Choosing Stair Balusters: Wood or Iron? A Buyer’s Guide

Since the staircase is usually the first thing that guests see when they enter a home, it plays an important role in defining its character and design. The most essential feature that showcases the staircase is the balusters or spindles, as they are more commonly known. Besides having a supporting role, they are also one of the elements that help give a staircase style. 

Differences between Wood and Wrought Iron

Wood and wrought iron are the two most commonly used materials for balusters because they are both stylish and strong enough to provide the required support that is in compliance with the building code. 

Both are strong, but there are some differences between the two.

  1. Strength 

Wrought iron balustrades are stronger than wooden ones and hold out better over time. Wood tends to be more susceptible to damp and termites and does need regular maintenance to keep it well preserved. 

  1. Options

Wrought iron balusters are available in far more options because iron is easier to mold and shape than wood. Lathes can work wonders with wood, but wrought iron can have more curves and even more intricate designs. Color options are similar, and unlike what most people believe, wrought iron is not only available in black, even though it is by far the most popular color choice. 

  1. Beauty and elegance

This is difficult for anyone to decide because it always depends on personal references. Both elements are beautiful as balusters when used alone for specific staircase designs, but then again they also look wonderful when combined. 

Wooden Balusters Guide 

There are various deigns of wooden balusters available that can offer a more traditional, rustic, modern or contemporary look to a home. They are mostly designed with a square block section at the bottom. The top is given a more classical look with an intricate turn that either reaches the handrail or transitions into another blocked section. 

When laid in contemporary style balusters have a slightly different wood base at the bottom of each tread, where the height is matched with the slope of the handrail. The height at the bottom is adjusted for each baluster. This allows for the flow of the same detail all the way to the top of the staircase. 

The traditional laying of balusters follows a more measured look that appears sectioned. This is done by using base blocks of the same size for each baluster and the block height is the same on each tread. 

Similarly, wooden balusters can be placed to design a more rustic or modern feel to a home. 

Wood balusters come in a wide range of primed wood finishes that can be painted or stained. Lighter woods give an established or antique feel to a home, whereas, darker finishes contribute to a more modern look. Painted balusters are also popular, with whites and off-whites being the most popular color for country style homes and black for more sophisticated and contemporary ones. 

At StairNation wood balusters are available in Primed, Red or White Oak, Hard Maple, Poplar and Alder. 

Wrought Iron Baluster Guide 

The wrought iron baluster has the advantage of strength, durability and a timeless elegance. StairNation has 12 different ranges of wrought iron balusters which can be used to create design styles that range from the neoclassical to the modern. All the wrought iron balustrade models are available in hollow and solid compositions and the hollow is a bit lighter, but just as strong and durable as the solid 

Unique patterns can be created by mixing-and-matching of more than one type, which can initially be tried out on the Design Center on the Website. Wooden elements, like newels and handrails, pair very well with wrought iron balusters resulting in a sophisticated and elegant effect. 

There are 8 color choices in the wrought iron range: Satin Black, Flat Black, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Oil Rubbed Copper, Antique Bronze, Silver Vein, Ash Grey and Brushed Nickel. Meeting all building codes and standards, this range of balusters is of the highest quality and the powder coating gives them a durable finish. 

Final choice

Wood is warm, traditional and versatile and is often chosen as the classical option. Wrought iron is versatile and complements all styles of staircases, including curved and can give a home everything from a gothic, traditional to modern look. The decision rests with the homeowner as to what elements will be used for the baluster design of their home.

%d bloggers like this: