And the best uses for each one
Many homes and businesses have columns for structural support. While wood and steel are the most common materials used for this support, they are often not the most desired. Wood is known to warp and require a lot of maintenance and the risk of rust with outdoor steel is just too high. Today we are going to explore three materials that are much more ideal for use on columns: PVC, aluminum, and fiberglass.
PVC columns are relatively new to the market and seem to be among the most popular at this point in time. It fits that with many new houses having white trim, PVC is a great material to make the columns match well. The benefits of PVC columns include being durable and unlikely to scratch and dent, as well as providing a clean finish that is aesthetically pleasing. PVC columns also come in different styles such as smooth, panel, fluted, and craftsman. Smooth and craftsman are the trendiest styles of columns right now. It's important to note that a PVC column is never meant to be used in a load-bearing capacity. As such, it's the perfect product to use for wrapping around a wooden or steel column for a rapid upgrade in aesthetics.
One drawback of PVC column wraps is that installation can take a significant time and require the contractor to schedule a return trip to finish the job. This is a problem that is solved with Superior’s new, patented Snap-Tite® PVC column wraps. Learn more about that here.
Aluminum columns, unlike PVC, are load-bearing. This means that they can function as a wrap over a wood or steel column, but they can also be the column itself under the proper conditions. Aluminum columns come in many finishes and styles including square smooth, square panel, square fluted, or round fluted.
An additional bright side of aluminum columns is that they will not rust, leaving you with beautiful, structural, low-maintenance columns for many years! Aluminum columns fit in well with almost any style of home and are viable in countless applications.
Fiberglass columns, like aluminum, are load bearing up to a certain weight. They are more difficult than other materials to transport and cut due to their fragility but they are workable. They are highly customizable as they can be painted and come in styles such as round, fluted, or square. Fiberglass is also low-maintenance as it will not rot, warp, or split.
Fiberglass is the ideal column material when you want structural support with a highly customizable finish. Fiberglass columns generally require a more classic aesthetic to fit in. A classic brick home or a more "southwestern" stucco type structure is where these are best placed.
Generally, all three column varities can fit in with most any home so long as the proper color is used. In most cases, it ultimately comes down to the preference of the home owner as to what they choose as their aesthetic preference.
Regardless of what type of columns are the best fit for your project, Superior can help. Check out our Where to Buy tool or give us a call (800-548-8656) to get started.