Material Comparison: solid hardwood, vinyl composite, MDF, hollow vinyl

Wood serves as the benchmark against which all other products in the blind and shutter industry are measured. Even manufacturers of non-wood products incorporate terms like ‘wood-grain appearance,’ ‘wood-like feel,’ or ‘faux wood.’ Various wood types, including basswood and poplar (which we utilize at The Blindman), play a crucial role in manufacturing blinds and shutters.

Many consumers are often misled by the idea that composite materials are superior to real wood because they supposedly never need painting and won’t crack, chip, or fade. However, wood remains the optimal material for custom applications due to its strength, durability, and damage resistance. Additionally, wood offers design benefits through easy stain and paint treatments. The rich look and feel of wood make it the clear choice for luxury homes. Furthermore, when selling your home, hardwood products typically receive higher appraisal values compared to inferior materials.

Pros: Strength and Durability, Good Insulation, Design Flexibility – Customizable,
Large variety of Paint and Stain Options
Cons: Not recommended in moisture prone areas
Vinyl composite blinds and shutters, with an appearance similar to wood, are highly regarded as the optimal choice for synthetic window coverings. A key feature is their moisture resistance, making them ideal for rooms like bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, or garages. However, it’s essential to note that vinyl composite louvers lacking a reinforcing aluminum core (unavailable on blind slats) may exhibit sagging or bowing due to the material’s weight.

Pros: Cost/Quality-friendly, Durability, Water and Fire Resistant, Good Insulation,
Cons: Design Flexibility – very limited, non-stainable, Semi-customizable,
Heavier than wood. Tendency to sag or bow.
Composite MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) is an engineered wood product created by combining wood fibers, resin, and wax. These components are compressed under high temperature and pressure to form flat panels. MDF can be made from a single wood species or a blend of several species. It offers a smooth surface ideal for painting or applying veneers, making it versatile for various applications. However, MDF has limitations, including low moisture resistance. Interior-grade MDF materials are prone to disintegration when exposed to water and are notably heavy, leading to sagging and bowing issues.

Pros: Budget friendly
Cons: Design Flexibility – limited; Not customizable. Heavier than wood – tendency to sag.
Hollow vinyl shutters are easily identifiable due to their unfinished edges, often “capped.” However, they lack durability. The connectors for their tilt rods are made of plastic, which tends to break with use. Additionally, hollow vinyl shutters have a somewhat “plastic” appearance and may yellow over time. Prolonged exposure to sunlight makes them brittle. Color options are limited, with white being the most common choice.

Pros: Budget Friendly
Cons: Appearance is “plastic”, Design flexibility and custom applications are very limited, doesn’t hold up to prolonged sunlight.

Click here for a free quote!

We would love to help you make your next project a reality!

Back to Top

Content to be added

The Blindman