Despite what they are used for, baluster setups for railings play a huge role in the usability and looks of an area. While most people will only recognize them for their basic function of holding a handrail up, they also play a huge role in how the entire area appears.
A baluster setup for a winding staircase in a fancy entrance hall will simply not look right without a style of baluster that goes with the rest of the environment. Along with different styles come different materials that have their own pros and cons. However for most applications using metals is the best idea for quite a few different reasons.
Much Easier to Work With
Metal is much easier to work with, and as such much more elaborate designs can be created by using molds without having to sacrifice durability or anything else in the process. Most people will find that the selection of metal ones really plays into this by providing styles and shapes that simply cannot be done with their wood counterparts. This allows for smaller supports that are more elegantly designed without having to sacrifice anything else.
Another advantage that the metal variants have is their overall cost. Since it is easy to create a mold rather than using a machine to shape the material the customer is able to get better quality products for significantly less. This also comes into play when a mistake is made since metals can simply be reheated and poured again, reducing the waste the manufacturer produces. This huge cost savings makes for a much less expensive way of creating metal products within the factory and getting something that matches one’s porch columns and other decor better.
Balusters are also better when made from metal because of the durability they provide to the customer. However, it is important to always choose the type based on what it is being used for because there are some types of balusters and railings that are not suited for certain environments. Railings that are made out of hollow metal with a thin shell are not good for outdoor environments but they are great for indoors. The reason for this is the likelihood that it will rust and deteriorate from the outside elements where solid metal ones will last for significantly longer and can be cleaned.
Much More Available
Metal in many areas is often much more available as well. Given that wood is somewhat of a commodity, metal is plentiful and the customer will likely have more choice in style and functionality within their price range. Even though this is true in most areas, some will actually have somewhat of a shortage, which will affect the pricing and styles that are available. This is uncommon, though, and typically wood will always be sold at a premium given how much more expensive it is to manufacture.
Eric Blair writes about architectural design and exterior makeover tips as discussed at www.worthingtonmillwork.com.