If you’re considering a wrought iron baluster, then it’s important to decide whether you should choose a full iron balustrade with handrails, posts, balusters or a combination of wood stair parts with iron balusters. For interior balustrades, sun and weathering isn’t an issue. However, style and aesthetic as a whole then delve deeper into individual components.
The first thing to consider is the possibility of a full iron balustrade which includes handrail, balusters, and newel posts. Iron has been used for decorative purposes since the middle ages (prior to that it was used primarily for tools and weapons). In the early 1900’s, iron was gradually replaced with “mild steel,” which is less expensive and easier to produce. If the style of your home is more period and you want to remain true to it, then a full wrought iron balustrade may be the obvious choice. Wrought iron balustrades inside properties are stronger and will last indefinitely.
Of course, this may only apply to the structural capacity; aesthetically, it may not be true. A perfect example is the wide-spread use of wrought iron during the late 60′s and 70’s, primarily for cost purposes, that often seem dated today. Whilst full iron balustrades are not nearly as common today as wood and iron combinations, there are many situations in which this style is preferred. These include maintaining an authentic theme in a home where wrought iron is perfectly matched or in contemporary designs such as modern or semi-industrial, using horizontal iron balustrades. Using full iron is popular however more and more people are starting to incorporate wood to create a more contemporary look.
Full wood balustrades are comparatively more recent in their popularity and are suited to homes that have a more traditional style such as Victorian. Wood balustrades are usually larger and more bold because of the larger components to ensure its durability.
Wood is also used due to its superior strength and ability to adapt to most types of décor. Most staircases are designed and made from wood, especially stairs in most types of home. In older manors or large mansions, you might find both style of staircase and balustrades.
Another option is to combine both wood and metal to achieve a more unique look. Incorporating both wood stair parts and metal balustrades allows for a wider range of design possibilities. Where a single wood baluster is often just repeated through the balustrade, several wrought iron balusters are combined to expand on the individual baluster design into extensive patterns.
For anyone wanting to create something more visually attractive, iron balusters are definitely more versatile. The use of wood handrails and newel posts is often preferred over their wrought iron counterparts for two reasons: wood handrails are typically much larger and warmer to the touch than steel and they create a more substantial top boundary to the balustrade and may help integrate the balustrade with other wood components of the home, such as hardwood floors, mouldings and doors.
Newel posts are available in both tuned and boxed options. When it comes to interior staircases combining both wood and metal can help you to achieve a more unique and appealing look. Combining the two materials means you can combine the best of both worlds. If you intend to combine two materials then consider having a design concept created or talk to a stair parts supplier to discuss how east combining two different material parts are.