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Metal railing: all about the design, materials and installation features


Different types of stairs are used both in private properties and in administrative buildings. Most of the stairs, as well as balconies and loggias to give aesthetics, orderliness, creating extremely safe conditions protect the railings. Very often, a simple staircase fence can become a skillful decor for the whole room or decorate the facade of a house with a balcony.



Basic design elements

Stair railings act as fences that perform a protective function. The main elements of the design:

  • Balusters - supports for attachment to the stairs, often decorated with a decorative element;
  • Handrails - components of the structure, which are necessary for comfortable operation, are installed directly on the balusters;
  • Filling fences - the elements with which to close the free space between the balusters. Due to this, the maximum level of security is provided.

In turn, the filling can be classic (balusters are placed on a slope or straight upright) or decorated in a more original way. For example, often used bolts - horizontal rods. Beautiful railings with a solid glass filling look especially modern and elegant.

Today, materials for the manufacture of railings more than enough. They are used as trend eco-motifs (for example, a wooden staircase can be supplemented with all elements from similar material and only some forged elements for decoration), and original versions with an ultra-modern concept (abundance of metal, plastic, glass).



The choice of material depends on the operating conditions, the level of security required, design goals and financial capabilities of the customer. Conventionally, there are several most popular materials:

  • Cast iron is a common material for outdoor fencing. Cast iron installations with ornate handrails along bridges, embankments, in private possessions to enhance the atmosphere of rich vintage design look impressive. The house cast iron parts look too rough and massive, therefore, are rarely used;
  • Steel is a popular material characterized by impeccable performance. The railing of the metal of a polished type, as well as "stainless steel" is known for its particular wear resistance, practicality, and unpretentiousness in care. The material is good both for street fences, and for the arrangement of enclosed spaces;
  • Aluminum is a flexible and ductile metal that does not withstand high loads. It is not used on the street, but a staircase with metal railing in the house or on the balcony is quite appropriate;
  • Iron is a universal raw material for work. Often used for industrial purposes, and for the home. However, iron is hard to work with. Metal railings for stairs, railings and iron fences need careful treatment with anti-corrosion agents, as well as regular tinting;
  • Bronze and brass because of difficulties in operation and high cost are rarely used.

Metal railings are recommended to be nickel-plated or chrome-plated in order to increase the active life. In order not to damage the galvanic protection, installation is avoided by welding, preferring the threaded connection method.

Historical balusas are wooden figured posts that supported the stair railing. Wood is still considered a versatile material for creating such elements.

Wood lends itself well to any treatment, it is easy to decorate and decorate it in a variety of ways. Wrought iron railings for stairs in combination with woody balusters look especially elegant. This is the perfect option for a classic country cottage.



The stair railing and all the structural elements made of wood will fit well into the interior of the country, Provence, eco-style, ethnic and oriental design compositions. The shape of the balusters of wood can be:

  • Cylindrical (the easiest option);
  • Flat (for laconic interior installations);
  • Carved with sculptural decoration.

Wood is a beautiful, eco-friendly material that will fit well into any interior. Street fences and balcony structures made of wood are not made by absolute impracticality.



Stone and glass

Metal railings are often complemented with stone balusters. The most popular material is marble. It is reliable and durable, looks especially solid, respectable and elegant. Bulky items are not used for arranging small stairs or miniature balconies. The material is quite expensive and would be appropriate to look only in expensive and spacious apartments.



An interesting alternative to marble gloss is the airiness of glass constructions. Balusters of glass, as a rule, cast. Artistic elements of crystal glass with spectacular modulations and lighting well complement the railing of ferrous metal. The safest material is laminated silicate glass, which is very difficult to break.

For massive metal railing (for example, cast iron) suitable balusters made of concrete. Many consider this type of design fences a relic of the Stalinist empire. Heavy and a little rough construction really does not fit into the atmosphere of apartments and houses.

Concrete products and metal railings for stairs will be a good solution for refining the backyard plot: for fencing gazebos, terraces, barbecue areas, front garden and other locations that require a clear distinction. Concrete and plaster fences are too fragile. They quickly collapse under the action of temperature drops, prolonged precipitation and trivial mechanical damage.


Often balusters made of the same material as the railing for the stairs: metal or wood. Fencing designs look holistic and organic. Wood gives a special shade of aristocracy and a light touch of antiquity. But metal structures can be made modern and stylized for a specific historical era.



Depending on the interior solutions, the dimensions of the room, and the functional qualities, different alloys are used. A wide range of metal balusters and from the standpoint of the method of manufacturing these products. Metal railing for the porch or any other fencing may be supplemented with balusters, produced as follows:

  • Prefabricated;
  • Cast;
  • Welded;
  • Combined.

The manufacturing method directly affects the use of such structures. First of all, they take into account the general style and location where this type of fencing will be used.



Important safety aspects

When choosing suitable railings for stairs made of metal or other materials for a house or apartment, it is important to evaluate first of all not the aesthetic characteristics and affordability, but the key nuances of safe operation. Two points to keep in mind:

  1. The height of the structure should be at least 80 cm. This is approximately waist-length for an average adult person. Such height is considered extremely safe and quite aesthetic;
  2. The standard number of balusters should be equal to the total number of steps on the stairs. This is on condition that no other filling elements are provided, and also if the vertical rods are not too thin.

The clearance between the posts should be no more than 150 mm. This is especially important if there are children in the house. Among them there are many who want to stick their heads between balusters.



Installation Features

In order for the functionality of the metal railing to be fully justified, it is necessary to strictly follow all the rules regarding the installation of the structure. Railing standard set on the stairs with more than three steps.