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The stair railings in your Toronto home are not just a style statement but an essential safety feature that helps prevent falls and injuries.

If you are looking to install stairs in your Toronto home, you will soon discover that staircase railings and posts are made from different materials.

So, which type should you choose? Each material has pros and cons, so it is important to understand each before you decide which to install in your home.

At The Reno Superstore, we believe customers should be aware of the products they invest in. That way, they make the best decision for their home.

So, let’s get started.

What Type of Stair Railing Should You Install in Your Toronto Home?

It is critical to select the right material for your stairs. Before we get into the various materials, it is important to understand the distinction between handrails and railings.

The Difference between Handrails and Railings

Although the terms ‘handrail’ and ‘stairway railing’ are sometimes used interchangeably, it is crucial to understand their differences.

Also known as the banister, the handrail is the part that is held on to for support when walking up and down stairs. It is installed for stability and as a continuous guide along the staircase. It can be built from a variety of materials, put on the wall, hung from the vertical posts on an open staircase, or extended from the stair rail.

On the other hand, a railing acts as a safety precaution to help keep individuals from falling off the side of the stairs. It can be made using a variety of materials and designs. Modern cable railings or straightforward vertical post designs can be used. Please note that each material used for stair railings can also be used as stair handrails, but we are going to be discussing stair railings.

Now that you know the difference, let’s learn about different stair railing materials and their pros and cons.

Difference between Handrails and Railings

 Best Stair Railing Materials and Their Pros & Cons

If you are unsure where to begin or which staircase design to choose, it is always a good idea to understand the environment into which it is going and how you want it to look. This will help you narrow down your choices.

1. Steel

Steel is a popular railing material for many reasons. It is used both in handrails and stair railings in Toronto homes, as elsewhere. They are more commonly used in industrial settings but have also started becoming popular in homes.

Steel is a strong and durable option that is resistant to rusting. A mixture of chromium, nickel, nitrogen, and molybdenum is added to stainless steel to prevent corrosion, a common condition for most metals.

Steel railings are used in industrial, commercial, and residential settings. They are easy to maintain and work well outdoors.


  • Steel is one of the strongest materials that can be used to create stair railings for your Toronto home because of its reputation for strength and durability.
  • Steel railings can be painted with liquid paints, primers, and powder coatings to enhance their functionality.
  • A sponge and some mild detergent can be used to clean galvanized steel railings, which do not need much upkeep.
  • Steel railings can be used indoors or outdoors in a variety of environments since they are weather-resistant.


  • Steel railings can be more expensive than other materials.
  • It is impossible to install steel railings yourself; professional installation is necessary due to their weight and the expertise required.

2. Aluminum

Aluminum is another common material for stair railings. It has a silver appearance and is highly reflective. Additionally, it is a naturally occurring element impervious to corrosion and rust. Aluminum railings are commonly found in commercial buildings and industrial environments. They are now utilized in residential construction projects as well.

Aluminum Stairs Railing


  • Aluminum is both a strong and durable material that can be used as a staircase railing to create a safe environment.
  • Like steel, it is highly weather-resistant and works well both indoors and outdoors.
  • Aluminum railings are low maintenance and easy to clean.
  • They are lighter than steel and come in a wide variety of designs and patterns.
  • Aluminum railings can be powder-coated to offer different colours.


  • Aluminum tends to be more expensive than steel.
  • It can easily dent and scratch.

3. Wood

Wood, including solid hardwood, is a widely used material for stairs in Toronto; it is a classic and durable choice. You will find different wood species used in stair railings, such as red oak, white oak, cherry, and hickory.

Just like different types of hardwood flooring, it should be remembered that wood railings will also show different traits based on the species of wood you choose. For example, red oak stair railings are easier to stain than white oak ones, which are harder and more water resistant.

Always choose the wood species that suits both your needs and budget. Be sure to get wooden stair posts for your Toronto home that match your decor aesthetic.


  • Wood railings are aesthetically pleasing and a great addition to your home or business.
  • They are versatile and can be found in different shapes and designs. They can also be stained to suit your decor or the colour of your floor or stairs.
  • Wood railings are easy to install and are comparatively more affordable than other railing materials.
  • They are also easy to maintain and clean.


  • They are not weather-resistant, so they can only be installed indoors.

4. Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is made with an iron alloy that is low in carbon. It was used a lot during the 1800s and these railings remain popular in Toronto homes.

Since they are highly malleable, wrought iron railings are used to create various intricate designs. They are a durable and sturdy choice for stair railings and posts.


  • Wrought iron railings are incredibly versatile and can be easily designed to suit any kind of look, from traditional to contemporary, with ease.
  • They are extremely durable and provide stability and strength to the staircase.
  • Wrought iron railings can be custom-made to suit any design.


  • Wrought iron railings are typically more expensive than other materials if custom-made.
  • They are heavy, so they need to be installed professionally, which increases your budget.
  • Wrought iron railings will rust and deteriorate over time when installed outside and not maintained well.
  • They require maintenance and painting periodically to ensure they do not rust.

5. Glass

Glass railings are elegant and frequently found in modern environments. Homeowners and business owners frequently choose glass when looking for sleek and contemporary railing.

Glass railings are essentially glass panels with steel or aluminum framing, either fully or partially. They can be frameless or not. Either is a stylish option for all spaces.


  • Glass railings do not obstruct your view
  • They have built-in safety features.
  • Glass railings can make your space look bigger as it allows natural light to pass through.
  • Glass railings act as an excellent wind barrier and are generally used in high-rise buildings for the same reason.


  • Glass railings must be cleaned often to ensure there are no smudge marks or dirt, as they are likely to show more easily. They may be difficult to clean in areas that cannot be accessed easily.
  • They are often transparent, which may cause accidents as animals and people can bump into them.
  • Glass railings require professional installation, as they are heavy and can break.
  • When used outdoors, they can accumulate dust and become dirty easily.


There are different types of stair railings available. Choose the material that works best for you and suits your budget. When installing stair railings in your Toronto home or business, consider the overall look you are going for and how the material works in the environment. At The Reno Superstore, we sell staircases and accessories at the best prices in Toronto. You can shop online or visit our store to shop for your favourite styles. Get in touch with us to learn more about our products and services.

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