Friday, April 26, 2013

Stair Rails and Balusters

Stair Rails and Balusters
Have you been looking for a great do-it-yourself project that can spruce up your entire home? Or maybe something that can add some pizazz to your outdoor setting, like a deck or porch area? If you’re not sure where to start with a project like this, the answer may be staring right at you in your staircase. If you’re wondering what could be so interesting about a staircase, consider the railing and balusters and discover how steel or metal stair rails can add dimension and detail to a room instantly.
Stair Construction Basics

There are several different parts to your entire stair system, and understanding the role of each can help you find ways to enhance it with scrolls or other decoration. Your stairs consist of balusters, which are also sometimes referred to as spindles, pickets, or rails. At the support areas, you will find newels posts, or newels, which are larger and heavier than the balusters, and generally are at the top and bottom of the staircase, as well as in the middle if it has turns or curves where it requires support. There are several smaller components that hook the system together, called rail fittings (the most common being goosenecks, volutes, and turnouts), and it is topped off with a top rail. Finally, the hand rail is there for guidance and grip while you’re going up and down the stairs. The entire system is often referred to as a balustrade.
Using Metal for Decorative Stairs

The different components in a balustrade can be made of many different materials, although the most common is definitely wood. You can use decorative wood, or plain wood, but if you’re looking for a way to really make your staircase stand out, consider using metal. There are many different ways that you can use metal in the staircase, but the most common (and often most dramatic) is to do it by replacing wood railing with metal.
Fancy Designs

A place like Wasatch Steel can shape metal into an endless array of different shapes and designs, which makes it fun to start imagining the possibilities of your balusters. You can get plain designs, such as squares, spheres, or rectangles, or you can get more whimsical designs, such as scrolls. If you have a favorite flower, or a floral design is more in line with your overall theme and décor, you can even get rosets in your railing.
The Benefits

Adding metal to your staircase is a great way to break up all the more traditional wood that you might have in the room, adding a fluid look and graceful charm to the room. In addition, because metal is so strong, getting spindles from Wasatch Steel for your stair railing means you will have a strong and durable staircase that will last for many years to come. A staircase with steel or iron supports is one of the most durable and resilient architectural pieces in your home, so it will meet all your safety needs. Get the rich and elegant look that metal can provide with a decorative and dramatic metal staircase.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spiral Staircases

Spiral Staircases

If you are looking for a way to make a dramatic statement in your home, and you’re tired of the same old architectural components, consider adding a spiral staircase. Whether you’re going for a more whimsical look or you want to add grace and sweeping curves to your home, a spiral staircase can do the trick.

The Benefits of Spiral Staircases

One of the biggest benefits that a spiral staircase can provide is its space-saving design. If you have a small area, and you want to make the most of it, a spiral staircase can get you to a loft or upper floor area without taking up the entire room. The repetitive pattern also creates a visually interesting structure in your home, becoming a centerpiece for your décor or a great addition to other dramatic architectural features. They are an affordable option for many different types of rooms, and are also very easy to install. It can often be done as a do-it-yourself home improvement project, although you could hire a professional installer if you’re not sure you can do it on your own.

Different Types of Spiral Stairs

There are many different materials that you can use for a spiral staircase, but nothing is more traditional and more chic than to use metal for your staircase. If you prefer a more modern look, you can go with stainless steel, perhaps combined with glass or wood for a sterile appeal. If you are going for a more traditional look in a cool, open, airy room, you can opt for heavier or darker metals from Wasatch Steel.

Designer Components to Add Flair

Your staircase is a combination of the stair surface, the posts, the balusters (or railing), and the handrail. The great thing about a spiral staircase is that you can create custom designs for the railings, including scrolls, rosets, shapes inspired by botanical gardens, or more basic shapes like squares and cylinders. If you prefer a more whimsical look, the flowing design of scrolls can help you achieve it, while more traditional looks can be enhanced with basic shapes. You can also choose different diameters to create a bold or a minimalist look with your stairs, and with metal from a place like Wasatch Steel, it can be painted to match the exact colors in your home.

Be Cautious on Installation

If you are planning to add and install your own spiral staircase, you can start at a place like Wasatch Steel, where the railings and balusters are available in any shape and size you need. However, be careful not to commit some of the common mistakes that many do-it-yourself enthusiasts find with spiral staircase installation. Keep the railing design simple, with rosets, scrolls, or something similar, and don’t go overboard. Be sure to measure carefully so you have the right length and the right spacing between each railing, and never drill, screw, or glue until you are sure that you want an item in that specific place. Careful drilling, gluing, and screwing can ensure proper spacing and clean design. Also use the proper measuring tools, and never try to “eyeball” the distance or measurements.

Whether you’re going for modern or classic, installing an indoor or outdoor staircase, consider a spiral staircase to make a dramatic statement in your home.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Metal Finishes and Coatings for Steel

Finishes and Coating Products

Steel is one of the most commonly used materials in our lives today—when you look around, there a millions of things, both large and small, that we use steel for on a daily basis, including our roads, appliances, vehicles, architecture, and more. One of the reasons we use steel for these things is because it is so versatile and affordable. Another reason is the ability to apply a wide variety of finishes and coating products to metal that can make it look any way we want.

What is Metal Finishing?

Metal finish is a treatment for the exterior of metal surfaces, where a thin layer is added to the outside for a variety of purposes, including the desire to increase the metal’s durability, add a decorative touch, enhance conductivity in electrical applications, increase resistance to chemicals, electrical charges, and tarnishes, and the potential for vulcanization.

Some Common Metal Finishes

There are several different options for metal finishes and metal finishing products at Wasatch Steel, and the one you ultimately choose will depend on what you plan to use your metal for.
Metal plating is a process where machines coat the surface with a thin layer of additional metal, usually nickel or PTFE, using a chemical bath. This is a method that is generally used in cases where you want to improve durability of your product, or you want to enhance the metal’s resistance to corrosion. It also adds surface friction and can give the exterior a nice appearance, plus it’s fast and efficient.

If you want to remove surface imperfections, one of the best finishes and coating products is to go with brushed metal. Using a metal finishing machine, you can remove dings and scratches in the metal by creating a uniform surface that has a grainy texture. You can also use this process to round out the edges of the metal.

For non-textured finishes that require a smooth surface (without imperfections), you can go with buff polishing. Wasatch Steel has machines that use a cloth wheel to buff out all the imperfections without leaving any additional texture, so the end result is a shiny metal finish that is smooth and uniform. If your metal is intricately designed, or particularly fragile, it may not be a good fit for buff polishing.

Additional processes that can be used to grind down rough edges or smooth out the surface of metal include metal grinding, metal vibratory finishing, and sandblasting. Talk to the experts at Wasatch Steel about whether or not this is a good option for your application.

Powder coating is another popular metal finish, because it can give steel the decorative appearance of paint, but it is much more durable. During the process, dry plastic powder is melted onto the metal, leaving behind a coating that can be glossy, matte, or textured. If you prefer a matte black finish, you could also opt for hot blackening, which applies a layer of black oxide and is highly resistant to abrasion. This option is often used for tools, auto parts, and weapons.

The finish you choose ultimately comes down to how quickly you need the technique to be completed, your budget, how hard your metal is, and what you want to use the finished product for. Come in today to see how the different finishes and coating products can work for you.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Steel B-Deck

Is it time to get a new roof on your residential or commercial building? If so, you have a lot of choices to make, not the least of which is what kind of material you want to use. You could go with some of the more traditional shingle designs, but if you’ve never considered metal roofing, here are a few of the benefits of steel B-deck.

What is Steel B-Deck?

There are two main types of steel roof deck, which is the best material for flat, pitched, or arched roof construction on many different building types. It is popular because of its versatility, coming in spans that range from 6 ft. to as much as 50 ft., and Wasatch Steel has B-deck all sizes available. The other common type is N-deck.

B-deck is used most often for buildings that need a shorter span, generally for shorter distances. It is available in two finishes, either galvanized or prime painted, depending on your design needs and aesthetic desires. Painted B-decking is recommended in cases where the material will be exposed to elements like weather for an extended period of time.

Cost Benefits of B-Deck Metal Roofing

When it comes to economy, there is no material better than B-decking for your roof. It provides the best combination of both strength and affordability out of all the available 1.5 inch deep roof decks, providing exceptional value.

A metal roof can also provide several cost benefits over other options. B-decking and other metal roofs are often significantly lower cost than other options for commercial roofing. It is designed to outlast weather and elements, offering as much as 50 years of protection, and is also designed for great wind resistance and fire resistance. You may even save money on your monthly utility bills, since it’s more energy-efficient and can keep the building cooler. Finally, because it is a lightweight material, it can help preserve the structural integrity of your building.

Environmental Benefits of Metal Roofing

Getting B-decking from Wasatch Steel can also be a great way to go “green”, offering you many environmental benefits. Steel is one material that can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its structure or strength, which means that about 95% of all steel is recycled material. With the ability to lower your energy costs by as much as 20%, steel B-decking saves you money on utility bills and reduce your overall carbon footprint as a business. Less money spent on utilities means more profits or savings in your pocket. 

The energy savings don’t stop there—with less fluctuation in your temperatures throughout the day, you place less demand on your air conditioner or furnace, elongating their useful life. These roofs can also often be combined with solar energy systems for even bigger savings. The light weight of steel also means lower transportation costs and fewer fossil fuels burned to bring your roof to your building, and if you do ever need to replace or change the roof, the material is 100% recyclable.

With the perfect balance of strength and economy, a roof made of steel B-decking can be an excellent compromise for cost savings, functionality, and aesthetics. Wasatch Steel has B-deck all sizes available now.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Steel Pickets for Fencing

Steel Pickets for Fencing

If you still dream about having that picket fence around your home, the great news is that today there are so many different options available for you to get a great fence, and it’s no longer limited to just wood pickets. Today one of the fastest growing trends is using steel picket fences instead of more traditional materials. Wasatch Steel has fencing materials in a wide variety of styles, and can help you choose the perfect design to fit your home and your life.

Low Maintenance

One of the biggest benefits of working with steel picket fences is that they are much lower maintenance that traditional wood fences, which must be stained or painted regularly (often every season), and you also have to be cautious about what comes in contact with your wood fence, keeping soil, water, leaves, and other outdoor things away from the posts in order to preserve their structural integrity. Fortunately steel pickets fences do not require this type of regular maintenance, staying virtually the same every year for decades to come with minimal work.


Another reason many homeowners today are moving toward steel picket fencing, which materials can be bought from Wasatch Steel, is its strength. Wood can rot or break, plastics like vinyl can be easily broken by baseballs, toys, or animals, and stones or bricks can get cracked fairly easily—plus replacing one cracked brick in the middle of a fence or wall can be very difficult and costly, especially if you don’t have the right spare bricks or stones to match your structure. Metal provides a strong alternative, with steel being one of the strongest materials on earth (behind just diamonds and rubies on the Mohs scale of hardness), so it probably won’t break.


Since it’s exceptionally strong, it looks beautiful, and it is resistant to corrosion and rust, steel is one of the most cost-effective materials for building a fence at your home or business. Metal has moved far beyond only being used in chain-link fences, now offering the ability to create custom designs to complement your personal style and the look of your home. Steel can also be painted, giving you options for what color you want your fence to be, instead of just boring black, wood, or white. Since it will last for years to come, you won’t have to spend a fortune on stain or other maintenance tools to keep your fence looking good every year, and you likely won’t have to replace it for many years.

Easy Installation

The final reason many people today are choosing steel picket fences from is the ease of installation. You can pour concrete like you would for wooden posts, but in some cases you won’t even need that, since the steel won’t rot when it’s in contact with the soil, and it’s strong enough to withstand forces from the ground and the elements outdoors. Plus if something happens to part of your fence, getting new parts and installing them is much easier (and often less expensive) than with vinyl or wood.

While the initial cost of installing a metal fence may not be that different from installing a more natural wood, or a man-made vinyl fence, the long-term costs of owning that fence and keeping it up will be much lower for steel than any of the comparative materials.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Types Of Steel

Types Of Steel

When we talk about “steel”, it is certainly not a single product. In fact, according to the World Steel Association (, there are more than 3,500 different grades of steel and all of them have different properties—physical, chemical, and environmental. While it has been around for decades, most steel types in use today were developed only very recently in the past 20 or so years.

Steel in Our Lives
Look around, and chances are you see several different types of steel in your life every day. From the roads and bridges you drive on to work to the buildings you visit, your vehicle, your appliances, and more. Since the material used to make a bridge would certainly not be a very cost-effective or efficient metal for vehicles, it makes sense that there are several varieties of steel that we use for different purposes.

Today because steel is so light, efficient, strong, and even fire-resistant (up to its extremely high melting point of 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit), it is used in many different daily items, including medical equipment, vehicles, refrigerators, and washing machines, to name just a few.

Stronger, Lighter, More Efficient
Many buildings today are constructed using steel products from places like Wasatch Steel. In fact, if the Eiffel Tower was reconstructed today, it would only require about one-third as much metal, and would be significantly lighter than it was when it was originally constructed in the late 1800s for the World Fair.

Another sometimes-overlooked benefit of steel is its ability to be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its strength or other desirable properties. In fact, it can be recycled several times within a 150+ year time span, making it an environmental choice as well.


Most Common Steel Types
While there are 3,500+ steel varieties, we don’t use that many in our everyday lives. During the production phase, steel is produced according to what it will be used for, mixing in additional elements such as carbon, manganese, or sulphur to create the desired finished product. The four broad categories of steel, based on chemical composition, include:
·         Carbon steel—including low, medium, and high according to how much carbon is added (below 0.3%, between 0.3-0.6%, and over 0.6%, respectively). As much as 90 percent of all steel products are carbon steel.
·         Alloy steel—with manganese, silicon, nickel, titanium, copper, chromium, or aluminum added. These elements increase steel’s hardness, corrosion resistance, strength, malleability, or other properties for projects like pipelines, automobiles, motors, and generators.
·         Stainless steel—with as much as 10-20% chromium, these steels are exceptionally corrosion resistant, making them great metals for food processing, kitchen utensils, and surgical equipment.
·         Tool steel—this steel is very hard and durable, in addition to being resistant to heat. With tungsten, molybdenum, cobalt, and vanadium added it makes an ideal product for cutting, drilling, and other demanding jobs.

The year 2010 was a record-setting year for steel production, with more than 1.4 million metric tons of the metal produced at places like Wasatch Steel. It was an increase of 15% over the previous year, and is expected to continue to grow as we find more and more applications where it can be used to benefit society.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why is Steel Used in Construction?

Why is Steel Used in Construction?

Steel products one of the most widely used building materials in construction today, mainly because they are versatile, durable, and affordable. No matter what kind of project you are working on, chances are you will be using steel in one form or another in order to complete the project. Here are some of the most common reasons steel is a favorite for construction.

What’s it Used For?

We use steel for a myriad of different projects, including construction of roads and rails, building infrastructure such as bridges and buildings, construction of modern architecture from skyscrapers and airports to residential homes and parks. Even buildings that are constructed using some other material (such as concrete) are often reinforced with steel beams. Inside our homes and in our daily lives, we use steel for appliances, furniture, and vehicles, as well as tools, bolts, screws, nails, and other basic building supplies.

Building Benefits

One of the main reasons steel is used in so many construction projects is its durability—it has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any other building material, making it ideal for buildings both large and small. It is also very consistent, since steel supermarkets like Wasatch Steel must follow national standards in steel production for various grades, there is no variation from one steel to another—you can get consistently straight walls, square corners, and functioning doors.

Many companies and homeowners also like that steel is fire-resistant; it will not burn, and thus will not provide fuel in the event of a fire. It is also not an organic material like wood, so it doesn’t rot, split, crack, warp, twist, or break. All of these benefits mean it is one of the most low-maintenance materials you can use to build, which enhances the value of property where steel is part of the construction.

Environmental Benefits

In addition to being one of the most durable materials available, steel products are also good for the environment. It is one of the few metals that is continuously recyclable, and any steel product that you use likely contains at least 25% recycled steel. The recycling process does not break down or weaken steel, making it an ideal candidate for continuous reuse. Just take your old steel to a recycling facility, and chances are it will end up at a steel supermarket like WasatchSteel very soon to be reused.

During the manufacturing process, steel also produces far less waste than wood, at just 2% versus 15-20%, and almost 2/3 of all steel is recycled, making it the most recycle product in the U.S.

Cost Benefits

These many benefits contribute to steel being a very affordable option for construction projects. Because it is often made of partially recycled materials, and it is built to last, any project that uses steel will often be more cost-effective than one that uses other metals, or wood. That savings translates to a construction company being more competitive in the bidding process, which can mean more profit and more success.