Columns have held up cathedrals, temples, historic monuments, and homes for hundreds of years. They have retained their importance as vital architectural structures in large spaces that need load-bearing support for upper floors.
Today, they have transcended their original role as support structures and are being incorporated into homes for their aesthetic appeal.
Given the architectural evolution over time and with it the need to adjust home construction material, most components of interior décor have seen gradual changes over time. Columns are no different.
Whether for internal or external use, column materials have shifted from traditional stone that was heavy and immobile to less weight-bearing components such as architectural polyurethane.
In this article, we will delve into different materials that have served as columns through the ages.
Types of Column Materials
Stone columns are some of the oldest, lining Greek temples and monuments. Perhaps borrowed from the ancient Egyptians with their mighty pyramids and palaces, stone was considered the most magnificent column material at the time.
This material still commands the same appeal to date, with stone columns holding the same timeless elegance whether they line the entrance to the Lincoln memorial or to your grand home.
While stone is known for its load-bearing capacity and will be ideal for structural support, stone columns do not all carry the same capacity. Be sure to check with your structural engineer in the preliminary design of your home.
Wood has been a favored home construction material for eons, with wood columns rising to prominence in America throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In its most natural state, wood is sturdy and carries with it the rich feel of nature that adds beauty and warmth to any space.
A major selling point for wood is that it can be shaped in varying ways to suit different tastes. As such, wood goes beyond the traditional round columns to incorporate squared and rectangular designs that add a chic quality to contemporary homes.
While older wood species used to make columns were resilient and rot-resistant, concerns about the long-term durability are inevitable, especially given that enduring, indigenous species are on a steady decline. If you opt for wood columns, be sure to check that the material is impervious to moisture and therefore impervious to mold and rotting.
Cast stone columns
Despite stone being a desirable material for columns, it carries with it the headache that is its weight that makes it challenging to move and work with.
To work around this, cast stone made its appearance in history and stuck as a viable alternative to natural stone. Also known as faux stone or artificial stone, it is made from ingredients such as cement, crushed sand, crushed stone, and mineral cooling.
It is not solid as natural stone and therefore not heavy but it is dense enough to avoid cracking. It does not absorb moisture and remains steady for a long time.
Fiberglass material has come up as a durable reinforcement material that is incorporated into other matter such as concrete and polyester resin and molded into columns. These columns are hard and impact-resistant and will therefore be load-bearing.
Fiberglass columns are resistant to wear due to weather changes, moisture-resistant and insect-resistant. They come in numerous styles that can be worked into diverse home decor options.
Aluminum is a strong material that makes sturdy columns that can be built into the home as load-bearing pillars. They are available in round and square cross-sections and in varying styles ranging from plain, fluted, and recessed panels for square columns.
Aluminum columns are reinforced to be resistant to moisture and rust. They make for excellent exterior columns that will be low-maintenance.
Architectural polyurethane columns
Dense, architectural polyurethane makes exquisite interior columns that are ideal for ornamental purposes on a budget. It is solid yet easy to work with, making its installation easy using simple tools and minimal assistance.
The material is resistant to moisture, mold, mildew, and rotting. It is resistant to warping and cracking. All these features come together to make it durable and reliable.
DreamWallDecor interior columns are made from this fine material and they come in round, half, or white styles.
What will determine the choice of column material?
The best pick for column material will be influenced by various reasons:
i. The purpose
A load-bearing column will need to be hard-wearing and sturdy. The best materials will include stone, hard wood, or aluminum. Decorative columns on the other hand can be made of lighter material such as PVC or architectural polyurethane.
ii. The budget
The cost will go a long way in influencing the choice of column material. Understandably, columns made out of concrete or stone will tend to be more expensive than their less ‘heavy’ counterparts such as polyurethane.
DreamWallDecor polyurethane columns are high quality at an affordable price and will be a superb ornamental option for your house interior or exterior.
iii. The style
Achieving a harmonious finish is a key goal of interior décor. As such, we ought to pick out every element considering how it will blend in with the rest of the space. Interior columns are no different. Wood columns, for instance, are great for a homely feel and will also add a touch of elegance to a contemporary look.