The best wood for building interior wooden shutters
is basswood. The tree can be found from Quebec
south to Delaware and the Atlantic coast west to
Eastern Kentucky with an average height of 65
feet. Basswood is a renewable resource and careful
forest management ensures that the harvesting is
done responsibly by balancing the wood growth
with wood removal.
Basswood interior shutters are very straight and
they also have a fine uniform texture with a very
indistinct grain. The wood machines well and is
easy to work, screws well, glues well, and it can
be stained to a smooth finish.
Basswood shutters do not warp, they are lightweight
yet very strong, offer uniform grain for a superb
stain finish, and they offer superior gluing and
Oak is a very heavy wood which makes for very
heavy window shutters. Oak interior shutters will
add a lot of weight to window jambs, with screws
requiring pre-drilling. They aren't suitable
for painting and the louvers tend to warp over
Maple is heavy like oak and produces interior
shutters that are very heavy. Maple also requires
that the window jambs be pre-drilled. The wood
louvers with maple are hard to tension uniformly.
Poplar shutters mill and paint very well. The
mineral streaks and green color help make popular
wood unsuitable for staining. For shutters, poplar
wood is moderately heavy. The wood is widely
available and less costly, although it also
produces a lesser quality of wood shutter.
Cedar wood mills and finishes nicely, although
the color varies greatly for staining. Cedar
is pretty soft and can dent or scratch very
For exterior shutters, cedar works very well. The
amazing durability and resistance to decay of
incense cedar makes it perfect for exterior use
wherever moisture is presented. Requiring
long service with very little maintenance,
it's also hated by bugs!
Alder is an excellent choice for interior shutters,
as the tree is very small. Tall window shutters
using alder wood will require finger joints.
Pine is a soft wood, with many different species
and grades available.
Always remember that there are also poorly
constructed wood shutters that will rank very
low on the scale of quality. You should always
look for a smooth, well sanded surface, thick
durable paing, glued and doweled joints, and a
straight light hardwood. Before you commit
to any shutter company, always request a sample
so that you know what to expect.
(word count 417)