Synthetics, Plastics, Vinyl, Faux wood, and Poly
Many synthetics incorporate "wood" in their name, but most contain no wood - usually called faux wood shutters or poly shutters. Made from stock size components with few, if any, custom options. Come in limited white colors, and cannot be stained. Look, feel, and sound like plastic shutters. Synthetic shutters are relatively new, so there is limited customer satisfaction experience. Synthetics are less costly to manufacture, so they can be attractive some customers. Synthetic materials are heavy and tend to sag. Synthetics are manufactured from petrolium basted nonrenewable resources.
Often Polywood shutter dealers will attach a plate to the rear of the shutters for future identification. The practice of using your home as a billboard to advertise their shutters is never attractive. Do not allow a plate to be attaced to your shutters.
Shutter are a focal point in your home, and it is important to consider the major difference between solid wood shutters and synthetic (polywood or vinyl) shutters. First, wood shutters look and feel like furniture. Synthetic shutters look and feel like plastic - you, and guests in your home can and will see the difference. Synthetic shutter manufactures and marketers claim that their shutters will not warp, chip, crack, or peel - generally implying that these are properties of wood. Quality wood shutters will NOT warp, chip, crack, or peel. Second, synthetic materials cannot be stained. Some manufactures have mimicked the look of stained shutters, but again you can and will see the difference. Third, wood is stronger and lighter than synthetics and can produce larger shutter panels. Synthetic materials, unless hollow, is heavier than most woods and must be made into smaller panels. Wooden shutters can be made into very large panels allowing for more light and visibility.
Hurricane shutters may be attractively made from synthetics for house protection.