Which Railing Material Should You Use?

When it comes to choosing a railing, there are a plethora of factors to consider - will it be installed indoors or outdoors? Will it be installed in a high traffic area? Will the area be frequented by children or small pets? While these questions are all considered within the design process, the most important (and often daunting) question is what material to choose? The most popular choices include aluminum, stainless steel, iron, wood, cable railing or glazed decorative metal railing. In this article we take a look at the various railing types so that you can make the best decision to fit your needs.


If you're looking to install railings for balconies or entrances, aluminum has become a top choice. This is because of its sleek look. durability and minimal maintenance. Although not mandatory, cleaning the aluminum will help with reducing potential damage to the railings - especially if in a salty or chlorinated area.  Aluminum railings can come in a variety of finishes include soft-matte or satin finishes.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is known for being harder than aluminum, and resistant to ordinary rust and corrosion - if properly kept. You do not want to use stainless steel railings in harsh outdoor environments or in areas that are chlorinated or salty since it can cause the railing to corrode.  


If you're interested in a railing system that is modern, minimalist, and opens up your view, then selecting a cable railing system is your best choice. In addition to providing an open view, cable railing is known to be strong and durable—especially when selecting stainless steel cable rails. This railing style has become popular for use both inside and outside homes with stainless steel cable railing being most common outdoors because of it's anti-weathering properties and superior safety. 

Glazed Decorative Metal

When you think of metal railings, you often picture plain stylings. It's important to know that there are more stylistic opportunities when it comes to decorative railings such as the railing above that is a decorative metal with wood cladding.


If you’re looking to make a more intricate design, then using iron is the best choice as it is able to be custom designed. When it comes to maintenance, minor refinishing is occasionally needed. Iron railings can be finished in various ways including paint or patina.


Wood railings require a higher level of maintenance to protect its finish and most importantly- prevent splinters. If used for an exterior project, wood is also known to rot and deteriorate which makes it susceptible to needing replacement quicker than other forms.


Whether you choose to use wood or stainless steel railings, it's important to always consider the installation site of the railing. It becomes the most important factor in the decision since it ultimately influences the longevity of the railing for your client.

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