Coolest Trend: Sleek Stainless Steel


Unimpeded views, a good complement to industrial-look furnishings and ease of maintenance. According to the experts at L.J. Smith® Stair Systems, these are just three of the reasons why homeowners today are gravitating to stainless steel railing systems inside and outside the home.            “This trend started about five or six years ago and is here to stay,” says Craig Kurtz, president of L.J. Smith Stair Systems. “Urban and modern style homes, along with houses featuring open plans or loft living, are ideal for stainless steel stairway elements.

            “Both on interior rail systems and exterior decks, the desire for unimpeded views is a strong motivator to select stainless steel cables. Maintenance is another big consideration. Marine-grade stainless steel cable and fittings only require periodic cleaning with very little effort. Compare that to cleaning and maintaining an outdoor deck railing of any other material and you can easily see why this product is rising in popularity.”

Indoor/Outdoor Appeal

            At L.J. Smith the company meets the growing demand for easy-care indoor/outdoor metal products by offering 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel cable and cable fittings plus powder-coated metal newels. The company’s Linear Collection features stainless steel tubes (suitable for interior applications) and sturdy cable for both interior and exterior installations. Different styles of decorativemetal newel caps are also available to top off interior wood posts.            “Stainless steel stair systems and metal accents blend well with brushed and satin nickel hardware that’s popular in today’s homes,” says Kurtz. “This sleek material complements the urban industrial look that has embraced the furniture industry. From lighting elements to kitchen appliances to outdoor barbeques, stainless steel elements are on the rise in homes across America.”

Metals Made Easy

            Another option growing in popularity for interior stairway installations is the Linear Metal Panel System. Pre-assembled panels are available in many sizes and configurations to meet a variety of rail heights and run lengths.

            “The pre-assembled nature of the panels speeds up installation,” says Kurtz. “The system also includes fast-install metal spacer newels, panel posts, square nose designed treads and handrails.”            Linear Metal Panels require a few screw holes drilled for installation. A special easy-install feature of the system is that no glue is needed, no sanding, no code issues, no drilling of baluster holes, no marking and or cutting to fit. Plus, every rake and level panel is predrilled on the top rung and comes with screws for easy attachment to the handrail. Screws are also included for the bottom of each panel for flush mount or curb wall installations. 

            “Just as with our other metal and stainless steel products, this stairway system fits beautifully in a loft area of a townhouse, in a contemporary style home or in a more modern setting,” says Kurtz. “We believe the style and popularity of these products will continue to grow in the coming years. People are gravitating to metal or stainless steel stair system products to complement other settings in their homes.” 

            L.J. Smith products --- including wooden and ornamental iron balusters, stainless steel cable and tube infills, metal panels, newel posts, hand rails and accessories --- are all defined by their unique designs, uncompromised durability and good looks. Owned by NOVO Building Products, the industry’s leading manufacturer and distributor of mouldings, stair parts, doors and specialty millwork, L.J. Smith is based in Bowerston, Ohio. For more information, visit