Whether you’re moving into a new home or redecorating the one you’ve lived in for years, window treatments are an important part of the process. Window treatments serve both utilitarian and aesthetic functions. Some products, such as the pull-down window shades your grandmother used or a sheer valance accomplish only one of these functions. Other products, like indoor plantation shutters, accomplish both. Indoor shutters are designed to look good as a standalone window covering or when combined with another window treatment. They also effectively block, reduce, or redirect the natural light coming into a room.
Indoor shutters are available in an assortment of materials, manufactured to meet the various needs of home and building owners. The two main types of shutters we’ll be discussing today are medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and high-density fiberboard (HDF). Both of these materials are crafted from wood byproducts, but they cannot actually be classified as wooden blinds.
MDF and HDF are engineered products that are created by breaking down wood, and then adding wax, resins, and other stabilizing materials. The material is molded and subjected to pressure and heat. In some applications, MDF and HDF may be laminated with wood veneers or coated with a resin. When used in blinds, MDF and HDF cannot be created in a wood finish. Instead, they are available in a painted finish that can be customized to complement your decor.
MDF and HDF shutters are ideal in areas of the home where wooden shutters would not be the best application. For example, the bathroom and the kitchen. MDF and HDF stand up to the humidity in these rooms. Wooden shutters, as handsome as they may be, are prone to fail in these environments. The high water content in the air makes the wooden shutters prone to warping, splitting, mildewing, or otherwise being damaged.
Medium and high-density fiberboard also outperform real wood shutters in areas that get very hot and have direct sun exposure for the bulk of the day. This intense heat can cause damage to wooden shutters, but MDF and HDF shutters can withstand these conditions.
While MDF and HDF outperform wood in many areas, they are not without their faults. Both products are heavy, weighing significantly more per square foot than wood. This requires special hardware if the slats are to be used over long spans. The weight can also make large shutters more difficult to use than their wooden counterparts. The use of MDF and HDF shutters in high-stress and high-traffic areas should be carefully considered, as they can chip and dent easily.
Overall, shutters crafted of MDF and HDF provide a good value and can add that perfect finishing touch to many of your rooms. If you have any questions, contact us to speak to a shutter specialist or fill out the contact form and we’ll reach out to you.