Railings come in innumerable designs. However, more often than not, different metals are “typecast,” so to speak. Stainless steel is used for bulky, simple railings, rather than attractive ones with nice patterns. Wrought iron is used for curvy, elegant railings with a lot of detail. Does it have to be this way? Of course not! Let’s give the spotlight to steel railings, the underdog in gorgeous design.
Why Are Steel Railings So Basic?
If you’ve ever wondered why steel railings are always simple, bulky designs, there’s a reason. Steel is an incredibly hard, dense metal alloy. That’s why it’s so often used for things like knives. They need to start sharp and stay that way for as long as possible. Steel is strong enough to ensure that that happens.
So, because steel is such a sturdy, stubborn metal, it’s easy to put it to use as a brawny safety barrier. The more fluid designs are left to its more manipulable cousin, iron.
Limitations in Steel Railing Design
There’s another facet of steel railing design that must be considered. Have you ever noticed that stainless steel railings are left plain while wrought iron is coated? This is all about rust prevention. The first parts of steel railings to fall victim to oxidization (rusting) are the joints. That’s because the joints where the steel is welded together undergoes a process that makes it more vulnerable to oxidizing.
Therefore, imagine a steel railing that’s been shaped into an intricate pattern full of connecting pieces. The more joints in a steel railing, the more likely it is to fall victim to rust. Does that mean it can’t be done? Of course it can! We simply must take precautions.
Steel Railings in Simple, Attractive Patterns
Steel railings can be made into beautiful designs by relying on simple, attractive patterns. Instead of hammering the steel into fancy, curvy shapes like those crafted from iron, we should opt for something simpler. In order to leave the steel “naked” we need to ensure it can hold up to rain and wind without rusting right away.
A simple pattern that relies on a lot of bends in the metal can accomplish this feat. The goal is to create a design with as little welding as possible. That leaves room for lots of creativity. Bars can curve around each other, pass each other by, bend to avoid each other, and make a beautiful pattern.
You may be wondering, “why not just paint the steel railings?” Well, technically you can paint stainless steel. However, it’s not easy. Stainless steel doesn’t allow paint to adhere to it very easily, so you have to get creative and use non-standard paints. Plus, most people opt for steel due to its appearance and lack of coating maintenance. If you’re interested in decorative railings with a coating, you may just want to get wrought iron.
Custom Steel Railings from Pro Weld
If you’re in the market for custom steel railings, you can get them from Pro Weld. Give us a call and let’s schedule a consultation to discuss your design ideas. We’re happy to craft steel railings into whatever patterns you want. Of course, we’ll do so with due consideration as to what kind of maintenance they’ll need in the coming years.