We often get questions from our customers about why they should go with aluminum vs. steel handrails for their home or business. We get it. You want to invest your hard-earned money in the right product. Let us help you wade through the research and reach a decision that makes the most sense for you. Today we are comparing the two materials according to their aesthetics, durability, maintenance requirements, ease-of-installation, and cost. The final decision is yours to make.
Aluminum vs. Steel Handrails
Looks matter. When considering aluminum vs. steel handrails, think about what style and color would best complement your home or business. Both aluminum and steel are sleek-looking and malleable. However, aluminum is easier to cut and form than steel. Therefore, it can come in a wider variety of designs and patterns. Plus, powder-coated finishes for aluminum handrails come in a variety of beautiful colors that are easy to apply and long lasting. With painted steel, you will have to reapply regularly to keep up its appearance.
Steel and aluminum are both very durable from the get-go. Unfortunately, steel railings rust over time. This occurs when moisture reacts chemically with the iron in steel. Rusting will eventually cause cracks, holes, and crevices in your railing. If not repaired, the rust can continue throughout the steel, causing breakage. On the other hand, aluminum is extremely durable, even in harsh weather conditions, like rain, sleet, and snow.
As mentioned above, steel will rust if you do not take care of it. Proper maintenance for this metal includes regular cleaning, polishing, and repainting. Aluminum handrails, on the other hand, are available in beautiful, powder-coated finishes. These finishes protect the railing while requiring little-to-no maintenance. You may want to hose them down occasionally, but aluminum handrails do not need maintenance to retain their beauty and remain strong.
The installation environment is a critical factor when determining the best material for your new railing system. Will the railing system be indoors or outdoors – or both? Steel is difficult to install due to its hefty weight and requires special grinders and cutting torches to make specific on-site adjustments. However, aluminum provides unparalleled flexibility during installation. Anyone can use a regular miter saw to cut an aluminum railing so that it fits a project.
The prices for handrail material vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. But in general, aluminum handrails cost less than steel ones. This can be a huge advantage, especially when you are looking for a material that combines affordability, beauty, and durability.
When you compare aluminum vs. steel handrails, the facts clearly show that investing your money in aluminum railing is a wise decision. Aluminum is malleable like steel and can be worked into many different railing designs to suit your aesthetic. Aluminum handrails can be powder-coated in any number of modern colors. Plus, their powder coating adds a layer of protection that makes them even more durable and virtually maintenance free. Your railing will not rust as easily as steel does, aluminum is lighter in weight than steel, and it is easier to install in difficult areas. On top of everything, aluminum costs less than its counterpart. What’s not to like?
At Aluminum Handrail Direct, we are committed to providing high-quality aluminum handrails that are durable, maintenance-free, affordable, and attractive. If you have questions about aluminum vs. steel handrails or are searching for a handrail system that is perfect for your needs, visit Aluminum Handrail Direct’s online store today. We offer handrails, wall mounts, mounting screws and anchors, touch-up spray paint, and more. We look forward to hearing from you!