Railings are used for a variety of purposes, from acting as a decorative design around stairs and decking to providing a safety barrier to prevent people from slipping and falling. Metals are most commonly used for railings because of their unique benefits. However, not all metals are created equal. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks associated with three of the most common types of metal railings can help you figure out the one that is the best fit for your construction project.
1. Stainless Steel Railings
Stainless steel railings are popular for both interior and exterior installation largely due to their clean aesthetic, and the fact that they require very little maintenance besides general washing to stay looking shiny and new. Stainless steel is immune to rusting, which can help extend its lifespan and further reduces the amount of cleaning and maintenance that is necessary to maintain your railings. However, stainless steel is somewhat limited in its design options, and cannot be painted or customized in any way to better match the existing design of your property.
2. Aluminum Railings
Aluminum railings are somewhat similar to stainless steel, in that they are immune to rust and corrosion damage and thus are able to last a long time without needing repairs or replacement. Aluminum, however, is able to be painted or colored, which gives it a range of different design options over other types of metal railings. Aluminum is also extremely lightweight, which helps speed up the installation process and can cut down on associated labor costs. However, aluminum is somewhat malleable as metals go, which means that heavy physical trauma can easily dent your railings and deform their surface, which can ruin their appearance and functionality.
3. Wrought Iron Railings
Wrought iron is a classic type of metal used for railings, though it is usually associated with outdoor use. Wrought iron is an extremely heavyweight material, making it ideal for use in areas where security or safety is necessary. It will not be dented, cracked, or otherwise harmed by falling debris or physical pressure, and can hold up a great deal of weight, making it ideal for walkways and elevated surfaces. However, wrought iron can rust, which means that it must be regularly painted over the course of its lifespan to prevent corrosion from physically eating away at the railing. Rust will also have to be sanded off and painted over when it appears, driving up long-run maintenance costs.
For more information, contact a company like Boss Metal Works.