What is the difference between indoor and outdoor railings?

Indoor railings differ from outdoor railings in price, design and function. The two generally have the same purpose -to assist people up and down stairs or safer conditions-yet outdoor railings are subject to extreme weather conditions and need to be made out of materials that can stand up against the elements. Wood railings can generally handle extreme weather from year-to-year if they are properly maintained. All outdoor wood railings have to be sealed to be protected against weather conditions. If this isn’t done, over time the wood railings will deteriorate and will not only fade, but also warp and split.

For less maintenance with outdoor railings people generally go with metal railings. They have the strength, durability and a low maintenance that homeowners want. Also, they can be painted to match any outdoor design perfectly. Outdoor metal railings can sometimes be less elegant than a homeowner wants, so some decide to go with iron and/or stainless steel. Iron railings are very elegantly made. There is however a downside to using iron railings outdoors; when not sealed to properly they can rust to the point of having to be replaced.

For a classic look, homeowners go with stone railings/entryways to their home. They can be rather expensive and tedious to install, but are not subject to the types of deterioration that would railings and metal railings are. On the other side of the spectrum, homeowners that want to invest in inexpensive railings can purchase fiberglass, vinyl or aluminum. These inexpensive outdoor railings are the most durable and budget friendly.

Indoor railings are much more elegant than outdoor railings. It’s uncommon to see indoor railings that are made of aluminum because they don’t have the elegance that many homeowners are looking for. Generally, homeowners either have wood railings or iron railings. Neither of these is subject to extensive deterioration when indoors and they can be customized to a homeowner’s specifications.

Because of their added elegance, indoor railings can be more expensive than outdoor railings. Each home is very different, as is its indoor stairs. The more unique your staircase is, the more customized a design will need to be. This also adds to the cost of stair rails. How much you will need will also cut into your budget. Outdoor railings normally cover a short flight of stairs while indoor railings may need to stretch along the side of several flights. Yet, even with price differences you can find railings that fit within your budget.

With some indoor railings and outdoor railings the difference between them is how they need to be maintained. An elegant iron railing that would be beautiful outside of a home would need to be sealed regularly, but when installed indoors, would not need the same maintenance. With that being said, some railings can crisscross between indoor and outdoor. Wood railings, iron railings and even stainless steel, can serve both indoor and outdoor purposes, with little maintenance needed for indoor and a proper sealants needed for outdoor. Using the same railing indoors and out gives homes a cohesive look.

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