The Very Real Benefits of Aluminum
Aluminum vs. Steel
Aluminum will not rust; and when aluminum is powder coated it has a superior long-lasting finish. It will not have to be painted every few years (unlike steel). Steel is approximately three times heavier than aluminum making it difficult to handle and transport. In most cases aluminum is less expensive than steel. You also save money on shipping and handling as a result.
Aluminum can be easily cut using a standard miter saw. This offers the installer flexibility on-site to make adjustments. Steel requires specific tools such as cutting torches and grinders to make any on-site adjustments; then must be re-painted on site.
Aluminum vs. Wood
Aluminum will not rot. If powder coated properly aluminum will not have to be painted over the life of the product. Whereas, wood inevitably rots. Wood needs to be treated or painted every two to three years, and wood eventually will have to be replaced. These things add to the overall cost of wood railings.
Aluminum railings will not splinter or split; wood may cause slivers/splinters or fail completely causing injury. Aluminum is not treated with any pesticides or chemicals (unlike wood railings), therefore eliminating any health concerns and negative impact on the environment.
Aluminum vs. Vinyl
Aluminum railings have minimal shrinkage and expansion characteristics, and they remain relatively consistent throughout extreme heating and cooling temperatures. Vinyl railings can be severely effected by weather and may shrink or warp due to excessive heating and cooling trends.
Powder coated aluminum railings offer superior protection against the elements and will not splinter or crack. Vinyl railings are effected by sunlight and can fade and crack due to ultraviolet rays.