How much does wrought iron railing cost?
$65 – $135 cost per linear foot installed
$1,600 – $3,400 average total installed cost (25 LF)
Average cost of wrought iron railings
Wrought iron railings cost $65 to $135 per linear foot installed or $1,600 to $3,400 total for an average 25-foot stair railing. The cost of exterior wrought iron railings is $60 to $90 per linear foot for the galvanized materials alone. Installation labor costs $15 to $35 per linear foot.
|National Average Cost||$2,600|
|Average Range||$1,600 to $3,400|
Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Cost of iron railing prices per linear foot
Iron railings come in several different types, each with its own features and price range. The iron you choose depends on whether your stairs are interior or exterior and whether your budget allows for simple or more ornate designs.
|Material||Average material price (per linear foot)*|
|Plain metal||$50 – $70|
|Galvanized iron||$60 – $90|
|Decorative / ornamental||$70 – $100|
*Prices do not include installation.
Plain black wrought iron
Plain black metal is the most affordable option for wrought iron railings and costs $50 to $70 per linear foot for materials. These railings are available in standard sizes for easy installation. Plain black wrought iron is designed for indoor use only and will rust if placed outdoors in extreme weather.
Galvanized wrought iron
Galvanized wrought iron is a more costly option at $60 to $90 per linear foot for materials alone but is the best choice for outdoor use. The galvanization process provides a protective coating against rust. If the coating is scratched, it must be repaired quickly, or the iron will rust.
Decorative wrought iron
Decorative or ornamental wrought iron is the most expensive option at $70 to $100+ per linear foot for materials alone. Pre-formed ornament railings are the cheapest, while custom designs are the most expensive.
Cost to install wrought iron stair railing
A wrought iron staircase costs $50 to $100 per linear foot for materials and another $15 to $35 per linear foot for installation labor. The length of the staircase railing determines the total project cost.
|Factor||Average cost (per linear foot)|
|Materials||$50 – $100|
|Labor||$15 – $35|
|Total cost installed||$65 – $135|
In addition to materials and labor, other factors that impact the cost include:
Size – Longer and thicker railings are more costly.
Style – Simple, pre-made styles are cheaper than ornate, custom designs.
Location – Uncoated iron for indoor use is cheaper than galvanized iron for exterior use. Galvanized iron is coated with a layer of zinc that protects the iron from rust and corrosion.
Wall-mounted vs. integrated – Wall-mounted handrails are the cheapest and easiest to install, while integrated handrails form part of the staircase and are more difficult and costly to install.
Replacement vs new installation –Replacement railings require added labor for removing the old railing and adapting the new railing to fit the old placement.
Labor cost to install stair railings
The labor cost to install stair railings is $300 to $1,000 for a standard 20- to 30-linear-foot project. Some staircase installers charge by the hour, with rates averaging $60 to $100 per hour to install a railing, which typically takes 5 to 10 hours. Other labor options include:
A general contractor charges $50 to $100 per hour and is usually hired when the project is part of a larger remodel.
A handyman charges $50 to $80 per hour and is usually hired for small scale projects.
Wrought iron railing component costs
The cost to update a stair railing depends on the components you end up replacing. Replacing the entire balustrade, which includes the handrail, bottom rail, and spindles, is more costly than simply adding a wall-mounted handrail.
|Handrail||$120 – $900|
|Bottom rail||$120 – $900|
|Baluster (spindles)||$130 – $1,600|
|Hardware||$30 – $200|
Wrought iron railings vs. alternative materials cost
The cost to install stair railings and balusters averages $20 to $600 per linear foot installed, depending on the materials used. Wrought iron is a popular material for its durability and can last a lifetime with a powder-coated finish. Other common materials include wood, glass, and other metals.
|Material||Average cost installed (peer linear foot)||Estimated lifespan|
|Wrought iron||$65 – $135||50+ years|
|Aluminum||$50 – $200||50+ years|
|Stainless steel||$50 – $250||25+ years|
|Galvanized steel||$45 – $55||20+ years|
|Wood||$20 – $50||20+ years|
|Glass||$100 – $600||25+ years|
|Cable||$60 – $500||25+ years|
Wrought iron railing FAQs
What metal railing material is the least expensive?
Galvanized steel is the least expensive metal railing material and is suitable for interior and exterior use since the coating protects the metal from rust and corrosion. However, galvanized wrought iron may be a better investment since the material is more durable and better able to withstand wear and tear than steel.
How long do wrought iron railings last?
Wrought iron railings can last for 50 years or more depending on the finish and whether it is installed inside or outside. The wrought iron is susceptible to rust and corrosion and needs a powder-coated finish to be able to withstand the elements.
Is cast iron the same as wrought iron?
No, wrought iron and cast iron are not the same, the difference being how they are fabricated. Wrought iron is iron that has been heated and hammered into shape. Cast iron refers to a range of iron alloys that have been melted, poured into a mold, and solidified.
How much does it cost to paint iron railings?
Hiring a professional painter costs $20 to $70 per hour to paint your iron railings. The project takes around 3 to 5 hours, depending on the railing details.
How do you clean and maintain wrought iron railings?
To clean your wrought iron railings, dust regularly with a soft cloth and clean with mild soap and water, avoiding harsh chemicals that can damage the finish. Perform the following maintenance tasks to extend the lifespan of your wrought iron railings:
Apply a coat of paint or powder coat to protect the metal from the elements.
Inspect the railings regularly for signs of rust or corrosion.
Repair damage quickly, removing rust with a wire brush.
Reapply the protective coating every 10 to 15 years, or more often if you live in a coastal climate or an area with extreme weather conditions.
Getting estimates from railing installers
Compare several estimates with the same wrought iron quality and design for a more accurate cost comparison.
Look for licensed, bonded, and insured installers with several years of railing installation experience.
Pick from contractors that specialize in wrought iron installation.
Check out their online reviews from past clients on HomeGuide and Google.
Request a written estimate, contract, and warranty information before paying any deposits.
Never pay in full before the job is complete. Negotiate a payment plan instead.
Questions to ask
Here are some important questions to ask when selecting a stair railing company near you:
What experience do you have with installing wrought iron stair railings?
Is your company licensed, bonded, and insured?
Will a custom railing fit my budget, or is premade my only choice?
How long will the railing take to install?
Will I have access to my upstairs during the installation?
How should I prepare for the project?
Does this project require a permit? If so, do you obtain the permit?