If you're looking to install new shutters in your home, however, you may be a little overwhelmed by the range of materials on offer. Although there are a lot of different types of shutter materials, they fall into a few broad categories, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. 


Rugged and durable, aluminium shutters can last for a long time if properly maintained and occasionally repainted. They work best as exterior shutters; in hot weather, they absorb and transfer heat, meaning that they will actually heat a room if used indoors. 

Wood composite

Wood composite or fibreboard is a heavy, low-cost board like that found in kitchen cabinets. An economy alternative to harder woods, it works best as an indoor shutter; if exposed to moisture, it tends to absorb it and risks warping or swelling. Different composites have different levels of weight and durability, so explore your options if you're thinking of investing in this type of shutter. 


Lightweight and waterproof, plastic shutters are a good choice for areas likely to receive a lot of rain or moisture. Very large plastic slats may bend, making this not an ideal material for wider windows. In extreme temperatures some plastic shutters may be vulnerable to warping from heat, so check with the manufacturer about the shutters' recommended temperature range if you're thinking about installing these in a very hot area. 

Hardwoods and fast-grown woods

These premium timber shutters are made from the wood of fast-growing trees such as Paulownia, white teak and basswood. Durable and long-lasting, these shutters can be painted or varnished to emphasise the natural colour of the wood. They are good insulators, keeping rooms cool during the day or warm when it's cold outside. Another common material for wooden shutters is Western red cedar, which possesses excellent insulation properties even compared to other woods. Light but strong, it has a pleasant characteristic odour and is naturally resistant to decay. Imported woods like red cedar tend to be toward the high end of the price range. 

Each shutter material has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of weight, cost, water resistance, insulation and other factors. To choose the right material for your shutters, you'll need to take into consideration the location and purpose of the shutters you want as well as your budget. By comparing the two, you should be able to settle on the material that's right for you.