Not too long ago, the choice of materials available for balustrade systems was pretty limited.
For the interior of buildings, for use in staircases, landings, mezzanines and galleries, wood was by far and away the most popular. Variety was provided by the type of wood chosen, soft or hard, the choice of stain or varnish, and the different styles and forms wooden balustrade posts could be carved into.
For use outside, whether on balconies, decks or enclosed patios, wrought iron was a common alternative to wood, offering a longer lifespan against the elements without the need for continuous maintenance.
Nowadays, however, balustrade systems are designed and manufactured in a much wider range of materials. The baroque and gothic styles of carved wooden balustrade posts, and the Victorian wrought iron aesthetic, have given way to the clean, bright, contemporary styles offered by glass and stainless steel.
Stainless steel is most commonly used in handrails and balustrade posts. Stainless steel balustrade posts are usually used as joining pieces between balustrade panels, for example those made from glass. Unlike wood, stainless steel posts are rarely used in long series close together.
Benefits of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is an ideal material for balustrade posts because of its strength and durability. It can be used as a frame to support heavy loads without risk of failure under stress, and is extremely resistant to general wear and tear such as scratches and scuffs. When used outside, it is highly resistant to corrosion and the effects of the elements, lasting much longer in pristine condition than its cousin, wrought iron.
It is also a highly versatile material for shaping and creating different designs. Stainless steel can be cast into posts of virtually any shape, and looks equally impressive in smooth, rounded cylindrical designs or sharp, angular examples. In addition, the bright, polished finish of a stainless steel balustrade post adds an eye catching modern effect to any design.
As well as looking great, stainless steel is also a very cost effective material to use in balustrades. Its ready availability means stainless steel balustrade posts, rails and fittings can be bought at low cost to put together your own bespoke design at great value. As an added bonus, it is also good for the environment, because most stainless steel can easily be recycled.
Using Stainless Steel Balustrade Posts
Steel posts can be incorporated into balustrade systems in a number of ways.
One of the most common is to pair stainless posts with glass balustrades. The steel posts act as a supporting frame for glass panels, which are bolted onto the metal supports. Glass balustrades are popular because they provide safe barriers with no restrictions to lines of sight or light, creating a striking open plan effect.
Another popular option is to use stainless posts as part of an all steel balustrades system. Steel balustrades tend to come in two forms, either as thin stainless steel wire or narrow rods strung horizontally between vertical posts. Again, this is a popular option for maintaining open views through balustrades and keeping spaces as bright as possible.
To find out more about our popular G-RAIL range of glass and stainless balustrade systems, or for a free quote, contact us today.