted finishes provide a clean, uniform appearance and can be matched to your interior decor. They are often preferred for a more contemporary or minimalist aesthetic.
  • Custom Colors: Many manufacturers offer custom color options to match your interior color scheme or personal preferences precisely.
  • Textured Finishes: Textured finishes can add depth and character to your shutters, making them a focal point of your decor.

The combination of louver size, finish, and color can transform your plantation shutters into a design element that harmonizes with your interior. Customizing these features allows you to achieve the exact look and functionality you desire, ensuring your sliding glass doors are not only beautifully adorned but also perfectly tailored to your space.

Cost of Plantation Shutters for Sliding Glass Doors

Plantation shutters can add elegance and functionality to your sliding glass doors, but it’s essential to consider the cost before making this investment. Understanding the factors that influence the price and how to budget effectively will help you make an informed decision.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Plantation Shutters

  • Material Choice: The type of material you choose plays a significant role in the cost. Wood shutters are often more expensive than vinyl or composite alternatives. While wood offers a classic and luxurious appearance, vinyl and composite materials are durable and more budget-friendly.
  • Size of Sliding Glass Doors: The size of your sliding glass doors directly affects the cost. Larger doors require more material, which increases the overall price. It’s crucial to accurately measure your doors to get an estimate that matches your needs.
  • Customization: Plantation shutters offer various customization options, including louver size, color, and finish. The more customized your shutters, the higher the cost. Special finishes or unique design features will also add to the final price.
  • Professional Installation: While DIY installation can save money, many homeowners opt for professional installation to ensure a perfect fit and functionality. The installation cost varies based on the complexity of the job and the installer’s fees.
  • Location: Your geographical location can impact the cost. Labor and material costs vary from one region to another. It’s advisable to obtain quotes from local suppliers for accurate pricing.
the factors that affect the cost of interior window shutters

Price Range and Budgeting Advice

Plantation shutters for sliding glass doors offer a wide price range, making them accessible to various budgets. Here’s a rough estimate of the price range to help you plan your budget:

  • Entry-Level: For more budget-conscious options, you can find vinyl or composite plantation shutters for $20 to $30 per square foot. These are budget-friendly while still offering practical benefits.
  • Mid-Range: Mid-range shutters, often made of high-quality vinyl or composite materials with customization options, can range from $30 to $45 per square foot. These offer a balance between cost and features.
  • High-End: Premium wood shutters with extensive customization can go up to $45 to $60 per square foot. These provide a luxurious and elegant look but come at a higher cost.

When budgeting for plantation shutters, consider the following tips:

  • Measure your sliding glass doors accurately to get precise quotes.
  • Obtain multiple quotes from different suppliers to compare pricing and services.
  • Factor in the installation cost if you plan on something other than a DIY project.
  • Choose the material and customization options that best align with your budget and style preferences.
  • Remember that while plantation shutters may have an upfront cost, their durability and energy efficiency can lead to long-term savings on utility bills.

By understanding the cost factors and planning your budget wisely, you can enjoy the timeless beauty and practical benefits of plantation shutters for your sliding glass doors without breaking the bank.

Measuring Your Sliding Glass Doors for Plantation Shutters

Accurate measurements are crucial for ensuring a proper fit and optimal performance of your plantation shutters. Here are some key considerations when measuring your sliding glass doors:

  • Inside Mount vs. Outside Mount: Decide whether you want your shutters installed inside the window frame (inside mount) or outside the frame (outside mount). The inside mount provides a sleek and seamless look, while the outside offers more coverage and light blockage.
  • Recess Depth: Measure the depth of your window recess to determine if it can accommodate the mounting brackets and shutter panels. This measurement is particularly important for inside mount installations.
  • Width and Height: Measure the width and height of your sliding glass doors accurately. Take multiple measurements at different points to ensure consistency.

Once you have the measurements, it’s time to consider the installation process. While DIY installation is an option, it’s recommended to hire a professional for a seamless and hassle-free experience. Professional installers have the tools and expertise to ensure a perfect fit and optimal functionality of your plantation shutters.

Maintenance of Plantation Shutters for Sliding Glass Doors

Proper maintenance is the key to ensuring that your plantation shutters remain in excellent condition. Here are some essential tips for their care:

  • Regular Dusting: Use a soft, dry cloth or a duster to remove dust and debris from the louvers. Regular dusting helps prevent dirt buildup.
  • Periodic Cleaning: For deeper cleaning, use a damp cloth or sponge with a mild detergent solution. Avoid excessive moisture, as it can damage certain materials.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Do not use abrasive or chemical cleaners that can harm the finish of the shutters. Stick to mild cleaning solutions.
  • Inspect for Damage: Regularly inspect the shutters for any signs of damage, such as loose hinges or broken louvers. Prompt repairs can prevent further issues.
  • Operate Louvers Carefully: When adjusting the louvers, do so gently and avoid applying excessive force, especially with wooden shutters.
  • Consider UV Protection: If your shutters receive direct sunlight, consider adding UV-protective coatings to prevent color fading and damage.
Maintenance of Wood Plantation Shutters

The longevity of your plantation shutters also depends on factors like the quality of construction, proper installation, and the climate in which they are installed. Overall, regular maintenance and choosing a durable material can ensure that your plantation shutters last for many years and provide timeless elegance to your home.

Budget-friendly Alternatives to Plantation Shutters

If the cost of plantation shutters exceeds your budget, there are alternative window treatments that can still provide similar benefits. Here are a few budget-friendly options to consider:

  • Vertical Blinds: Vertical blinds are a cost-effective solution for sliding glass doors. They offer privacy control, light filtration, and easy operation. Vertical blinds come in various materials, colors, and styles to suit your preferences.
  • Curtains or Drapes: Curtains or drapes can add a touch of elegance to your sliding glass doors. They provide privacy, light control, and insulation. Opt for thick, lined curtains to maximize energy efficiency.
  • Roller Shades: Roller shades are a simple yet effective window treatment for sliding glass doors. They are easy to operate, offer privacy, and come in various light-filtering options. Roller shades are available in multiple colors and patterns to complement your home decor.

While these alternatives may not offer the same level of sophistication as plantation shutters, they can still enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your sliding glass doors without breaking the bank.

Finding Reputable Suppliers and Installers

When investing in plantation shutters for your sliding glass doors, it’s crucial to find reputable suppliers and installers. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

  • Research and Compare: Research different suppliers and installers in your area. Look for reviews, testimonials, and examples of their work to gauge their reputation and quality of service.
  • Ask for Recommendations: Reach out to friends, family, or neighbors who have recently installed plantation shutters. Ask for recommendations and insights into their experience with specific suppliers or installers.
  • Request Quotes: Contact multiple suppliers or installers to request quotes. Compare the prices, materials, and services offered to find the best value for your money. Remember to inquire about warranty options and after-sales support.
  • Check Licenses and Insurance: Ensure the supplier or installer is licensed and insured. This protects in case of any damages or accidents during the installation process.

Following these steps, you can find a reputable supplier or installer to deliver high-quality plantation shutters and ensure a smooth installation process.

In conclusion, plantation shutters for sliding glass doors are not just a window treatment but a transformative element that can elevate your interior decor. Their classic charm, functional benefits, and enduring appeal make them an excellent choice for homeowners who appreciate beauty and functionality.

We hope this article has equipped you with the knowledge and confidence to explore plantation shutters as a window treatment option for your sliding glass doors. We wish you the best in your home improvement journey and trust that the addition of plantation shutters will bring lasting value to your living spaces.

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