Written by Artistic Alloys

Fabricating Wrought Iron Staircase Railings


Wrought Iron Railings are simply barriers that are designed and installed to keep people, children, or pets from falling off of landings, decks, staircases and balconies. Railings are also used for catwalks, porches, or any other area where people work or spend time. We design, fabricate, and install wrought iron railings to prevent serious injuries from falling.

Fabricating a wrought iron staircase railing takes experience with welding, specialized tools, and practice. This is a primer of what it will take to fabricate a wrought iron railing.

What Makes A Staircase Railing?

Wrought iron staircase railings are usually made up of panels. They are typically rectangular in shape, but can be customized by creative metalworkers. These panels are built to be installed into a newel post, existing wall, or other feature in the home.

Staircase railings have 4 basic parts that constitute the staircase railing.

  • Balusters are the vertical sections that usually run between the top and bottom railing. The purpose of balusters is to stop children or pets from passing under the top railing and fall.
  • The top and bottom railing are the backbone of the staircase railing. They hold the balusters in place and give people a place to either rest or an anchor to grab if they lose their balance.
  • Newel posts are the vertical anchors that are set into the structure of the home to provide strength to the staircase. Newel posts are made from either metal or are constructed of wood.
  • Termination plates are the points where the railings end and are secured to the walls or other architectural elements of the home.

Building Wrought Iron Staircase Railings To Code

Like most things in modern construction there are codes to be followed. Each municipality has their own particular codes for how to build staircase railings. Most staircase railings will have a height of about 36” to 38” inches from the bottom to the top rail. Many also have a gap between the bottom rail and the staircase surface. This gap is typically about 3 inches in height.

To keep pets and small children safe the balusters are spaced out at no more than 4 inches on center. On center means that the measurement isn’t to the edge of the material, but the center of each of the balusters. Some builders like to build their wrought iron staircase railings with less space between balusters, for safety. It does mean a few more balusters, but the cost of providing reliable safety is worth it.

Codes for staircase railing strength usually dictate that the railing must be able to support a continuous load of 50 pounds per linear foot. They also must be able to withstand a concentrated load of 200 pounds, in case an adult falls and needs the railing for support. These strength number are easily attainable with properly welded wrought iron.

Designing Wrought Iron Staircase Railings

This is an area where a builder’s imagination can thrive. There is no limit to the type of designs, customizations and detail work that can be done to adorn a house and make it your home. Ultra modern designs with clean minimalistic lines can be made. You can also choose to add more traditional details.

Many homes feature staircases that have been crafted by creative metal artists. These one of a kind wrought iron staircases include many unique and fascinating details. Metal can be worked to resemble elements from nature that bring warmth into your home.

Working with professional designers and fabricators with welding experience can help simplify this process. However having complete creative control is intoxicating and welding your own gives you complete control.

Welding Wrought Iron Staircase Railings

Welding has different styles, equipment, and methods. There is TIG welding, MIG welding, ARC welding, stick welding and more.  No matter the type of welding you choose to use for your iron staircase railing project they key is holding everything in place as it is welded. If you are new to welding you should get training and instruction from qualified trainers. The elements of heat, electricity, and the gasses used to shield the welding in some cases can be dangerous, and care should be taken.

Ultimately when you weld your staircase railing you will follow the design by laying out all the components on a wide, safe work area. They you will secure all of the parts together with welding clamps. This will hold your parts in place while you make your welds.

Custom Artistic Wrought Iron Staircase Railings in Phoenix AZ

Artistic Alloys shop can take the guess work and learning curve out of designing and fabricating your own custom wrought iron staircase in the Phoenix area. Our fabrication shop is located in Scottsdale, but we install anywhere in the Phoenix valley. If you are thinking about a custom artistic wrought iron staircase get in touch with our experienced team of designers, fabricators and installers. Give us a call today at (480) 941-2611 or stop by the shop in Scottsdale, AZ.

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