Anytime that your project includes a set of stairs, you will need a railing to go along with it. It’s not hard to pick a railing, but there are a few things you’ll want to know in order to choose the best option for your project. Here is a guide on how to choose the right material for your railing system.
When choosing a rail system, the first thing you’ll want to consider is the location where your railing is needed. Whether it is inside or outside, the railing must be able to resist wear to repeated touch. If your railing will be outdoors, make sure you pick a material and design that will be weather-resistant and easy to maintain.
Though both in the railing family, handrails and guardrails are different things and have different purposes. Handrails are railings placed along the length of a set of stairs that offer stability to an individual walking up or down those stairs. Guardrail systems typically include handrails, but also include some sort of additional railing or barrier between a platform and its railing. Guardrails act as a safety measure for any elevated platform. Your decision to use a certain kind of material will be impacted by which of these two railing types you’ll be building.
Three main types of metal are used in railing systems. Here is an overview of each type.
Stainless steel is a durable and corrosion-resistant metal that is good for indoor use or outdoor use in moderate weather. It requires very little maintenance, needing just a wipe down with soap and water every so often.
Carbon steel is a strong type of steel and the least expensive of the three metal options. This type of railing is more prone to corrosion than the other types, so it is necessary to give it a protective coating and maintain it regularly. Because they are more corrosive than other types of metal and require this upkeep, carbon steel railings are best for indoor use.
Aluminum railings are similar to steel railings in terms of durability and appearance. Like stainless steel, this type of railing is fairly low maintenance. While aluminum is a durable metal, it is more easily scratched or dented than steel, which is something you’ll want to consider when selecting it as a railing material.
If you’re building a guardrail system, you’ll need to choose an infill type in addition to a railing material. Your preference in appearance will be a main consideration in which material you choose. Additionally, like with choosing a railing, you will want to choose a material that fits your needs in terms of durability. A few popular infill options are glass panes, metal mesh, and bars arranged either vertically or horizontally.
Now that you know
how to choose the right material for your railing system
, you’ll be able to complete your project with a handrail or guardrail that fits all your needs. If none of the traditional designs are right for you, custom metal manufacturers
like CMPI can help. Contact CMPI for any of your railing system needs, and we’d be happy to help you create a design for your project.