The two main types of finishes for stainless steel balconies and balustrades are satin and mirror. This feature is completely separate from the steel grades and is completed once the main structures are manufactured and just before installation. Any rough handrailing can be polished and brushed to a satin or mirror finish, depending on your requirements, so let’s examine which is best for your establishment.
The satin polishing process creates a great texture and overall appearance of steel balconies, making them look shiny and new while protecting against rust and corrosion in non-humid environments. The satin finish gives a smooth, matte look that is perfect for areas where appearance is important. This is also a more budget-friendly choice for your balustrade than the mirror finish but is ultimately unsuitable for certain applications, like in coastal or high-humidity areas.
This finish is created by sanding stainless steel in one direction using a 400-grit belt. This is followed by a softening and buffing process, creating a less shiny but glossy look. Satin polishing is often used in architectural projects where the overall appearance is more important than any wear and tear. Many people prefer not to have too much reflectiveness, hence the preference for satin finishes for steel balconies.
However, it is important to realise that some variation should be expected with a satin finish due to the manufacturing process, so not all finishes will look the same. This also makes a satin finish more susceptible to corrosion in coastal locations due to salt particles in the air, and the grooves on the finish make it more likely for rust to form.
Therefore, steel balconies with this finish are not suited for areas with high humidity, like around swimming pools, and aren’t good for satin finish stainless steel and glass exterior balustrades.
Making a Mirror Finish
On the other hand, the mirror finish for steel balconies is more reflective than the satin option because it has been processed more. The structure uses a few different grit belts to sand the wood before using a few different soft cloth mops to buff it. Mirror finishes are very smooth and have high corrosion resistance, making them a good choice for areas near the coast or in high-saltwater areas with high humidity.
Stainless steel and glass exterior balustrades undergo a more extensive brushing and buffing process during manufacturing to create a polished mirror finish, yielding a much higher level of reflectivity. Some people don’t like how the glass looks because it is too shiny, while others think it looks good. Glass is also easy to clean because there are no tiny spaces for dirt to get stuck in.
Those features make mirror-finished stainless steel balconies and glass exterior balustrades the perfect way to finish off your garden, patio, or terrace while providing a safety solution. The combination of safety and aesthetics makes stainless steel and glass exterior balustrades a worthwhile investment. Outdoor living is a top design priority for many people, so if your property has good outdoor living features, it will be more valuable, and people will be more interested in it, especially when complemented with a mirror finish.
Finish Well with Bear Metals Today
Since you know which finish works best for certain locations, you can partner with Bear Metals to create sturdy and safe steel balconies for your property. We’re award-winning manufacturers specialising in stainless steel, aluminium handrails, and more! Visit our website for more information!