Thursday, September 10, 2009

Decorative Aluminum Stair Railing

Aluminum stair railings can be fabricated into many unusual designs.

Decorative aluminum 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. Aluminum 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 aluminum railing fabricators for specially designed railings for your property. Does this Spark an idea?

Advantages of Aluminum Stair Railings

Aluminum offers many advantages in railing systems for the home. Aluminum is a strong material that is also light in weight which makes it easier to install. Aluminum does not rust or corrode, which makes for less time and money spent on maintenance over time. Aluminum 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 aluminum railings a wide variety of attractive finishes to match any home design or d cor. These qualities make aluminum stair railing a logical choice for today's residential staircase needs.

Disadvantages of Aluminum Stair Railings

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

Aluminum Railing Designs

Do-it-yourself aluminum 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 aluminum 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 center of wide staircases.

Aluminum Railing Finishes

Aluminum does not hold paint as easily as steel holds paint. To apply standard paint to aluminum, you must use special processes, such as the use of an "etching" primer to allow the paint to hold onto the surface of the aluminum. Special industrial finishing techniques, such as anodizing, create an oxide coating by immersing the aluminum in an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the solution, which creates a protective, metallic finish that can also have color. It is fully integrated into the substrate of the aluminum and cannot flake or chip, according to the Anodizing website. Powder coating is frequently used to apply finishes to aluminum railings. Special powdered paints are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto the surface of the aluminum. The finish is then baked on at temperatures between 160 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit. The finish will not peel, chip or crack like ordinary paint finishes. Powder coat finishes come in a wide variety of colors and textures.

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