Which Balustrade Material Has the Most Design Flexibility?

Whilst we have discussed the strength of various balustrade materials, strength is nothing if it doesn’t fit in with your dream design concept!

Whether you’re after a classic, sleek or modern look for your project, we will help you on your way to finding the balustrade with the most design flexibility.

In this post, we’ll highlight the different types of materials for balustrades and how you can get the most out of your project. 

Read on to find out more…

Design Flexibility of Wooden Balustrades:

Due to its popularity, there are various custom designs and styles that you can choose from when considering wooden balustrades. Whilst still being strong, wood is very versatile to work with, requiring standard equipment found on most sites, allowing you to perfect your desired design with peace of mind.

However, whilst wooden balustrades can be personalised for your project relatively cost effectively and easily, wood is more limited than other materials. Complex wooden structures that are kept outdoors are not only susceptible to rot and wear, but its paint and coating is likely to chip. 

What was once a beautifully bespoke design can look worn and tired within a couple of years, depending on how extreme the weather is (for the UK, who knows what weather we will get!).

It’s also worth mentioning that wood is combustible. Any access to a flame could have catastrophic consequences for the building occupants. This was the case for a recent project we took part in, where we manufactured and supplied balustrades (and other products) for a block of flats that had recently been damaged due to fire. You can read it here.

Design Flexibility of Steel Balustrades:

Stainless steel is a flexible material that can be made and customised into various designs. It can be formed into complex shapes, curves and plain designs, depending on your choice to best suit your property. 

Not only is stainless steel flexible, in the long run it can be more cost effective than wood (despite an initial higher expense) thanks to its durability. Steel requires vastly less upkeep and is more durable than wood, meaning you can enjoy your bespoke design for longer with little to no maintenance.

However, although steel balustrades are effective and robust, steel as a material is extremely heavy. Not only does this mean more material is required to support its weight in your balustrade balcony system, but that transportation and personalisation have an increased fee. Stainless and mild steel are not easily extruded (shaped), and so bespoke designs don’t come easily or cheap.

Most balcony requirements specify that the materials must meet a 60-year design life. Whilst stainless steel meets this condition, mild steel will always need a coating before any aesthetic coatings are considered. This additional coating could affect your design concepts and colour scheme, which is important to bear in mind.

Design Flexibility of Aluminium Balustrades:

Aluminium balustrades are lightweight, cheap and easy to extrude, allowing bespoke creations to be easily crafted on site with no specialist equipment.

Aluminium’s unique ability to be anodised means you can create varied designs easily and effectively. If you so desire, you can create the appearance of stainless steel without the weight and cost!

Our aluminium balustrades are available in a variety of powder coating options, allowing you to benefit from a beautiful, smooth finish which is non-chip, hard wearing, permanent and abrasion resistant.  You can opt for a natural wood effect or get creative with a bold and vibrant finish!

With their undeniably superior design flexibility and comparably low cost characteristics, why not opt for aluminium balustrades for your project? 

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HJA Fabrications can supply your made to measure aluminium balustrade system to enhance the aesthetics and design flexibility of your project. 

If you want to speak to one of our experts, or find out more, please get in contact here.

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