Outdoor staircases require safe railing, which would be resistant to external influences. Usually, stone, concrete and brick stairs decorate the handrails and balusters. Classic forms of these elements fit perfectly into the design of any building; it is enough to look at the presented photo. It is especially good that one can make such exquisite elements with your own hands, and the price of ready balusters is far below market value.
Where are these structures used?
Since the time of kings and knights, arches, stairs and balconies have been decorated with beautiful and durable concrete balusters and handrails, made by the greatest masters of the century. Now, this material remains relevant. It is becoming more and more popular, especially since the price of concrete is not high.
Modern concrete balusters are made not only in the form of classic columns with soft silhouettes, but also in such styles as vanguard or modern. Depending on the implementation, they are used in the gardens, for the decoration of fountains, alleys and porch next to the administrative building or restaurant. As you can see in the photo, balusters are very beautiful and original!
Features of concrete balusters
Concrete is a very strong material, resistant to environmental effects. Moreover, it is easy to process and form. Therefore, it is perfect for creating the decoration with your own hands. What are the main advantages of concrete over the other materials?
- When stiffening, concrete solution creates a monumental structure, which is not subject to premature destruction. Therefore, its service life is 10-50 years. Modern additives extend the service life of concrete balusters by several times.
- Simplicity of work. Such balusters can be easily made by hand– it is enough to have cement, sand, filler and casting mold. Duration of manufacture directly depends on the number of balusters.
- Availability of materials.Reinforced concrete products are much cheaper than their metal or wooden opponents, but their characteristics aren’t worse. Their price is not comparable with the products from metal or expensive sorts of wood.
- Rich palette.Nowadays, concrete is not a boring gray mass. Manufacturers offer special white cement of different brands, intended for artistic casting. It is enough to add the dyestuff to the solution to give the baluster rare shade – pink, blue or green. Large filler in the form of rubble or gravel provides and interesting game of texture.
- Water resistance. Concrete balusters don’t: 1) absorb water; 2) crack as plaster; 3) rust as metal. They preserve their original appearance in all weather conditions.
- Frost resistance. The photo shows balusters in summer. It is noteworthy that the structure doesn’t lose its texture and smoothness for a long time even in the freezing cold.
Fixation of concrete balusters
There are several methods of fixation to freely install the balusters:
- When filling every baluster, you should fix the metal pins in its upper and lower part, which will allow you to easily drill the baluster into the base or weld them to the railings. Such products are classified as reinforced concrete goods. Their price is a bit higher compared to the common options.
- Drill the holes for fasteners (anchors and dowels) in the finished product. This method is less safe, but it doesn’t require preliminary works with the solution and metal, which significantly accelerates the manufacture of balusters.
Special mixtures for the concrete balusters
Solutions for the casting of concrete have various compositions, which depends directly on the purpose of future products. Classic solution for filling the domestic balusters contains of the following components:
- fillers – rubble, gravel and sand.
It is characterized by affordable price and simple manufacture. To give special properties to the concrete solution (and consequently the finished product), you should use special additives, such as water repellents and plasticizers. They make concrete balusters resistant to cracking and moisture, which allows them to preserve their original appearance (as you can see in the photo).
The price of additives largely depends on the planned load. Therefore, if you make the balusters for your house or area with your own hands, you can buy available options for household needs.
Concrete balusters are a modern, but at the same time classic element of decoration of the house, building and surrounding area. Numerous photos are proof of this! Due to their qualitative characteristics and elegance, they become a harmonious and logical continuation of staircase and handrails. Therefore, their installation is dictated by practical considerations. Reliable fastening guarantees the durability of the whole construction for several decades.
If you haven’t decided how to decorate the garden or porch, we recommend you to use concrete. Now, it doesn’t concede to the other decorative materials in its aesthetics and elegance, but its’ price will pleasantly surprise you. Installation of original railings in addition to the outdoor stairs or fences will transform the space at a reasonable price. Hand-made balusters will become the subject of your pride.