by Chris Jan 5, 2022

Why Is Stainless Steel the Best Material for Balustrades and Balconies?

When you are choosing your new balustrades or balcony, you will be faced with the decision of which material to use. Stainless steel is commonly hailed as the best option for outdoor fixtures, thanks to the many benefits it brings.

The super durable metal has been used for a huge range of applications since it’s discovery in 1913, and back then there were two main types of stainless steel: martensitic and austenitic.

Today, stainless steel is available in around 150 different grades, although only around 15 are used widely.

Stainless steel is considered to be the best material for balustrades and balconies because it is long-lasting and has very few downsides. In this article, we are explaining why stainless steel is the best material for outdoor fixtures, and the many benefits it brings to balustrades and balconies.

5 Benefits of Using Stainless Steel

When it comes these outdoor systems, building regulations state that you can choose any material as long as it prevents falling and is safe for the situation. Glass, wood, and stainless steel are all popular choices, but today we are looking at why metal could be the best solution for you.

  1. Durable: Balconies and balustrades must be able to withstand large weights and not buckle under pressure, Wood has the potential to snap under a lot of weight, and other metals can bend with pressure. Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials available for these fittings, thanks to its very high tensile strength. It can withstand between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds per square inch, making stainless steel almost unbreakable.
  2. Affordable: Budget is such an important thing to consider when choosing a material for your system. Stainless steel is an affordable option in terms of both material, maintenance, and installation. Installing stainless steel fittings doesn’t require any special requirements and it is an easy material to deal with during construction.
  3. Easy To Maintain: Everyone wants to keep their systems looking clean and sparkling, and stainless steel couldn’t be easier to maintain. There is no need for specialised cleaning materials, and even when outside, it stays clean with little effort. With stainless steel, all you need to do is wipe down with a clean cloth occasionally to remove surface marks. It will not crumble, fade, chip, bend, or warp with time, unlike some other material options.
  4. Versatile: Stainless steel is extremely versatile to work with, giving endless design options for your balcony or balustrade. It is easy to choose an option which suits your home effortlessly, with so many stainless steel designs available.
  5. Attractive: Many people think of stainless steel as looking very cold and industrial, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are various finishes to choose from, such as high gloss or brushed matte, so you can find a solution which works for you. Stainless steel balustrades and balconies can look very stylish and sleek, while effortlessly combining strength with beauty. Check out these extra ideas to make more of outdoor space.

Will Stainless Steel Balustrades and Balconies Corrode and Rust?

This is one of the biggest concerns we hear when our customers are considering stainless steel fittings. Despite the name, stainless steel can sometimes be susceptible to corrosion and rusting over time. That doesn’t mean it should be avoided or isn’t a great material for balustrades and balconies, it just means you need to be aware of what to expect from your new fixture.

All types of stainless steel will be susceptible to rust and corrosion after a few years outside, and this is caused by many different factors. While the various chemical solutions for stainless steel is a very complex subject, the basics is that a surface layer of chromium oxide works to protect the metal from corrosion caused by everyday use.

In some cases, dissolution causes redeposition from the surface of the alloy which leaves ions on the stainless steel. Humidity and heat can cause these ions to develop corrosion products on the surface. This can result in rust spots or white spots which can spoil the finish of stainless steel.

How You Can Reduce the Effect of Corrosion

The most common areas of balustrades and balconies which succumb to corrosion and rust are sections where welds are used. It is also possible for stainless steel to become contaminated during processing and cutting if the correct equipment and materials are not used.

When you choose stainless steel systems from a trusted, professional supplier like SHP, you can rest assured the metal has not been contaminated during processing.

Regular cleaning of stainless steel railings can help to reduce the risk of corrosion and rust by keeping contaminates at bay. We recommend keeping stainless steel balustrades and balconies clean throughout the year in order to keep them in top condition. For more information and advice on our stainless steel products, contact our team today.


View our gallery of projects