Buyer’s Guide to Wrought Iron Staircase Railings

Oct 18, 2021 | Iron Railings

So you’ve decided to go with a wrought iron staircase railing for your home. Great choice. Now what? 

First off, what exactly is “Wrought iron”.  Well, simply put, wrought iron is an alloy made special because of its low carbon content. Wrought iron is versatile and can easily be crafted into various intricate shapes making it the perfect choice for a decorative staircase iron railing.

It’s a bit on the pricey end, so is it really such a good idea? How exactly does it stack up to good old wood? 

Wood vs Wrought Iron

Wood is a classic and is the most traditional material used for railings. The most commonly used ones are:

▪️ AlderAsh
▪️ Cherry
▪️ Cypress
▪️ Oak (Red and White)
▪️ Poplar
▪️ Mahogany


▪️ Affordable; hence the most popular choice
▪️ Aesthetically pleasing with very little work involved
Highly versatile and can easily be carved to suit a number of shapes
Easy to maintain and clean


▪️ Tends to look dated and “off” in most modern designs
▪️ Susceptible to damage from termites and dampness
▪️ Needs regular maintenance

Wrought Iron works usage goes back to the times of the ancient Romans and was used in weapons and tools.


▪️ Versatile, malleable and highly adaptable – it can be used in an endless array of designs ranging across Modern, Ornate and Abstract styles.
▪️ It never goes out of style
Highly durable, providing stability and strength to the structure of an iron staircase.
With the right periodic maintenance such as painting or coating, could practically last an entire lifetime.


▪️ Pricier
▪️ Susceptible to rust if not properly maintained
Heavy, requires specialized equipment to install

There’s really no two ways about this, though. IF your focus is on something that is both cheaper and has no real long-term prospect, wood might be your best option.

If, however, you want something that will stand the test of time, never go out of style and be particularly robust – and are willing to pay the (iron) price: Wrought Iron is the clear winner.

Difference Between a Banister and a Railing

Before we go on any further, in the process of construction and design, you might run into these terms. So let’s get this out of the way.

The simple truth is, there is a lot of crossover between a “Banister” (also spelled Bannister) and  a “Railing”.


Banisters are your standard fencing. They connect the vertical “poles” of the stairs (known as balusters) and it is the part you hold on to when going up and down the stairs. More specifically, they are the “handrails”


Railings refer to the full barrier- that is to say, the banister plus the baluster.

So while they may be used interchangeably, It’s important to know this in case you need to differentiate the color or style of your banister vs. baluster as opposed to the color or style of your entire railing.

Why Wrought Iron is a Great Investment for Your Home

As we’ve discussed, wrought iron is the clear winner when it comes to durability, but let’s expound on this in the context of exactly why it is a great home investment.


Wrought iron is composed of iron and carbon. The combination of which results in a very strong alloy. It even stays malleable enough to be transformed into an unimaginable array of designs and easy installation.

And let’s consider the weather. Warm temperatures play a huge part in the corrosion of metal, but custom iron works are particularly corrosion-resistant making it the perfect material for your next stairs and railing project. And as far as maintenance goes? A new paint job every three to five years should make it last forever.

Safe and Secure

Over a million stair-related accidents happen each year.  The strength of wrought iron works go a long way towards preventing damage when leaned on by adults and can keep your children protected from falling from heights. Can you really put a price on safety?

Beauty, Elegance, and Style

A stair railing doesn’t need to be boring. Whether your style is rustic, Scandinavian, traditional, or eclectic, high-quality ornamental iron work will work well with other features of your property. And with an inherent look that never goes out of style, your property could have the benefit of immunity from loss of market value.

And unlike wood or steel, a wrought iron stair railing has a grainy finish which complements both contemporary and vintage structures.

How to Choose the Right Contractor?

Wrought iron staircase railings are not cheap. And anyone who offers to work with it and who says that it is might be cutting corners, so you need to be sure to not base your entire decision on the cost of the project.

We have actually compiled this list of 5 essential questions to ask before you hire a metal works company to ensure that you can hire confidently and calmly without rushing into things. And they are, namely:

  1. What Services are provided?
  2. How closely will I work with the company?
  3. Is there a client care team?
  4. How Simple is Installation?
  5. Where can I Find Testimonials?

The most important is the first one. Before you choose the Orange County iron works company that you want to work with, you need to be absolutely sure that they provide all the necessary services. A good contractor will be able to provide several services in order to tie in and integrate the design of your iron staircase railing into other iron works like tables, gates, fences, and many more modern iron works. This will only be possible if the company already creates all of these varieties of metal works.The absolute worst scenario is having a staircase that matches none of the other installations in your home.

Naddour’s Custom Metalworks offers all these services and more. We design, fabricate and install ornamental iron works for residential homes and businesses and we will work with you every step of the way. Contact our team at Naddour’s Custom Metalworks today!

Please click a button below to share this post.

Schedule your FREE Consultation

We take pride in adding the WOW factor to your home.

We stand behind our top quality products.

Please contact us to schedule your FREE consultation.

Call us today at 714.546.3003.

Schedule your FREE Consultation

We take pride in adding the WOW factor to your home.

We stand behind our top quality products.

Please contact us to schedule your FREE consultation.