The handrails and railings of a staircase are essential safety elements that help avert falls and injuries. These staircase components can be built of various materials such as metal, wood, or glass to achieve distinct aesthetic effects. The sort of stair railing and handrail utilised will also affect the aesthetic of the staircase. Read on to learn the significant pros and cons of various staircase railing materials.
Steel is a common material for commercial egress stairs and industrial staircase handrails and railings. Steel is also an excellent choice for stair stringers. Galvanised steel is zinc-coated to prevent corrosive elements from harming the steel beneath.
- Steel is incredibly sturdy and long-lasting, making it one of the safest materials for handrails and railings.
- Steel can be coated with powder coatings, liquid paints, and primers to increase performance.
- Galvanised and stainless steel are low-maintenance materials that may be cleaned with a sponge and light detergent.
- Steel is a versatile, weather-resistant material that may be utilised indoors and outdoors.
- In extreme heat, steel can buckle and weaken.
- Steel handrails and railings can be more expensive than other materials, like wood.
- Steel may be a complex material to use for a DIY project due to its weight.
- Steel is also challenging to install due to its weight and requires special equipment to make on-site adjustments.
Aluminium is a versatile and lightweight material popular for handrails, railings, and stairs. Aluminium and wrought iron can be used together to achieve a bronze, rustic look.
- Aluminium handrail and railing parts are affordable and available at most hardware stores.
- Aluminium can be a good choice for outdoor staircases and is resistant to rust and corrosion.
- Aluminium is a strong material that doesn’t require much maintenance.
- Aluminium is susceptible to dings, dents, scratches and pitting, resulting in an unkempt look.
- Aluminium is sensitive to sunlight and can warp, discolour and even develop an oxidation layer over time.
- Aluminium can stain and discolour with time.
Wooden stair handrails and railings are popular materials for commercial and residential stairs. Wood handrails and railings can be stained to match the stairs if a visual match is desired. Thanks to their availability and affordability, wood handrails and railings are a popular choice for DIY projects.
- Wood can be a good choice for an outdoor staircase since it is less susceptible to the elements than metal.
- Wooden stair handrails and railings are very affordable.
- Wood can be easily stained to match the stairs or the environment.
- Wooden handrails and railings can be easily repaired.
- Since wood is a natural material, it is prone to warping, splitting, cracking and scratching over time.
- Wooden handrails and railings are also prone to discolouration and staining.
- Wood can also be quite heavy, which makes it difficult to install.
Glass handrails and railings are popular for modern and contemporary environments. Glass handrails and railings can be a good choice for an outdoor staircase. Still, they must be well protected from the elements. Glass handrails and railings are also popular in staircases with interior views.
- Glass is a strong material that is easy to cut and install.
- Glass provides a unique, modern and clear look.
- Glass is a popular choice for outdoor staircases since it is easy to protect from the elements.
- Glass is a versatile material that can be used in both modern and classic environments.
- Glass handrails and railings don’t require much maintenance.
- Glass handrails and railings are the most expensive material.
- Glass handrails are susceptible to water damage, which can lead to cracking.
- Glass handrails and railings can be seriously damaged by severe weather.
The ideal material for stair handrails and railings is determined by the staircase’s surroundings and the intended aesthetic. Metals such as steel and aluminium are popular alternatives for commercial and industrial settings and current locations, whereas wood has a more traditional aspect. When the view beyond the railing is essential, glass is typically preferred.
Aussie Balustrading and Stairs is your trusted source for the highest quality balustrades in Perth. Contact us today to know more about our stairs and balustrades!