There was plenty of great metal handrail to look at on a recent trip to New Mexico. Tom and I spent most of the day wandering around the Taos area and snapping pictures of interesting custom metal handrail and guard rail. Taos is a mecca of metal artwork and the detail is not lost on a few of the commercial properties located in the town.
We found this example most interesting as it was laced with common objects. The handrail was at The World Cafe and included lots of whimsical items welded into the scrolled metal guardrails. A couple of examples are below. A great online source for metal stair material is Stairwarehouse.com. They have numerous examples of all kinds of handrails, guardrails and even stair treads. You can even view a great do it yourself project online. Another great source for metal stair rail work is Orleans Ornamental Iron & Casting Distributors, Inc. out of New Orleans Louisiana. Tom has ordered several items from Orleans and has had a good experience each time. Orleans Ornamental carries iron castings, aluminum castings, steel forgings as well as castings for furniture and accessories.
Another fabulous looking handrail we saw was located in the Taos Inn. This small stairway in the lobby of the hotel was speckled with chili peppers.
Metal handrail has developed into an artwork as there are more options for design and weld looks. Metal handrail also is a good choice to stand up in all kinds of elements. It can draw attention to a business and add to the overall atmosphere. Something to keep in mind is requirements for spacing metal pickets. Pickets are to be spaced so that a four inch spherical ball may not pass through at any point.
Check with building officials in your area to find out about other codes and requirements.