Your Guide To Installing Metal Balustrades in Your Home

Are you considering installing metal balustrades in your next project but still exploring the different options?  Metal balustrades can be a great addition to any home or commercial premises, in terms of safety, style and durability.

Offering complete flexibility in style, they offer the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality that can transform a landing, stairs or balcony space.

Below we explore some of the benefits of introducing metal balustrades in your space – an upgrade that promises value while making an impactful design statement.

Material Selection in Balustrades

Metal balustrades come in various materials like stainless steel, aluminium, wrought iron, and brass. Each material has its own unique features and benefits that cater to different needs and preferences.

The choice of material for your balustrades plays a significant role not only in terms of aesthetics but also in determining their durability, maintenance requirements, load bearing and longevity.

Stainless steel is now one of the most popular choices for balustrades due to its exceptional strength and durability. It is resistant to corrosion due to the addition of elements like chromium, nickel, and molybdenum. Stainless steel balustrades offer longevity that surpasses many other materials like glass, chain-link, timber, and weldmesh.

For instance, if you have a home located near the coast where it is exposed to saltwater and harsh weather conditions, stainless steel can withstand these elements without deteriorating. Balustrades made from marine-grade stainless steel can last up to 25 years with minimal maintenance.

Metals for contemporary designs

Aluminium is another material commonly used for balustrades due to its lightweight nature and resistance to corrosion. It is an excellent choice for contemporary designs where minimalistic aesthetics are desired. Additionally, aluminium can be powder-coated in various colours and finishes, allowing for customization and versatility in matching the overall design scheme of your home.

For vintage and traditional balustrades, wrought iron or steel is still a popular choice to emulate the original period metalwork.

Choosing the right material for your metal balustrades is like selecting the foundation for your home. The material you opt for sets the tone for their performance, appearance, and lifespan.

Remember to consider not only the aesthetic appeal but also factors such as maintenance requirements, durability, climate-specific needs, as well as cost when selecting the material for your metal balustrades. Pricing can vary significantly between the different metals so ask your metalwork partner to help you choose an option that offers greatest value overall.

Why choose metal balustrades?

Balustrades or railings are required under safety regulations to be installed on any project where there are stairs with an elevation greater than 600mm.

Metal balustrades offer a huge amount of variety and can be fabricated in a variety of different metals, including stainless steel and other metals. Unlike other materials like wood or glass, metal is less susceptible to damage from environmental factors such as moisture or pests, offering superior strength and durability, flexibility in design, resistance to corrosion and weathering, as well as a pleasing aesthetic appearance.

When it comes to adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to a property, whether that be a client’s home, a public building like a school or library or a commercial space like a hotel or retail building, metal balustrades can therefore make an excellent choice. But beyond aesthetics, there are several practical benefits to metal balustrades to factor in.

Metal balustrades have a long life span

Metal balustrades are incredibly durable. They are built to withstand heavy usage and resist wear and tear over time.

This means that once installed, metal balustrades can provide long-lasting support and protection for many years to come – offering, in addition to durability, another significant benefit: longevity.

Whether you are planning to install balustrades on staircases, footbridges, balconies or central atriums, you should expect metal balustrades to last at least 25 years, often much longer, with minimal maintenance.

The long lifespan of metal balustrades make them a popular choice with architects, project managers and homeowners alike. These qualities offer unrivalled value for clients who are looking for a long-term investment with minimal short term maintenance.

Resistance against corrosion

One of the main reasons for the durability of metal balustrades is their material composition. Even during severe weather conditions like strong winds or heavy rain, you can rest assured that the sturdy construction of the metal balustrades will not deteriorate as quickly as other materials.

Most commonly, stainless steel, often used to frame glass panels, is chosen due to its strength and resistance against corrosion. Stainless steel balustrades offer longevity that surpasses many other materials like glass, chain-link, timber, and weldmesh.

Stainless steel contains alloyed elements like chromium, nickel, and molybdenum, which enhance its resistance to rust and deterioration. This makes stainless steel balustrades highly resilient in various environments, including areas prone to high humidity or coastal regions exposed to saltwater.

Stainless steel balustrades also require minimal maintenance when compared to other materials. Regular cleaning with mild soap and water is usually sufficient to keep them looking pristine. With proper care, balustrades made from marine-grade stainless steel can last several decades without losing their structural integrity or aesthetic appeal.

By investing in metal balustrades, you can have peace of mind knowing your product is durable. Whether it’s for staircases, balconies, or terraces, metal balustrades offer not just functional benefits but also add custom design and elegance to living and workspaces.

Enhanced Safety Factors of Metal Balustrades

When it comes to the safety in a home or commercial premises, metal balustrades offer a significant advantage over other materials. Whether you have a staircase, balcony, or rooftop area, the low corrosive nature of metal balustrades provides enhanced safety for users’ peace of mind.

One of the primary benefits of metal balustrades is their strength, which means they can withstand a significant load bearing. Stainless steel balustrades, for example, are renowned for their immense strength and ability to withstand high pressures and impacts. This makes them highly resistant to breakage or collapse, ensuring the safety of those using the space. Be sure to appoint a balustrade specialist early on in your project as misinterpretations of the regulations around load-bearing requirements will lead to rising costs later in the project if original pricing has been based on lower loads than actually needed.

There are three main uniformly distributed line load requirements for barriers or balustrades – 0.74kN/m, 1.5kN/m and 3kN/m. This is the force applied to the balustrade per linear metre of balustrade at 1100mm above finished floor level. (Always refer to the standard to ensure that every situation is covered however.)

Wrought iron and steel balustrades are a popular choice for traditional balcony balustrades and Juliet balconies because, when installed professionally, they provide a robust and reliable barrier that offers superior protection against accidental hazards and falls.

Custom balustrades

One of the reasons metal balustrades have retained their popularity over the centuries is because they offer the option for customisation.

They can be customised with additional safety features such as handrails or grip rails and can be adapted with different height options to further enhance accessibility. Handrails provide additional support and stability for individuals navigating stairs or elevated platforms, reducing the risk of slips or falls. Naturally, a reliable metalworker will ensure they are designed to meet specific building codes and regulations to ensure compliance with safety standards.

Varieties of Metal Balustrade styles

When it comes to adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to your space, metal balustrades come in a wide array of options in order to suit traditional and modern styles alike. The versatility of metal as a material allows for various designs, finishes, and patterns, giving you the freedom to choose the perfect type of balustrade for your project.

Traditional metal balustrades often feature intricate scrollwork or floral motifs made from materials like steel, wrought iron or cast iron. These classic designs evoke a sense of timeless beauty and can enhance the charm of older homes or architectural styles that have historical significance.

Intricate metal balustrades can often be found in grand staircases, balconies, and verandas, lending an air of elegance and grandeur.

Modern and contemporary balustrades

If you are looking for a more modern and contemporary aesthetic, there are numerous options available. Sleek stainless steel or aluminium balustrades with glass panels offer clean lines and minimalist designs – perfect for creating a sleek and sophisticated look.

These types of metal balustrades can often be found in luxury homes, high-rise apartment buildings, or commercial spaces, where they add modern flair and, interspersed with glass balustrade panels, create an open and spacious atmosphere.

Whether you prefer the ornate beauty of traditional designs or the sleek elegance of modern styles, metal balustrades offer a wide range of options to suit your taste and architectural preferences, regardless of their use. By choosing the right option, you can transform your home into a visually stunning and safe environment that reflects your personal style.

Traditional vs. Modern Styles

When it comes to choosing the style of your metal balustrades, you can opt for either traditional or modern design balustrades based on your taste and the overall aesthetic of your property. Traditional or vintage styles often feature intricate details in keeping with the period of the property and offer the opportunity for unique customisation with the option for ornate or geometric patterns.

On the other hand, modern styles offer sleek and minimalist designs that cater to contemporary tastes. These designs often incorporate clean sight lines, geometric shapes, and open spaces to create a sense of simplicity and sophistication. If you have a more modern or minimalist home or commercial design, opting for modern metal balustrades can enhance the visual appeal.

Residential Metal Balustrade Applications

Metal railings and balustrades offer a multitude of applications within residential spaces, enhancing both functionality and appearance.

Metal balustrades for staircases can provide safety and support while adding a design feature. Whether it’s a traditional or modern style staircase, metal balustrades can effortlessly blend in and elevate the visual appeal of any home.

Another notable application for metal balustrades is in mezzanines or lofts. These elevated platforms often require a protective barrier to prevent accidental falls.

Metal balustrades provide both functionality and aesthetics, maintaining an open feel while ensuring safety at higher levels. This allows you to fully utilise the available space and any natural light without compromising on design or security.

Utilising Metal Balustrades in Outdoor Spaces

When it comes to outdoor areas such as gardens, patios, or pool decks, metal balustrades shine as a versatile solution. Their durability makes them ideal for withstanding various weather conditions, and their low maintenance requirements ensure hassle-free ownership.

In garden areas, metal balustrades can be used to create borders and boundaries, separating different sections or defining the edges of pathways. They can be complemented with decorative elements such as ornate scrollwork or intricate patterns. Additionally, metal balustrades can also serve as support for climbing plants like ivy or roses, creating a stunning vertical landscaping effect.

For pool decks, stainless steel and glass balustrades offer unparalleled safety by providing clear sightlines that don’t obstruct the critical view of the water. This allows for constant supervision and peace of mind, especially when children are present. Furthermore, their sleek design adds a modern touch to the overall pool area.

Professional support with metal balustrades

In conclusion, metal balustrades have a wide range of applications and provide both functional and aesthetic benefits to residential and commercial settings. By choosing metal balustrades, you can improve the safety and visual appeal of any property whilst enjoying the durability and low maintenance requirements they offer.

At Caldwell Metalwork Fabrication, we can support you with design, fabrication and installation of metal balustrades. Our top to tail service includes everything from the initial review, design and manufacture to delivery and installation at your required location. We often a fast turnaround on many projects – sometimes in as little as 72 hours.

If you’re looking for a metalwork partner who will take the time to work with you to ensure you are optimising value throughout, contact our team today to discuss your next project.

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