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Pipe cable railing showcasing one of aluminum's many advantages

Aluminum Railing Vs. Other Metals....How do they Stack Up?

  •   Posted on January 24, 2020

In today’s world there are so many choices.  Do you want pizza or pasta, coffee or tea, aluminum or steel? We aren’t qualified to debate the first two, but we know a thing or two about railing!

Each of these choices requires careful evaluation in order to make the proper decision for you at any given time.  However, your selection of railing material is of critical importance, after all you always have tomorrow to eat something else for lunch, but a larger decision such as railing has long-term ramifications. Let’s take a quick dive into a few of the many factors at play when looking at the aluminum vs. other metals for a railing solution.

MAINTENANCE

When it comes to selecting building products for your home or commercial location, it’s a long-term commitment and railing is no different.  As with anything, there is a definite long-term maintenance cost associated with a railing system…. and this cost is dramatically different depending upon the material you choose.  Rusting, cracking, and warping are common annoyances that greet steel or iron railings within a relatively short timeframe. And not just rust on your railing, but rust stains on your cement unless maintained regularly!  The only way to prevent these changes from happening is a steady diet of maintenance, repainting, and luck.

On the other hand, aluminum railing requires little to no maintenance at all. Depending upon the location of the installation, periodic cleaning might help keep your install looking pristine, but the structural integrity will remain rigid with no work required by you at all. Unlike steel and iron, aluminum does not oxidize, guarding against rust and the pitfalls that the ugly orange stuff brings when it shows up.

Rusted iron railing on a college campusUnlike aluminum, steel/iron rusts and weakens when exposed

VISUAL APPEAL

Let’s face it; no one wants to have the worst looking place on the block. You also don’t want to have the house of misfit toys, with your siding not matching your railing and your railing not matching your fence. Aluminum and other metals can be adapted to fit most building settings, but what if you’re looking for a design that is cleaner, smoother, and modern? The aforementioned steel and iron solutions tend to provide more limited and rigid options, which may be quickly defined as old fashioned.

On the other hand, aluminum provides a clean look that fits in well regardless of the setting. Aluminum components can be used to blend well with even the most modern of aesthetical scenarios, and changed or updated over time if desired.

A residential deck is lined with heavy-duty aluminum railing

Aluminum provides lasting touch that highlights any area

HINDSIGHT'S 20/20

They say hindsight’s always 20/20. “I should have ordered the chicken instead of the tuna salad”.  “I wish I would have invested in Amazon.” Without the benefit of hindsight, it’s critical to consider all of the factors in a large-scale decision. Steel and iron railings certainly have their merits, but aluminum stands alone as the superior material for outdoor decorative architectural products. Imagine 20 years down the line leaning back and looking out over your still impressive aluminum railing while neighbors are busy replacing their steel/iron setup…. again.

Got a question about aluminum? Please feel free to contact us. If you are interested in obtaining an aluminum railing of your own, check out our railing quote tool!

FURTHER READING

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