A Basic Guide To Iron Railings

Posted on: 17 December 2020

Iron railings add a touch of classical beauty, whether you use them for an indoor staircase or outdoors around a patio or deck. The following can help you better understand the basics about iron.

Material Options

Not all iron railings are simply made of iron. There is traditional wrought iron, which is made purely of iron, and there is iron alloy, which is a combination of iron and carbon steel. One benefit of a carbon steel alloy is that it takes a weld extremely well, so making unique designs is much easier. Further, carbon steel is more resistant to damage and rusting, so it is often the preferred choice for outdoor railings. True wrought iron is often reserved for indoor use where it won't be exposed to weathering.

Design Intricacy

One way iron prevails over options like cast aluminum is that you can have it formed into any intricate design that you can imagine. Other metals are typically cast in a mold, which means you can't add all the personal touches that you may like. Iron, both wrought and alloy, is made to fit your needs and space, which means you end up with a thoroughly unique design that is made for your home. It's possible to add in monograms and other personal designs that you won't find in a pre-made metal product.


Since iron is made to order, it's simple to make sure all the iron railings inside and outside of your home are consistent in design. In other words, the railings along your stair case and the baluster along the balcony the stair attach to can be made of matching iron materials and design. You can even mirror the same consistent design in outdoor railings, fences, and even the window bars and cages you install for additional security.

Maintenance Needs

Iron does have some maintenance needs. Most notable, it can develop rust and corrosion if it is exposed to the elements, like moisture and oxygen. Outdoor iron railings are more prone to exposure and rust, but indoor railings aren't immune. Fortunately, rust is only a concern if the bare iron or iron alloy is exposed. This is why iron is always painted, typically black or white but you can have it done in any color desired. The main maintenance necessary is to keep the railings clean and to touch up the paint if it becomes damaged. The railings may require a full coating of paint every few years, particularly if they are outdoors.

Contact an iron railing installation and design service to learn more.


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