Baluster Basics - Baluster Materials
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Baluster Materials - Make the Correct Choice for your Project
Lightweight and durable, aluminum balusters resist rust and corrosion—making them virtually maintenance-free for the life of the product. Homeowners choose aluminum balusters because they’re less expensive than forged wrought iron but capture the same look and feel. A powder-coated finish provides maximum performance and durability, and can be tailored to almost any custom color by the manufacturer.
Pros: Low maintenance, lightweight, lower shipping cost, easy to cut.
Cons: Can be dented, can react with pressure treated lumber.
Allowing clear, unobstructed views, glass balusters are tempered for safety. Some manufacturers add etched designs, lighting options and a choice of color shades. For optimum appearance, the balusters can be treated to reduce water spotting. Cleaning glass balusters is much easier and safer than a large glass panel.
Pros: Unobstructed views, modern design.
Cons: High maintenance/cleaning, heavy, higher shipping cost.
Galvanized and powder coated, steel products are the most durable product available. The strength of steel balusters and rails allow for a thinner and more ridged finish rail. If you are looking for a strong, safe and clean looking deck rail, take a look at the Fortress Iron Railing System.
Pros: Strong, durable, low profile options.
Cons: Heavy, higher shipping cost.
Wrought Iron Balusters
The wrought iron baluster is often preferred for its old-fashioned looks and sturdy feel. Galvanized and/or powder coated for durability, wrought iron is usually locally fabricated as a fully-welded piece. (Note: wrought iron balusters are not available at DecksDirect.com)
Pros: Low maintenance, unique designs.
Cons: Welding required for repairs.
Traditional wood balusters are still popular choices, and the reasons are obvious: the stately, professional look is classic, elegant and economic. However, the very features that make wood so attractive also lend to time-consuming maintenance. Wood balusters tend to damage more easily and require significantly more time to stain or paint on an annual basis. (Note: wrought iron balusters are not available at DecksDirect.com)
Pros: Can be painted or stained to match decking, natural look.
Cons: High maintenance, susceptible to decay/warping/bowing, obstructed views.
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