Throughout my years of work in the window treatment business, I am often asked what the difference is between real wood and faux wood blinds. I have installed several thousand of each kind over the years in my customers homes and businesses. In most cases, is it based on aesthetics, because visually you really cannot tell the difference. However, there are differences in price, weight, blind choice colors, ability to resist moisture, and durability to consider when you are making your choice.
How Are They Similar
Before we review the differences, lets look at how they are alike. First, both types of blinds are effective at controlling outside light. Wood and faux woods share common components. For example, the headrail (metal part at the top of the blind) and mechanisms inside are normally the same. Draw cords that raise and lower, tilt controls that rotate the slats and cord locks that lock your blind in place when you raise it are typically the same. So whether you choose a wood blind, or faux wood, they will operate the same.
As far as difference, lets start out with the most obvious difference, the price. Faux woods are more moderately priced. The cost savings are considerable compared to real wood. For example, I was in the market for two blinds for my sons room. I avoided the local "shop at home" places because I know they are usually the highest priced. I went online and compared the price of a number of different companies. I also compared wood vs. faux wood. I found two faux wood blinds for under $39 each. The same set of blinds in wood was $65 each. I chose the faux wood based on price and some other reasons I will discuss later on. In this case, the faux wood blinds were 40% less than the wood blinds which is pretty common.
Dont Overlook This
The next thing to consider, is how much the blind weighs when you draw it up. This is often overlooked but can become an issue especially on larger windows. Wood blinds are much lighter than the heavier faux wood. On a large window, say 60 inches wide by 60 inches long, the average person would not have a problem raising or lowering a wood blind. A faux wood on the other hand would be more difficult. As you raise it to the half way position, you will need two hands to raise it up the rest of the way. In most homes the would not a problem. However, elderly people and people with medical conditions would have problems. To eliminate this problem you could choose real wood blinds or two faux wood blinds side by side.
Now lets consider color selection. Woods are going to offer a larger color selection from which to choose. For example, the company I ordered my sons blinds had 17 wood colors and only 9 faux wood colors.
Which Is More Resistant To Moisture
Moisture resistance and durability are important considerations as well. Faux woods are superior to woods when it comes to moisture. They are less porous so water beads up on the surface therefore avoiding warping and cracking. In a bathroom, or laundry room, or areas above a sink, faux wood blinds are a good choice. Faux woods win the durability test as well because they are more plyable and can stand up better to kids and pets.
A Few More Tips
To sum it up, both wood and faux wood blinds are excellent choices for controlling light. Which type you choose may depend on your budget and where they will be used. Wood blinds offer a larger color selection to fit your decor and they are lighter in weight for easier lifting. Faux wood blinds are moderately priced to fit your budget, are a good choice in high moisture areas, and will stand up to kids and pets. Dont be afraid to mix them up as well. If you want woodblinds but are concerned about putting them in your bathroom or laundry room, use faux woods in these high moisture areas. Tip, ask for longer controls over a sink or washer and dryer. Whether you choose wood blinds or faux wood blinds the look will still be a great looking blind. I hope this overview takes some of the mystery out of wood vs. faux wood blinds.
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