Currently, stainless steel is the go-to material for balconies, staircases and swimming pool area balustrades. The key reasons behind this are that stainless steel is resistant to water and other weather elements, it is strong and durable and it matches the aesthetics of any space. Steel is also cheap and can be afforded by a majority of individuals when compared to other materials. Here's what you need to understand about stainless steel balustrading:
Stainless Steel Components
Balustrades are made up of different stainless steel components that comprise of fixtures/fittings, poles/posts, handrails, top and bottom bars and wires. Fixtures/fittings include things like screws, bolts, anchors, etc. Wires are optional; when used, they run horizontally and parallel to each other between posts.
You can also have vertically or horizontally running stainless steel bars that are welded to the posts or a top and bottom pole. The steel bars can be designed to form different shapes if you prefer.
Other Materials That Replace the Wires or Steel Bars
As indicated above, wires are optional. In the place of wires or stainless steel bars, you can use glass or timber. You, however, need to provide anchorage for them. Anchors should be made from stainless steel or aluminium if you want them to last for a long time.
Note that the placement of anchors is strategic and based on how your balcony, staircase and swimming pool is built. Additionally, you might have some design requirements; for example, wanting to leave a space below the balustrade to avoid water from pooling when it rains. This is especially important for balconies.
What Helps You Choose Between Wires, Steel/Aluminium Bars, Glass and Timber?
Different factors (aesthetics, functional needs, ease of maintenance, durability, price, taste and preferences, weather, safety, etc.) have to be considered collectively because they are interconnected. For example, if you need to use glass, how easy is it to maintain it? Can you afford it? Does glass meet your functional needs (that is, you want to be able to see through your balustrade)? Does glass meet your aesthetic requirements?
Another example is if you have children and want to install balcony balustrades; you might not go for the wire option because your child might fall through the wires. A better option would be glass, timber or bars.
Consider such factors for all the materials you could use and you will arrive at the most suitable material for your needs.