Updating Staircase Handrails and Balustrades? Consider These Materials

There’s no doubt how a staircase makes a statement in a house. But its handrails and balustrades are key to enhancing its aesthetics and boosting its functionality. These components do not only enhance the visual appeal of your staircase. They also provide support and stability to your stair as a way to promote safety and usability.

When updating your staircase, you must first consider the materials to use for your handrails and balustrades. Each has its distinct features and attributes as well as pros and cons. Therefore, you must be highly critical and selective of the kinds of materials to use.

Fret not, as we’ve rounded up some material options for you. Here are the best material choices for your staircase handrails and balustrades:

1. Wood

Wood is a popular choice for a staircase. Some timber materials used for handrails and balustrades include oak, mahogany, ash, cypress, and cherry. It is the most traditional option for a classic, older home.

What’s great about wood is that it provides a natural beauty to your house. It is flexible with tons of shapes and sizes, as well as styles and designs to incorporate. It is also affordable and easy to install. 

The problem, however, is that it can look old and outdated when incorporated into a modern house. Also, be wary of pests like termites and ants as they can feed on timber materials.

2. Steel

Steel is deemed a top material option for a staircase. It is very much ideal for railings, both handrails and balustrades. When it comes to this, galvanized steel is a perfect choice. This stainless steel is usually coated with zinc, chromium, nickel, nitrogen, and molybdenum to prevent corrosion.

Galvanized steel is notable for its strength and durability. It can withstand harsh elements and last longer than usual. It is also the safest material for handrails and balustrades. Plus, it requires minimal cleaning and maintenance. 

Lastly, steel is readily available on the market. It can easily be obtained from a trustworthy steel supplier in your area. Just be wary of its market value and look for a pro for its installation.

3. Aluminum

Aluminum is a good metal choice for a staircase. As a material choice for handrails and balustrades, it looks silvery and appears light. This natural element has a lower density than other metals. It works well with any home, modern or contemporary.

One advantage of aluminum is its natural resistance to corrosion and other harsh elements. It isn’t easily subject to wear and tear, which can last for as long as possible. Also, its installation and maintenance are quite straightforward. 

One problem, though, is that it is costlier than other metal materials. You may need to invest in these materials to achieve your aluminum handrails and balustrades.

4. Glass

Glass is a good choice for handrails and balustrades. It comes in various forms, such as transparent, tinted, frosted, or etched. Unlike wood and metal materials, it isn’t typically used for handrails and balustrades. However, they are ideal for modern homes with a classy, elegant, and sophisticated staircase.

What’s good about glass is that it looks simple yet expensive. Also, it provides a safety barrier without covering the surrounding views. Plus, it is easy to clean and maintain. 

However, constant wiping is required as it gets cloudy and filled with stains and marks over time. It may also end up cracked or broken when hit hard. Hence, family members must be wary of the glass materials. 

5. Wrought Iron

For the uninitiated, wrought iron is an iron alloy mixed with a bit of carbon. This malleable material used to be in demand in the past. Today, however, it is typically used for the replication of historic structures. Therefore, it can be used for the staircase handrails and balustrades of classic homes.

One advantage of wrought iron is its versatility due to its malleable feature. It can be custom-made and developed into different railing designs. Also, it is known for its strength, durability, and longevity as a material. 

However, one major drawback is that it can be costly. Plus, it can be laborious and time-consuming to install.

At this point, you now know what materials to select for your staircase handrails and balustrades. That said, be sure to consider those five options outlined above. Also, factor in their features and attributes as well as weigh in their advantages and disadvantages. By doing so, you’ll be able to make the best material selection and the right purchase decision. Ultimately, you’ll bring your staircase back to life.