Popular Wood Blinds and How to Use Them

Wood blinds are a classic window covering and are available in a variety of forms. Wooden blinds are unparalleled in the warmth and texture they add to a room. But this beauty does come at a price. For those who want the style of wood blinds without the high price, faux wood blinds are another option.

wood blinds

All window blinds are a superior window treatment to either shades or even curtains. Each slat, or louver, on the blind is adjustable. This allows you to control the amount of light that comes into your home at a more granular level rather than just open or closed. Wood blinds alone or used in combination with curtains give you complete control over light and privacy inside your home.

Types of Wood Blinds

Types of Wood Blinds
The Shade Shop

There are different types of wooden blinds as well as various fabrication styles. Consider these various materials and construction types to decide which types of wooden window blind is best for your home.


There are three main types of material used to construct wood window blinds: real wood, wood composite, and synthetic material.

  • Real Wood Blinds – Genuine wood blinds are made from a variety of woods, the most common of which is basswood. There are also wood blinds made from cherry, oak, ash, and walnut. These are finished in a variety of stain and paint options in both horizontal and vertical styles.
  • Composite Wood Blinds – Composite wood blinds are built from a composite material made from wood pulp and polymer. They are formed to have an embossed pattern that looks like wood grain. They are more lightweight than wood blinds and a less expensive alternative. Composite wood blinds are available in various finishes and construction styles.
  • Faux Wood Blinds – Wood faux blinds do not contain any wood in their construction. Instead, manufacturers craft these from synthetic material such as PVC. Wooden faux blinds are more lightweight than real wood blinds. They are better options for humid areas like bathrooms.


There are two main styles of wood blind options for both windows and doors: horizontal blinds and vertical blinds.

  • Horizontal Blinds – Horizontal wood blinds for windows are also known as Venetian blinds. These are horizontal blinds that are held together by chords that raise the blinds and also adjust the slats. These are the most popular type of blind. Most commercial options are available with slats from 1”-2.5” widths.
  • Vertical Blinds – Many people opt for vertical blinds to cover sliding glass doors. These are constructed with vertical slats that hang from a track. You can slide the slats to either side which makes the door more accessible but still provides coverage as needed.

Chord Options

There are two main types of closure styles for wood blinds: use of lift cords and cordless options.

  • Lift Cords – Wood blinds with lift cords require manual raising, lowering, and adjusting the slats by cords and wands. There are both routed and routless options for corded blinds. For routed blinds, cords pass through each slat of the blind. This allows easy control as you raise and lower the blinds, but it does allow a small amount of light to pass through. Routless blinds have small notches at the back of the slat that the cord passes through. This allows complete light control, but less control over the closure.
  • Cordless Options – Cordless options are popular with parents of small children and pets to whom the cords might pose a health risk. Cordless closures can be both mechanical and manual.
  • Retractable Cords – For people who want the flexibility of cords without the dangers associated with them, there are retractable cord options. This eliminates the long external cords by drawing them into the shade.

Which Wood Blinds are Right for You?

Which Wood Blinds are Right for You

Blinds are a large investment when you buy them for your windows throughout the house. Which type of wood blinds is the best for your needs? Consider these pros and cons to help you decide.

Real Wood Blinds Pros and Cons

Real wood blinds are any that are made from 100% real wood in the construction of the slats.


  • Beauty – Wooden blinds for windows have a classic look and feel that is more warm and textured than other window blind types. They elevate the look of a room and enhance it like other custom window treatments.
  • Weight – Wood blinds are lighter in weight than faux wood blinds and are available in longer spans.
  • Finishes – Wood blinds are available in various wood varieties and finishes. For example, you can choose white wood blinds to complement your light home color palette and dark stained wooden blinds to complement darker color schemes.


  • Flexibility – Wood blinds lack the flexibility of faux wood blinds. Therefore, they can crack and splinter if they are subject to harsh treatment.
  • Moisture Resistance – Even though wood blinds have a protective finish, they will expand with moisture. The exposure to moisture will cause the wood blinds to warp and twist over time.
  • Louver Thickness – In general, louvers made from wood are thicker than louvers of synthetic materials. This results in a large stack at the top of the window when all the louvers are raised. This is problematic in areas where you need maximum light.
  • Cost – Real wood blinds are more expensive than synthetic blinds and are cost-prohibitive for many people to use throughout their home.

Composite Wood Blinds Pros and Cons

Composite wood blind are crafted from a combination of wood pulp and polymer bindings.


  • Appearance – Composite wood blinds look more like genuine wood blinds than faux wood blinds made from PVC.
  • Cost – Composite blinds are less expensive than genuine wood blinds. They are a good alternative option to real wood blinds because they cost less but still look more custom than faux wood blinds.
  • Moisture Resistance – Composite blinds are crafted with moisture resistance in mind.
  • Finish – Composite blinds are available in many finishes. Because they contain some wood, these look better stained than faux wood blind options.


  • Appearance – Composite wood blinds are not the real thing and for some people, they can tell the difference.
  • Weight – Composite blinds are heavier than real wood blinds, so they are more difficult to raise and lower.
  • Sunlight Resistance – Composite finishes are not as resistant to UV rays as wood. This means they can fade over time.

Faux Wood Blinds Pros and Cons

Faux wood blinds differ from other types of synthetic blinds because manufacturers emboss them to have wood grain patterns to resemble real wood blinds.


  • Cost – Faux blinds are by far the most cost-effective “wood blind” on the market. This is a great choice if you want the look of wood blinds throughout the house but are on a limited budget.
  • Moisture Resistance – Faux wood blinds made from PVC are not susceptible to any kind of moisture, so they are ideal in bathrooms and kitchens.


  • UV Resistance – When exposed to sunlight, faux wood blinds can become faded. This can even lead to a damaged surface with prolonged exposure.
  • Weight – Faux wood blinds are the heaviest type of wood blind, so these can be more difficult to manage.
  • Appearance – Despite the best attempts at mimicking wood, faux wood lacks the warmth and character of real wood blinds. Painted surfaces are the most like real wood, but stained faux wood is not convincing.

How to Buy the Right Size Wood Blinds for Your Windows

There are two main mounting styles for wood blinds: inside mount and outside mount. It depends which style you choose to determine how to measure your windows.

Measuring for Inside Mounted Wood Blinds

  1. Gather the tools you need to measure including a tape measure, a pencil, and some paper to record your numbers.
  2. Measure the depth of the window to make sure that you have enough depth for an inside mount. Most manufacturers require at least a ¾” depth for blinds, though check each manufacturer’s numbers to verify.
  3. Measure the width of the inside of the window opening in three places, the top, middle, and bottom. Round the numbers to the nearest ⅛”. Use the narrowest of the three numbers for your window blind width.
  4. Measure the length of the window opening in three places, the right, middle, and left side of the window. Round each number to the nearest ⅛”. Use the longest measurement to determine the length of wood blind you should purchase.

Measuring for Outside Wood Blinds

  1. Gather the tools you need to measure including a tape measure, a pencil, and some paper to record your numbers.
  2. Determine where you want to mount your wood blinds outside the window. The most common choices are the wall above the window, the window molding, or even the ceiling above the window. If you want to use the wall above or the molding, you need at least 2” of flat space to mount the blinds.
  3. Measure the area outside the window that you want covered. Bali Blinds recommends that you include at least 1 ½” of overlap on either side of the window. Round to the nearest ⅛” and record the number. This will be the width of your wood blinds.
  4. Make a mark where you want to hang the headrail. Measure from this mark to the bottom of the window sill or lower if you desire. Round this number to the nearest ⅛” and record. This will be the length of your wood blinds.

Wood Blinds in Home Design

Wood blinds are the most popular blinds for high-end home design. You can use them to enhance a variety of home design styles.

Wood Blinds with Curtains

Wood Blinds with Curtains
Made In The Shade Jackson Hole

This designer has used wood blinds in combination with curtains to provide the most complete window coverage. This layered approach allows the user to control the light throughout the day. The curtains soften the look of the blinds for a more luxurious style.

Contrasting Wooden Blinds

Contrasting Wooden Blinds
The Shade Shop

Use stained wooden blinds like these to give your neutral color palette some contrast. Choose a lighter color wood shade for a more subtle approach.

White Wood Blinds

White Wood Blinds
World Class Window Coverings

The white wood vertical and horizontal blinds in this space keep the style of this room spare but still allows for complete window coverage. If you opt for white wooden blinds, you can opt for faux wooden blinds easier than if you choose stained wood.

Complementing Fabric Cloth Tape on Wooden Blinds

Complementing Fabric Cloth Tape on Wooden Blinds
Eileen Ramos a Smith & Noble

You can customize certain wood blind styles with fabric tape to elevate the look of your blinds. Choose a complementing color for your fabric tape that works with your interior design.

Contrasting Color Wood Blinds

Contrasting Color Wood Blinds
Windows Dressed Up

Use wooden blinds to add a pop of color into your design. Most large window blind companies feature many paint and stain options to help you customize your choice.