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Aluminum versus Wood Railings: Which One is the Better Option?

Railings are critical components in all homes and other non-residential premises. Therefore, you need to choose the kind of railing materials carefully because they will have a long-term impact on your installations. Aluminum and wood are some of the most commonly used railing materials. Therefore, homeowners and contractors can choose between the two materials. But how do these two compare against each other in terms of durability, affordability, installation ease and speed, or safety? This post compares them to show you why and how aluminum emerges as the better option between the two. Read on to discover more.

 Installation Ease and Speed

Ease and speed of installation form the first parameter of comparing and contrasting the two materials. Installing wood panels takes some 20 minutes while aluminum takes a mere five minutes. Moreover, then don't need special tools or welding. For a contractor, this installation ease and speed means saving more time to do more business and of course, make more money.

 Customer Satisfaction 

Second, wood railings expand with increased humidity and contract with decreased humidity. Therefore, the railing panels work, crack, and move, leading to unnecessary calls from homeowners to redo the work. But with aluminum, you never get such requests. Therefore, they are best for both homeowners and contractors.

 Maintenance Cost

Wood railings are expensive in the long-term. The reason is that although they are cheaper to buy, they are costly to maintain. For example, installing wood railings will cost you at least $500 every 18 months to maintain through regular cleaning and refinishing. For those who don't want to use treated wood, they can avoid these expenses, but they will have to endure dark and ugly stains because of weathering. However, all these problems are non-existent with aluminum railings.


Durability is another factor that distinguishes these two railing materials. Unlike wood, aluminum railings are not vulnerable to corrosion. They can survive harsh weather conditions, rain, snow, and even ice. Inversely, failing to maintain wood railings properly means they will tear apart as time passes. 

 Greater Affordability 

Yes, it's true that it is cheaper to buy wood railings than it's to purchase aluminum. However, the latter comes out less expensive after installation since the cost of maintaining wood makes it more costly than aluminum after a few years. Additionally, the benefits aluminum offers you make it cheaper. Therefore, you need to look at affordability not from a short-sighted acquisition perspective, but also with the eyes of repairs and durability.

 Greater Strength and Safety 

Strength and safety form another parameter against which we can measure these two railing materials to give you a better platform for deciding. Aluminum rails are sturdy and versatile. Also, their strength varies depending on their alloy. Moreover, its structural capacity is sound as long as you buy it from a reputable maker. Moreover, it's safer because it does not corrode; hence, its holding power remains intact throughout its lifetime. Inversely, wood corrodes faster, thereby compromising its safety levels in your installations.


Aluminum and wood are popular railing materials many contractors and homeowners use in their construction projects. These two have different strengths and advantages when measured against various standards. Therefore, this post measured and compared them to each other using criteria such as long-term affordability, durability, strength and safety, and customer satisfaction. Therefore, this post has provided you with all the raw materials you need to make the right decision for your next railing project. The ball is now in your court to use these insights to get the right railing material that will give you value for your money.