Metal Balusters

Written by Donald Sparacin
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Metal balusters and wood railings seem to work beautifully together in a blended harmony to create an air of distinction to even the simplest backyard deck. The look is one of ornate simplicity, and the cost of metal versus wood is not all that much greater that one might think. Metal balusters won't warp, split, crack, or have any insect problems as wood can and probably will over time. This is an option that should be considered by anyone designing a deck.

Metal Balusters are Not All Created Equal

Most people think of wrought iron when they think of metal balusters. These have been the staple of the railing industry for decades. Yet wrought iron can be costly and does require maintenance. For anyone that has ever dug out the wire brush and endured the mind-numbing chore of cleaning the flaking paint year after year and baluster after baluster, the newer options in metal balusters should come as a godsend to you.

Today's metal balusters are usually vinyl-coated aluminum. They offer the same distinctive look of their predecessors, yet cost less and require no maintenance. They don't wear out like wood, yet they can be turned to give the appearance of lathed-worked wood. Some offer the classic appearance of balusters on grand staircases, while others can have the same look as wrought iron.

Aluminum balusters are simple to install to either wood or composite railings. Some require manufacturer recommended connectors, while others can be affixed to the rails in the conventional manner with screws or nails. The homeowner can install these beautiful improvements as a simple do-it-yourself project in short order and with little skill. The time they take to install is short, while the impression it leaves is a lasting improvement.

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Aluminum Ballusers

When you have to apply stripper, cleaner and brightener to a wood deck, wouldn't it ruin the aluminum balusters? How would the balusters be protected if they're held in place my PT or cedar wood, for example? Thank you.