A Brief Guide to the Different Types of Shutter

If you need a new window covering, shutters are an excellent choice. Stylish, secure and easy to maintain, shutters offer better insulation than most other window treatments plus greater control over light, ventilation and noise. But with so many options out there, how can you be certain of choosing the best shutters for your home? This 5-minute buyer’s guide outlines the different types of shutter to help you make the right choice.

A Brief Guide to the Different Types of Shutter

N.B. This post is about domestic, plantation-style shutters. Information on commercial and industrial (e.g. roller/security) shutters can be found here.

Types of shutter

There are two main types of shutter: solid (filled in) and louvered (slatted). Often a combination of both can be seen, such as solid with a louvered top. Both types can be placed either internally or externally, and can be used as a covering for windows, doors or conservatories.

Which type of shutter you choose depends on your practical needs as well as the look and feel that you are hoping to achieve. Louvered shutters offer greater control over light and ventilation, as the slats can be opened and closed as and when required, while solid shutters are more effective for keeping in warmth. (Aesthetic considerations are covered in detail here.)

Shutter styles

There are many different styles of shutter to suit differently shaped windows, doors and conservatories. Some of the most common types of window shutter include full height, café style (which covers only the lower part), and tier-on-tier (two shutters mounted one above the other, with both working independently).

Types of shutter

Special shapes are also available to fit non-rectangular windows, including triangular, circular, arched, hexagonal and octagonal formations.

Shutter construction

The shutter type often depends on the size of the window, door or conservatory panel that it has been designed to cover. A simple pair of shutters is often adequate for smaller windows, while larger windows may require one or more pairs of bifold or trifold shutters, i.e. those consisting of two or three panels each, joined together with hinges.

Shutters for French doors

Shutters for French doors and very large windows often consist of multiple panels, which glide along tracks on a set of wheels, and fold and extend concertina-style. Conservatory shutters are often made up of a combination of the different styles depending on the construction of the glass panels.


The best quality shutters are made from hardwood to ensure lasting durability and prevent warping. Certain types of cedar, mahogany and teak are resistant to rot and decay, making them popular choices. Thanks to their tannin content, these woods are also immune to problems with insects.

Bathroom shutters

Having said that, composite shutters offer some advantages for particular scenarios. For example, bathrooms, kitchens and other areas that are exposed to a lot of damp may benefit from shutters comprising an engineered wooden core laminated with a synthetic material like epoxy, to provide added resistance to twisting, splitting and rotting.


Shutters can be finished in a number of different ways depending on the look that you’re hoping to achieve. Stains, lacquers and oils are best if you want a natural finish with the grain of the wood showing through, while painted finishes are ideal if you want to match your shutters to the interior or exterior colour scheme of your home.

Plantation shutters with green stain

By now you should have a clearer picture of the different types of shutter on offer and a better idea of which kind to buy for your home. If you have any more questions or would like to enquire further, Shutter Design can help.

Call 01423 359230 to arrange a free, no obligation visit, or an over-the-phone consultation if you live outside Yorkshire and the North East. We will provide you with a free design and quotation for your new shutters and can answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, browse our website for more information on Shutter Design and the service that we provide.

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Call 01423 359230 or 07891 578142 now or fill in the form below and we will be in contact. 

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