Upgrade your home with these 9 material choices for grilles

Whether it is for security, safety or aesthetic purposes, grilles are very common in Malaysian homes. Depending on the grilles’ function and your budget, there are different types of materials that you can choose from.

© pierluigipalazzi/ gettyimages

Most Malaysian homeowners will install metal grilles on windows and doors of their property, mostly for security reasons due to the high incidences of break-ins. In highrise property, grilles are installed for safety especially if there are children in the homes. One thing to consider if you are putting grilles on bedroom windows is to have an opening that can be padlocked to provide a means of escaping in case of fire.

There are several factors come into play when choosing the material for grilles:

  • Budget: Depending on the size of your property, you might want to opt for a cheaper material if there are many doors and windows to be fitted.
  • Design: If you want something fancier with perhaps some colours in your grilles, then you might want to consider wrought iron grilles.
  • Durability: Grilles installed outdoors are prone to rust, especially with the high rainfall in Malaysia, so you might want to consider materials like stainless steel.
  • Strength: If you need something stronger, steel would be a better option than aluminium.
  • Weight: If the grille needs to be opened and closed frequently, like on doors, choose a lighter material.

Even though it is for safety, it doesn’t mean you need to stick to the old school grille design. Let’s see the varieties of grille styles as we unpacked the 9 material choices you can pick for your home.

1. Iron

© Bernard Van Berg / EyeEm/ gettyimages

Iron is a sturdy material and is cheap to install. As it is malleable, it can be shaped into different designs. The disadvantage of using iron is that it rusts easily so it needs to be repainted quite often.

2. Mild steel

Mild steel grilles usually come in simpler designs and are one of the cheaper options available in Malaysia. © Zuraisham/ gettyimages

This is quite a common type of material used for grilles in Malaysia and one of the cheaper options. It comes in simple designs like straight bars. The disadvantage of mild steel is that it will rust so the grilles need to be repainted every few years. However, there are also powder-coated options that last longer.

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3. Steel

Not only beautiful and strong, but steel grilles are also more durable compared to other materials. © John Seaton Callahan/ gettyimages

Steel is more resistant to rust, and corrosion compared to iron and mild steel. It costs less than stainless steel. If cared properly, steel grilles can last for a very long time and it can also withstand various weather conditions. Not just that, it doesn’t break easily as steel is the strongest material available for grilles or gates. You can also recycle and reuse grilles or gates that are made of steel. It can also be customised according to your unique design and preferences.

4. Stainless steel

Stainless steel is easy to clean and maintain. Its superior strength makes it a popular choice for grilles, fences and gates © Sirawut Wisutipaitoon/ 123RF

If security is your main concern and you are looking for a tough material that is hard to cut through, stainless steel would be your option. Elements like titanium, nickel and molybdenum heighten its corrosion-resistance feature. On top of that, it retains its superior strength even at very low or high temperature. However, it is more expensive, costing two to three times more than mild steel. Also, it can be easily customised according to your likings. While there are a wide variety of designs available in the market, you will only get it in its original silver colour. But, that doesn’t matter as it looks sleek, versatile and modern.

5. Wrought iron

Wrought iron grilles are produced by heating the metal and hammering it into shape. It is also eco-friendly as it is recyclable and reusable. © Dimitar Mitev / 123RF

Wrought iron is as durable as mild steel but costs almost double the price because it comes in various designs and colours. The manufacturing of wrought iron involves heating the metal and shaping it using tools. Installed indoors, it has the effect of having an art piece in your home. The most common designs you will find are shapes of leaves and flowers. If you are into luxurious style, a wrought-iron grille can be a great option as it provides a timeless elegant look and can be custom made. Besides, it is extremely strong and durable that makes it not easily bend or dent.

6. Aluminium

Aluminium sliding door. © PaylessImages/ 123RF

Aluminium does not provide too much in terms of security because it is a soft metal and can be easily cut through. However, it is a versatile material because it is light and does not rust easily. Most aluminium grilles have simple designs in various colours. This material can be an option for those who have other forms of security in their homes like CCTVs and home alarms. Aluminium is also the main material used for louvres installed to block out the sun rays.

    7. Cast iron

    Cast iron can come in intricate designs because it is made by pouring melted iron into casts or moulds. © france68/ 123RF

    Cast iron is a strong material and not too expensive compared to stainless steel. It has a low melting point, so the melted ore is poured into casts or moulds to be shaped, therefore less laborious to make compared to wrought iron. The disadvantage of cast iron is that it rusts easily.

    8. Wood

    Wooden grilles are normally used for aesthetic purposes as they do not provide any security. Wood is hard to maintain, especially in Malaysia’s hot and humid weather. © Mark Winfrey/ 123RF

    Wood is used for aesthetic purposes and would not provide any security. It can be easily carved into intricate patterns and would be well-suited for a property with Balinese design. Wood requires a lot of maintenance especially if you want to maintain that polished look. The hot and humid weather in Malaysia is not ideal for wooden grilles.

    9. Invisible

    Invisible grills are suited for balconies of high-rise property to prevent children from climbing over. © Nikada/ gettyimages

    A fairly recent innovation, invisible grilles are made from thin stainless steel wires mounted on brackets, either horizontally or vertically. As its name suggests, the grilles are barely visible especially if seen from afar. These grilles are mostly used in balconies of high-rise buildings as a safety measure to prevent children (and sometimes adults) from climbing over the railing. It can withstand pressure but is easily cut with a wire cutter, so it is not the best option if you want to secure a landed property. These grilles do look quite good on houses due to its minimalist appearance, but you would have to have other security measures in places like CCTVs and a home alarm system.

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    Consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a door or window grilles. Different materials and designs and available and choosing the right one depends mostly on what you need it for and what your budget is. If your main purpose is to secure your house, then simple steel or iron grille would suffice. If design and aesthetics are your main concerns, you would most probably go for wrought iron grilles. You can always get advice on the best grilles for your home from your architect, designer or contractor.

    Edited by Rebecca Hani Romeli

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