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Product Considerations | Absolute Balustrades
Absolute quality, value and services since 1995

Product Considerations

6/03/2014

When choosing a suitable material for your balcony/stairs/pool fence etc. each material has its own set of considerations, and the significance of these considerations vary for each individual project.  This can make the decision process daunting and confusing. This article aims to assist in the decision making process, by highlighting the considerations for each material and then comparing each of our products under some common characteristics in a simple grid (FIG 1.1).

Aluminium

  • Aluminium is an inexpensive option and is very low maintenance, which is good if you have small children.
  • Aluminium is extremely durable and is suitable for all weather conditions.
  • On a balcony/pool fence, aluminium will slightly obstruct views of the pool or from the balcony.
  • Increased safety with the glazed options, however, all our products are built to comply with stringent Australian Standards and BCA codes.

Stainless Steel

  • Stainless steel is a ‘must have’ product and is very aesthetically pleasing. It can be mixed with glass for a stylish and contemporary look.
  • If you live near the coast, stainless steel is not recommended for outdoor use. This is because the sea air causes the steel to ‘tea-stain’, which makes the steel look like it’s rusting. A lot of cleaning and maintenance is required to prevent ‘tea-staining’.
  • Stainless steel is more expensive than aluminium for most balustrade applications. 

Glass

  • Glazed options include- framed glass with aluminium/stainless steel, semi-frameless glass or fully frameless.
  • Glass is very aesthetically pleasing and creates unobstructed views.
  • Prices vary significantly in glazed balustrading, with framed being the least expensive.
  • High maintenance/cleaning, especially if you have young kids, who can smudge the glass.
  • Glass balustrading is very safe, as children/adults cannot climb on it.
  • Glass acts as a great wind barrier and creates warmth in hilly or coastal areas. This is especially beneficial in the winter months. 

Strand Wire

  • Strand wire is a very modern and contemporary look.
  • The BCA codes have got very strict on strand wire and the amount of wires required, so it can look very busy.
  • Similiar to aluminium, strand wire is easy to maintain.
  • This is a premium product, and can be more expensive than aluminium or glass.
     
  Aluminium Stainless Steel Framed Glass Semi-frameless Glass Frameless Glass Strand Wire
Suitable for All applications Balconies, stairs, fencing, pool fencing Balconies, pool fencing, stairs, privacy screens, fencing Balconies, pool fencing, stairs, privacy screens, fencing Balconies, pool fencing, stairs, fencing Balconies, stairs
Style/colour options Extensive range of designs and powdercoat colours.

Choice of handrails
Option of stainless steel balusters or stainless steel with glass.

Choice of handrails.
Extensive range of designs and powdercoat colours.

Choice of handrails.
Extensive range of designs and powdercoat colours.

Choice of handrails.
Fixed to aluminium channel or straight to concrete.

Extensive powdercoat colours for base channel.

Choice of handrails.
Choice of handrails
Safety Must not contain a ‘toe-hole’ or anything that enables climbing

A 125 mm sphere must not be able to pass through the balustrade openings. 
Same BCA codes apply as aluminium.

Very safe when paired with glass, as cannot climb balustrade
Very safe, as cannot climb balustrade Very safe, as cannot climb balustrade Very safe, as cannot climb balustrade Need a lot of wires to meet current BCA codes, therefore can look very busy.
Wind/Weather Protection Limited Excellent, when paired with glass. Excellent Excellent Excellent Limited
Aesthetic Appeal Obstructed views Unobstructed views, when paired with glass.

Obstructed views with steel rods.
Unobstructed views Unobstructed views Unobstructed views Obstructed views
Maintenance Lowest maintenance Low maintenance (except in outdoor use in coastal areas or if paired with glass) More maintenance with glass (especially if you have small children) More maintenance with glass (especially if you have small children) More maintenance with glass (especially if you have small children) Low maintenance (except in outdoor use/coastal areas)
Cost/Value for Money Inexpensive option Premium product Lowest cost glazed option Middle range Premium product Premium product

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Testimonials

“We are delighted with the result and commend your company for its professionalism in dealing with our requirements. Visitors have made particular comment of the feature it makes in our backyard. I will have no hesitation recommending Absolute to others.”

Marshall Rossmoyne

“Thanks guys for a job well done, excellent workmanship & product. Would have no hesitation in making a recommendation of your product”

Alf Churchlands

“My thanks to the team at Absolute Balustrades for the no hassle, speedy and professional way in how you handled the remedial works to the gates that you installed at my house in Inglewood. You and the team put this concern to rest very quickly and this was sincerely appreciated ”

Gavin West Perth