Wood & Faux Wood Window Blinds: Which One is Right for Your Home?

Blinds & Shades
Sunshine Drapery sliding glass doors window treatment

You have many questions before buying wood, or faux wood blinds as to which works best for which area. Do both looks alike? Which one is better for insulation? Which works best in humid areas? Which choice is more environmentally friendly? Does the window size matter? Which is best for certain areas that you live in? You will have all the answers to these questions and more when we delve into the characteristics, pros, and cons of each blind.

What are Characteristics of Wood Blinds?

Wood blinds are made of sustainable hardwood, which is sourced from sustainable resources. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies wood products as sustainable if they have a low impact on the environment by protecting old-growth forests, water, natural forest cover and not including hazardous materials. The best environmentally friendly blinds are made of hardwood, and the finish of stain or paint on them is a low VOC product that is water-based and does not include solvents as a base. Solvents in finishes are made in a plant with harmful emissions that release into the atmosphere when they are in the production process.

Wood blinds are aesthetically pleasing in their elegance and timeless beauty. They work well in any room with any decor, from traditional to contemporary. You can see the natural wood grain with beautiful whorls and swirls that are created by nature. The wood grain is further accentuated by your choice of stain or paint color that you have them finished--of which the choices are almost endless, making them a custom window treatment to your exact tastes.

Real wood blinds have a natural insulating factor in insulating your home from heat and cold next to your windows. This doesn't allow that air to enter your home and allows you to use less heating and cooling to be comfortable, resulting in a highly energy-efficient window covering.

When you have your wood blinds closed, they close tightly between the horizontal louvers to protect your furniture, flooring, and textiles from fading and degrading.

Hardwood blinds are lightweight so that they will work well in larger windows without putting a strain on the lifting mechanism to enable them to last for many years.

Real wood doesn't give to pressure when they are bent, but instead, it will break. Wood is more fragile than faux wood, and it may not be a good choice for homes with small children and pets because they can't stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

Wood blinds shouldn't be cleaned with harsh cleaning products, and they shouldn't be wet when cleaning them, or they tend to warp, which results in them not closing tightly enough and insulating your home. In addition, moisture of any type is not friendly to wood blinds as it will eventually cause them to crack or break. This makes wood blinds unsuitable for high humidity areas, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and mudrooms. The best idea is to use a dry duster or cloth to clean your hardwood blinds. If they happen to have a stain, you can use a cloth dipped in a mild detergent and water and wrung out thoroughly to blot the stain gently.

What are the Characteristics of Faux Wood Blinds?

The most common question about wood vs. faux wood blinds is that do they look the same. If a person doesn't know that you have faux wood blinds, they look so identical to each other that everyone will assume they are made of hardwood. This is because they are manufactured with materials including PVC or vinyl and include the finishing touches of "wood grain" added to them to appear exactly like hardwood. This is achieved by adding a realistic image of the wood grain to them in an embossing process. You can also have faux wood blinds painted or stained in any color you wish to add to any decor you may have in your home.

Faux wood blinds are a little less good at insulation for your windows in your home than hardwood blinds, although they have a better insulation factor than some other types of window treatments, such as drapes or blinds made of aluminum or metal. However, they also close tightly to keep the hot or cold air next to your windows and don't allow it in your rooms to make them energy efficient.

Faux wood blinds are heavier than hardwood blinds, making them a poor choice for huge windows. In a large expanse of glass, faux wood blinds would be too heavy, and the lifting mechanism will wear out prematurely, so they wouldn't last as long as they should. There is a great solution to this, though. You may have two blinds in a single-window attached to the headrail in which each blind will operate independently of the others. This solution does have a different appearance than one wide blind, but many homeowners find it gives them additional light control.

Faux wood blinds are manufactured to withstand fading, cracking, breaking, scratching, and chipping. These attributes make faux wood blinds a perfect match for all humid areas in your home, including the bathrooms, kitchen, or laundry room where hot water creates humidity. Faux wood blinds are also a great solution to outdoor humidity as well. So if the weather is a bit warm and humid, you can open your windows, and the humidity won't harm your faux wood blinds.

You can clean faux wood blinds with just about any type of cleanser you wish. If they happen to be stained, you can even soak them in the bathtub with a solvent for removing stains or take them outside and clean them with a hose.

So, Which Should I Choose?

The short answer is both. However, since hardwood and faux wood blinds look identical, you don't have to choose between the two for your entire home. Instead, you can use faux wood blinds in the humid areas of your home and hardwood blinds in the other areas of your home.

Other Additions to Blinds

Both types of blinds can be stand-alone window treatments in any window, but you can also add decorative tapes over the cords to add some extra color and interest to your windows. You can also add a beautiful valance at the top to add texture to the windows and coordinate them with other decors in your home. Another great thing about both types of wood blinds is that you can have them motorized to open and shut at the touch of a button.

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