Decorative aluminum stair railing

Written by j. lang wood
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Decorative aluminum stair railing
Aluminium stair railings can be fabricated into many unusual designs. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Decorative aluminium stair railings give any house a look of luxury and style. Metal stair rails are attractive, durable and can be fabricated to fit into any home design style. Aluminium stair rails add both safety and beauty to your home for both the exterior and interior staircases. Kits for do-it-yourself projects are available, or you can consult with local aluminium railing fabricators for specially designed railings for your property.

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Advantages of Aluminum Stair Railings

Aluminium offers many advantages in railing systems for the home. Aluminium is a strong material that is also light in weight which makes it easier to install. Aluminium does not rust or corrode, which makes for less time and money spent on maintenance over time. Aluminium is also very flexible and weldable, which allows it to be worked into many different designs and fabricated into any shape required. You can also give aluminium railings a wide variety of attractive finishes to match any home design or decor These qualities make aluminium stair railing a logical choice for today's residential staircase needs.

Disadvantages of Aluminum Stair Railings

Though aluminium stair railings will never rust, the material does oxidise in moist environments, which is a natural chemical process that creates a white film over the surface of the aluminium. This can be prevented with special finishing techniques such as powder coating which bakes on the painted coating for a long-lasting, durable colour finish.

Aluminium Railing Designs

Do-it-yourself aluminium stair railing kits generally come in very simple designs that provide the substantial look of metal railings without the high cost. Custom metal fabricators can design railings specifically for your needs, however, with ornate, classical scroll work, simple mission styling or sleek, modern-style railings. Your imagination is the only limit on what you can do with aluminium stair railings. Railings can be installed along only one side of the staircase, with a wall-attached railing on the other side of the stairs or with a rail down the centre of wide staircases.

Aluminium Railing Finishes

Aluminium does not hold paint as easily as steel holds paint. To apply standard paint to aluminium, you must use special processes, such as the use of an "etching" primer to allow the paint to hold onto the surface of the aluminium. Special industrial finishing techniques, such as anodising, create an oxide coating by immersing the aluminium in an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the solution, which creates a protective, metallic finish that can also have colour. It is fully integrated into the substrate of the aluminium and cannot flake or chip, according to the Anodizing website. Powder coating is frequently used to apply finishes to aluminium railings. Special powdered paints are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto the surface of the aluminium. The finish is then baked on at temperatures between 71.1 to 98.9 degrees Celsius. The finish will not peel, chip or crack like ordinary paint finishes. Powder coat finishes come in a wide variety of colours and textures.

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