A popular choice of balustrade material today is steel. Due to its versatile nature, it can be fabricated into a range of modern contemporary designs.
The various techniques that can be used to fabricate steel, combined with the number of different finishes available today, makes steel an in demand material for many home interiors.
In contrast with other materials often found in a home, steel can be finished in an elegant way to complement interior features, or it can be fabricated into a bold, stand out feature, which demands admiration.
Steel Balustrade Spindles
Balustrade spindles are commonly equal or custom spaced, vertical steel rods, which are installed from the ceiling or under a handrail, and onto a staircase.
The space between each spindle increases the natural flow of light around a staircase, which opens up the home, giving the illusion of a larger interior space.
Spindles can be fabricated from both mild steel and stainless steel. Often stainless steel is the popular choice because it requires minimum maintenance, and is resistant to a vast amount of elements, meaning it will have a long lasting finish.
Stainless steel is available in a number of surface finishes, but its mirror polished finish is usually the popular choice within a home. Its surface can reflect the light, brightening up the home, while adding a sense of luxury onto a staircase.
Alternatively, mild steel can be rolled, twisted, shaped and formed into incredible custom designs.
One method in particular is to have each steel spindle rolled into different curvatures. Each spindle is then placed in different directions to form a complete staircase balustrade, which demonstrates a sense of abstract movement.
Steel Balustrade Bars
Similarly to the spindles design, flat bar steel can also be fabricated into various designs. This fabrication technique can create custom, art deco inspired, balustrades to suit many modern staircases.
Once the balustrade has been fabricated, the mild steel finish is often protected by a coating to prevent it deteriorating or rusting, while covering up any manufacturing marks to produce a clean, long lasting finish.
To produce a raw, industrial steel finish, a simple clear patina or wax coating could be applied, which will protect the material from various elements while keeping it close to its original state. This method is a popular choice when combining with a concrete staircase or brass interior features.
More commonly, powder coating the steel provides the same protective layer, but hides all imperfections and is available in a vast range of colours, to suit any interior décor.
There is no right or wrong way to finish a mild steel balustrade, as it is completely up to a person’s design taste. As architectural fashion trends change, so do people’s interior demands.
Recently in the architectural industry there has been an increase in demand for brass and bronze materials and finishes. One steel finish which is becoming more and more popular for staircases is an antique bronze finish.
Because brass is notoriously hard to maintain, as well as fabricate, people are turning to a new antique bronze finish, which is becoming more and more popular for staircases, balustrades and other architectural structures.
The finish can be achieved in two ways. The mild steel balustrade can be electroplated in an antique bronze colour coating, or for a more premium finish, the mild steel balustrade can be spray coated completely in liquid bronze. Both methods provide an amazing surface finish, one slightly brighter than the other.
In time, I’m sure the architectural fashion trends will change and we will uncover new and exciting ways to design and fabricate staircase balustrade.