4 Common Types of Railing Material for Commercial Buildings

Types of Railing Material

One of the main safety features in commercial staircases is the railing and the handrails. To ensure they work as expected and provide the protection required, contractors have to use the right materials. In some cases, the material used has to also look aesthetically pleasing, and this can inform railing material choice in some instances. Here are some of the common types of railing materials used in the construction of commercial railings.

Types of Railing Material for Commercial Buildings

01. Aluminum Railing

Aluminum Railing

Aluminum is a naturally occurring metal that has a lower density than most other metals you would see used in commercial applications. This makes it a better alternative to steel, especially in cases where weight is a huge consideration.

Aluminum also has the added advantage of being resistant to rust and corrosion from the more common elements and corrosive materials without any additional treatment. All of these qualities combined are what make aluminum an ideal choice for companies like Trex Commercial who use it in a variety of settings including stairs, resort projects, condominiums, and more.

02. Steel Railing

Steel Railing

Steel remains one of the most popular and most widely used materials in construction next to cement. Steel is strong although it is a lot denser than many of the other metals used in industrial applications. Steel is so versatile that it can be used in industrial staircases, egress stairs, and stair stringers.

The one downside to using steel is that it is prone to rust. This means that contractors have to use stainless steel in applications where the metal will be exposed to the elements. This is done through the addition of nitrogen, nickel, molybdenum, and chromium to the steel to make it more rust-resistant.

03. Glass Railing

Glass Railing

Although glass enjoys a lot of use in residential settings, it has seen greater adoption in recent years in commercial settings such as resorts and stadiums. Glass might not seem like a safe or obvious choice because it is brittle and therefore prone to shattering, but it is much tougher than a lot of people give it credit for. Glass can be clear, transparent, frosted or etched.

In normal stair applications, other types of railing materials such as metal or wood are used for the handrails, and glass is used for the main structure. The glass can also be framed to give it more rigidity and to improve aesthetics or be left frameless.

04. Wrought Iron Railings

Wrought Iron Railing

Wrought iron is an iron alloy that has very little carbon. The demand for wrought iron grew as the demand for a malleable metal that made it easier to complete projects rose in the 1800s. Although wrought iron is no longer manufactured for bulk use, it is still important in the restoration of old works or in projects that require the unique look of wrought iron.

Wrought iron is used in both indoor and outdoor staircases in residential and commercial projects.  For a dramatic look, contractors use iron for the balustrades and wood for the handrails.

Contractors have several materials they can choose from for staircases in commercial buildings. In many cases, the railing material chose has to provide the level of protection and assistance required while in some cases the material is chosen for aesthetics.

In addition, Gharpedia has conducted research on the different types of railing material for residential buildings. To learn more, click here –

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