High Quality vs. Low Quality Window Shutters: What Differentiates Them?

Written by AnonymousMay 12, 2011

Discussing the Differences Between Low and High Quality Window Shutters

At first glance, low quality window shutters may look like high quality shutters, but they rarely perform the same. Fortunately, you can tell the difference between the two by taking a closer look at construction, design, and thickness.


High quality shutters use specific hardware and building techniques that increase durability and life. For starters, high quality window shutters use butt hinges. Butt hinges attach the shutter to the house and are the most durable type of hinge. Next, high quality window shutters use a joining method called rabbeting, which works better than glue or other joining materials.

Low quality window shutters are use opposite methods of attaching and joining. Non-mortise hinges are commonly used rather than butt hinges because they’re cheaper and easier to install. They fasten the shutter to the house and are easy to remove, so the hold is weaker. And instead of rabbeting, low quality shutters use glue or other weaker materials to join pieces together. This means the lower quality shutter is more likely to break and peel.

Low quality windows shutters use thin panels, called louvers, instead of thicker ones. The result is a flimsy, low quality look that just doesn’t hold up over time. 

Another difference between low quality and high quality shutters is the techniques used to paint them. Low quality window shutters use one coat of paint and high quality shutters use two or more coats for a strong finish. One coat of paint will fade and peel faster than multiple coats.


Low quality shutters have four louvers or less. High quality ones have five or more. The limited number of louvers means low quality shutters are cut-to-fit. Cut-to-fit designs are inexpensive to make because they’re made to predetermined sizes with fewer louvers. The design also results in a lower quality look.

High quality shutters aren’t cut-to-fit. They’re made to fit the dimensions of a specific window. They’re carefully constructed to be in proportion with the shutter rails and louver area, resulting in a balanced shutter that allows more light and air to enter.


Stiles are the vertical pieces on the sides of each panel. Stile thickness on a high quality shutter is anywhere from 1 to 1 1/16 inches thick. The stiles on a low quality shutter are around 15/16 inches thick. Thick material creates a more stable the shutter. It is also sag-proof and less likely to warp over time.


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