How to Choose the Right Metal for Your Railing System

How to Choose the Right Metal for Your Railing System

steel stair system
Railings are required for safety reasons in a number of settings, such as alongside a stairway or around the edge of an elevated surface. No matter where you need to have a railing installed, picking the right material is going to be of major importance. Even if you already know that you are going to be using metal railing, picking out exactly the right metal from an aesthetic and performance standpoint is not always an easy task.

Environment is the First Factor

The biggest point to consider when trying to pick out the right metal is where the railing is going to be located. Is it going to be indoors, or outdoors? Obviously, there is a big difference in the requirements that you will have for it based on whether or not it is going to be exposed to the elements. Indoors, you won’t have to worry about weather resistance. Outside, however, is a different story, so you will need to look for metals which are going to be able to hold up nicely over the long run. Usually, when a metal railing is going to be installed outdoors, it is 316 stainless steel that will be the best pick, as that is a material which will do a good job of fighting off the elements.

Ease of Maintenance

Anytime you install something such as a railing, maintenance has to be a point that is near the top of your list of concerns. If you are looking for low maintenance, stainless steel should be a material that is near the top of your shopping list. Stainless steel doesn’t often need to be cleaned, and when it does, the cleaning process is relatively quick and easy.

Steel or Aluminum

For most projects, steel is going to be the preferred option over aluminum. Most steel options have more strength and durability than aluminum, meaning they will hold up better over time when used in this kind of application. Aluminum is more prone to scratches and dents, which is obviously not something you want to see on your railings.

Cost is Always a Factor

It would be a mistake to overlook the importance of cost in regard to picking the right material for your railing. Sure, everyone would likely want to use the most-durable, best-looking metals on the market, but that is not exactly a budget friendly option. Before you get too far into this process, you will want to look at the costs associated with various options to ensure you are looking for choices that are going to fit within your defined budget for the job.

Picking the correct material is one of the most important steps you can take on your way toward a successful railing installation project. Consider the factors above as you shop, and make sure to consider all available options before narrowing your focus in on one eventual winner.