Aluminum vs Stainless Steel for Cable Railings - Which is the Right Choice?
When you're deciding on the best metal for your cable railing system, you might wonder: Should I go with Aluminum or stainless steel? These two metals are known for creating really modern and sleek railings. They actually have a lot of good qualities in common. But it's important to know the key differences between them when you're trying to make your choice.
For homes where railings will encounter ocean air and seawater, the choice of railing material becomes critical. Although T304 stainless steel is quite durable inland, it corrodes extensively in seaside conditions from prolonged saltwater exposure. Thus, we highly recommend premium powder-coated aluminum - the precise aluminum used in our 6'6” Aluminum Cable Railing Handrails and Aluminum Cable Railing Posts. The resilient powder coating on high-grade aluminum withstands the harsh seaside climate for years. This pairing of exceptional aluminum and durable coating maintains your railing's integrity long-term, even in demanding oceanfront settings. Choosing optimal aluminum and coating is key to a graceful, enduring cable railing by the ocean.
Watch the video below to learn more about our 3" Aluminum Cable Railing System.
Strength and Durability
With superior strength versus aluminum, stainless steel is the optimal material for heavy-duty railing applications. Though aluminum can construct sturdy residential railings, stainless steel provides additional durability and impact resistance essential for high-traffic commercial settings. In situations where railings undergo heavy loads or direct impacts, stainless steel's added toughness gives it an advantage over aluminum. For railings in busy public spaces seeing constant wear and tear or requiring exceptional load-bearing capacity, stainless steel is the best choice. Its higher density and durability maintain the railing's integrity under abusive conditions. For heavy-duty applications withstanding weight and impacts over years, stainless steel is the ideal material.
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Though more expensive than aluminum, stainless steel's superior durability makes it the wiser long-term investment for cable railings. While aluminum is cheaper upfront, it requires more frequent replacement compared to longer-lasting stainless steel. Considering total life cycle costs, not just initial price, stainless steel provides better value despite higher production costs. We recommend focusing your buying decision on durability and quality, not merely lower price.
In summary, stainless steel's robust strength and aluminum's corrosion resistance both ensure extended years of dependable service. When searching for cable railings, consider the slightly higher initial cost of stainless steel to avoid ongoing maintenance and enjoy enduring quality. Additionally, if you're uncertain about which metal to choose, feel free to reach out to our expert team for guidance. Our team of experienced railing specialists is ready to help you achieve the secure cable railing view you desire. Whether you have questions about installation, design considerations, or simply need expert advice, we're here to provide the support you require."