Sunday, December 15, 2013

Architectural mesh -- How it fits in

My conception of railing includes two distinct components: frame and infill.  Frame being the posts, cap rail, top rail (optional), bottom rail (optional), and posts and infill being the 'baluster' segments inside the frame. Wire mesh infill is an elegant infill in terms of key factors such as visibility, maintenance, weight, durability, and style. 

For a visual primer on the world of wire mesh, or gridded railing on click here 

Here is a basic grid railing with wood frame. Notice the posts are designed to blend architecturally with the house in terms of shape, design, and color, and the cap is a translucent stained high quality piece of wood that compliments the aesthetic of the deck: 
Photo: Deck Stylists

We can replace your wood balusters, which are costly to maintain and tend to be less open in terms of view with mesh. Many existing rail frames can be easily adapted for grid installation by removing balusters and adding any framing as necessary. I would not recommend doing a wooden grid unless the plan was to let it weather (no preservative). 

Grid railing, or architectural mesh, is open, clean, strong, easy to maintain, and super stylish. It can also be done at a relatively low entry cost. Strands of metal can be welded together or weaved depending on budget and preference. Mesh can either be galvanized, powder coated, oiled, or left to rust or patina. A heavy duty wood frame is often used and custom built by us, and the grid stock is purchased from a variety of metal types, gauges, light penetration and patterns depending on the desired look, which ranges from rustic to ultra sleek and modern. 

For grid railing I like beefy timber frames to add some structure and girth to the design. For example, woven wire mesh infill with reclaimed timber frame railing is spectacular. 

The Western Group produces just about every combination of architectural wire mesh imaginable. We are happy to announce that we will be using them as a supplier for our customers. Combined with the variety of wood frames that we can create, the possibilities are endless when it comes to design options with wire mesh railing. We are very excited to be using their products in 2014. 

This is an example of what can be done using their product and either a faux distressed finish or actual reclaimed boards such as picklewood cypress or trestle wood: Notice the effect from weaving the iron (as opposed to welding) as it creates a rustic, custom feel. 

Photo credit: The Western Group

This is an example of a basic grid railing with regular dimensional redwood and/or cedar, spruce, or even doug fir. 

Photo credit The Western Group

The off season is a good time to start thinking about this type of project so there is plenty of time for design and getting the materials together. The more planning we can do the better your project will turn out. 


  1. Great post, I really like the picture. The Van reminds me of my college roadtrip.

    Landscaping The Villages Florida

  2. The various applications and uses for wire cloth or wire mesh products are literally endless, and span
    across all areas of commerce and industry. Aside from being a product itself, wire cloth is also used to
    strengthen, reinforce, or improve many other products in a variety of ways. Wire mesh railing is one of them which is a multi purpose product.

  3. Thank you for sharing this very informative post

    PPC Advertising