Choosing between iron balusters and wood balusters is almost entirely a decision of appearance. When installed correctly either option provides very similar strength characteristics and are more than adequate for the job. In addition Wrought Iron Balusters and Wood Balusters overlap substantially in cost, with a wide variety of each being very comparable. In the mid-range price category of Stair Spindles, iron styles do offer more options. There are also many more options of iron spindles that are more ornate and correspondingly more expensive, these include scrolls, larger dimension balusters and hammered or forged series.
Wood Spindles are available in two major categories, Arts-and-Crafts and Traditional. Credited to New York designer, Gustav Stickley, the Arts and Crafts style of furniture prevailed in American between 1870 and 1920.
Also known as Craftsman or Mission, it is a theme marked by simplicity and durability that was a sharp contrast to the embellishing Traditional and Victorian styles of the era. Reminiscent of the rustic, it is characterized by rectilinear lines, dark hues, and exaggerated construction. Often beautifully weather-beaten and aged, the bold, heavy featured functionality of this design is based on the philosophy that “less is more”. The new identity of traditional is of fine woodworking and craftsmanship. It is a style of straight yet graceful lines contrasted with curved details.
Traditional styled features are warm, rich finish woods, often with intricate carvings. The delicate curves of this style combined with the luxurious woods create an air of elegant drama to any room that often feature “historical themes” like British Colonial, Queen Anne, or Chippendale. A traditional look to your home creates a warm, inviting and time-honored feel that is always a classic.
Wrought Iron Balustrades offer endless design possibilities which beautifully interweave between the more rigid styles such as traditional and mission. The diversity in texture, shape and feel preclude the possibility of any pigeon holed categorization, establishing this medium as undoubtedly the most versatile. The exquisite combination of wrought iron with luxurious hardwoods provides limitless design possibilities for a truly unique balustrade. The contrast between the rich color and texture of wood grain with the simple hues and surface variations of iron can be combined to beautifully accentuate their differences. In addition iron balusters offer the ability to better integrate the balustrade with other architectural features in the home such as chandeliers, fixtures, and so on.
A third possibility to consider when designing your balustrade is the integration of both wood and wrought iron balusters in a single system. This further increases the possibilities and allows you to draw on all aspects of stylistic design, such as the classic warmth of traditional with the ornamental flourish of certain wrought iron components. In addition this can help your budget by allowing you to highlight a more simple and economical balustrade with a few ornamental components.
Regardless of which direction you choose you should enjoy the process. A balustrade is created from a wide variety of components, assembling them from scratch to define one of the most prominent and immovable pieces of fine furniture in your home. It sets the tone of your home’s interior, often at the entryway and years of enjoyment are well worth the initial time and effort involved to bring it to reality.