Aluminum vs. Wood or Vinyl

Superior to Steel, Wood & Vinyl

There are many benefits to choosing aluminum railings or fencing over other materials.

Aluminum vs. Steel

Steel is approximately 3 times heavier than aluminum, making it difficult to handle and more costly to transport. Aluminum fences will not rust and when powder coated provides a superior long lasting maintenance-free finish. Steel, however, must be painted every few years and even if properly maintained can still be prone to rust.

Aluminum railings and fencing can be easily cut using a standard miter saw and offers installers the flexibility to make on-site adjustments. Steel requires specific tools such as cutting torches and grinders to make any on-site adjustments, and it must then be painted on-site.

Aluminum vs. Wood

Wood can represent a significant fire hazard. Aluminum will not rust or rot and if powder coated properly will not have to be painted over the life of the product. Wood needs to be treated or painted every two to three years. Wood inevitably rots and eventually will have to be replaced, adding to longterm overall costs.

Aluminum fencing or railings will not splinter or split, and unlike wood aluminum does not need to be treated with any pesticides or chemicals, eliminating health concerns and reducing any negative environment impacts.

Aluminum vs. Vinyl

Vinyl can represent a fire hazard, releasing toxic gases when burned. Vinyl railings can also be severely affected by weather, and may shrink or warp due to excessive heating and cooling trends. Aluminum railings have minimal expansion and contraction characteristics and remain relatively consistent throughout extreme hot and cold temperature fluctuations.

Vinyl is affected by the sunlight and can fade and crack due to ultraviolet rays. Powder coated aluminum railings, however, offer superior protection against the elements and will not splinter or crack.

How Aluminum is Made

Aluminum is a unique resource that is often misunderstood. Visit the website of Norsk Hydro ASA, a major producer of aluminum, to view an engaging animated infographic on how aluminum is made.