What is the Difference Between Wood Blinds and Faux Wood Blinds?

Table of Contents

wood blinds in a stylish interior setting

When it comes to window blinds, homeowners have two main options that provide a wooden look and feel – real wood blinds or faux wood blinds. Both real hardwood and synthetic faux wood blinds have unique advantages and disadvantages when comparing aesthetics, durability, maintenance, cost, and other factors. Understanding the key differences between natural and faux wood window treatments can help you determine the best fit for your style, budget, and needs.

Real Wood Blinds: The Natural, Timeless Look

Window blinds constructed from real, natural woods provide unmatched beauty, subtle textures, and timeless sophistication. Quality real wood blinds are handcrafted using durable hardwoods such as oak, maple, poplar, basswood, and exotic woods. These real wood materials exemplify the authentic charms of natural wood grain and provide long-lasting durability under proper care.

alta wood blinds adding warmth and style to a modern living room

Pros of Real Wood Blinds

Natural beauty that brings depth

The rich texture and variation of real wood create depth and visual interest difficult to replicate in synthetic materials. Real wood grain has an intricate, almost artistic beauty.

Ability to be custom stained or painted

One of the greatest benefits of real wood is you can stain, paint, or whitewash the blinds in any color to match your home’s décor. From a weathered gray wash to vibrant colors, real wood allows for incredible customization possibilities, most faux wood blinds do not.

Long-lasting with careful maintenance

Made from quality hardwoods like oak, maple, hickory, etc., real wood blinds are built to stand the test of time. With proper installation away from moisture, routine cleaning, and restaining or refinishing periodically, real wood blinds easily last decades with minimal wear.

Contributes to more sustainable forestry

When sourced from responsibly managed forests, the natural hardwoods used in real wood blinds generate less waste and support environmental sustainability than synthetic materials that rely heavily on plastics and chemical coatings.

Cons of Real Wood Blinds

More expensive initial cost

The raw materials, artisan craftsmanship, and custom construction process of real wood blinds make them one of the more expensive blind options, often costing 2-3x more than synthetic faux wood alternatives.

Susceptible to warping and cracking

If real wood blinds are exposed to excessive light, heat, moisture, or fluctuating humidity, the wood materials can begin to crack, warp, discolor, or develop blemishes over time. Maintaining ideal temperature and humidity helps minimize damage.

Requires more frequent maintenance

To keep real wood blinds looking pristine, they require occasional restaining, dusting, cleaning with mild soap and water (avoiding excessive moisture), and treatment with protective sealants or UV protectants every few years.

Limited to inherently light wood tones

While staining allows for color customization, real woods naturally come in light wood tones from oak to maple. For darker shades of espresso or ebony, faux woods can better mimic darker wood species.

Faux Wood Blinds: Affordable Style and Low Maintenance

For homeowners who love the look of wood blinds but seek lower maintenance, more humidity/moisture resistance, child-friendly features, or certain cost and style preferences, faux wood blinds provide attractive options. Most faux wood blinds consist of engineered wood, vinyl, plastic polymers, or composite materials that are textured and finished to emulate the wood aesthetic at a lower price point.

alta faux wood blinds in a modern living room

Pros of Faux Wood Blinds

More affordable price point

Using alternative synthetic materials instead of solid hardwoods allows faux wood blinds to be manufactured at a much lower cost.

Resilient to moisture, humidity, and sun damage

The synthetic materials are inherently engineered to withstand moisture, humidity fluctuations, heat, and sun exposure better than natural woods are. Faux wood blinds retain their shape and appearance longer.

Wide selection of colors and stains

Using printing and coating technologies, faux wood manufacturers can achieve virtually any color, from natural maple tones to dark walnut stains and painted colors. Real wood can only be stained much darker than the natural wood tone, losing grain definition.

Easier to clean and maintain

Vinyl, PVC, and other polymers create smooth, uniform faux wood surfaces that easily wipe clean with soap and water as needed without the risk of damaging the materials. They generate less dust and allergens as well.

Options for motorization and automation

The synthetic materials and fabrication methods for faux wood make integrating motorization and home automation features simpler for remote and voice control convenience.

Cons of Faux Wood Blinds

Less natural, realistic appearance

Without variations in grain, knots, and texture, faux woods have a more uniform, repetitive look. The patterns aim to imitate wood but lack authentic depth and charm.

Not as durable long-term

While they better resist cracking and warping, faux wood materials deteriorate faster from sun damage, yellowing, and wear/tear over 5-10 years. Real wood lasts decades.

Limited custom sizing and staining

Faux wood blinds come in a wider variety of stock colors and sizes but offer less full customization of dimensions or unique stain options.

Not as environmentally sustainable

Most faux wood relies heavily on PVC, vinyl, and plastic components, generating more waste than natural materials. However, some faux wood blinds use recycled polymers or bamboo.

Which is Better - Real Wood or Faux Wood Blinds?

With each option having clear pros and cons, no universally “better” choice between real wood or faux wood window blinds exists. You lose some of the natural authenticity of real wood but gain affordability and easier maintenance with faux wood. Assess your budget, design goals, and needs to determine which material fits your home best.

Real wood blinds elevate a space with timeless beauty and customization, making them a fine choice for stylish living rooms, dining rooms, studies, and other areas where you can appreciate the natural artistry. In bathrooms, kitchens, kids’ rooms, and high-moisture areas, faux wood often makes more practical sense.

Tip: Consider mixing real wood and faux wood blinds throughout your home, using real wood in your main living areas and faux wood in secondary rooms or where moisture protection is key. This balances aesthetics, functionality, and costs.

Frequently Asked Questions on Wood vs. Faux Wood Blinds

1. What are the best rooms for real wood vs. faux wood blinds?

Real wood blinds make an elegant statement in living rooms, dining rooms, master bedrooms, offices, and other primary rooms where you can enjoy their beauty. Faux woods work well in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, kids’ spaces, and areas prone to moisture where easy maintenance is key.

Most faux wood blinds are made from vinyl, PVC, plastic polymers, or composite-engineered woods to create impressions of wood grain and texture while gaining benefits like moisture resistance. Bamboo is also popularly growing as a renewable, eco-friendly faux wood option.

Unfortunately, most faux wood blinds have factory-applied finishes and wood tones that cannot be altered or repainted at home. Some may come in a small selection of 2-3 color/stain options, but staining is minimal. Real wood blinds offer the most flexibility for custom staining and painting.

Adding Elegance to Every Space With Wood and Faux Wood Blinds

When choosing between wood or faux wood blinds, weigh your budget, goals for the space, and needs for customization, durability, and maintenance. Wood blinds made from hardwoods provide unparalleled natural elegance, customization, and longevity for a premium price.

Their authenticity excels in stylish living spaces. For moisture-prone areas or if you prioritize budget-friendliness over custom artisan looks, faux wood alternatives do the job practically and attractively. With help from window treatment experts from Shutters & Blinds By Design, you can select the perfect real or faux wood blinds to complement your home’s style.

Picture of Laura Eckersley

Laura Eckersley

Experienced window covering professional with over 17 years in the industry. Passionate about interior design and committed to delivering quality solutions for customers.