*Article originally published in Metal Construction NewsWritten by Derek Roes, Project Manager at Wire by Design

Column cover options offer both visual appeal and durability

Column covers offer the perfect mix between beauty and function. Whether in your basement or in a five-star hotel, columns are not aesthetically pleasing. When it comes to choosing the right cover, there are not many options that offer both visual appeal as well as durability. Woven wire mesh is one of those options.

When columns are in high-traffic areas such as airports, hotels, offices and even schools, material is one of the most important factors to consider. Column covers, or wraps, come in all styles and materials ranging from polyurethane to PVC to wood. None offer the protection of metal.

With available materials such as stainless steel, aluminum and brass, using a wire mesh will ensure that columns will stand up to even the toughest interior or exterior environments. If durability is not the main focus of the column cover but instead visual appeal is the deciding factor, there are still many options for wire mesh.

A Variety of Materials

Mesh can be made in a variety of materials and in a variety of finishes. Whether adding some color to a room, creating an industrial feel or even an antique look, wire mesh is a very good option. Anodizing aluminum produces many desired colors without paint chipping, cracking or even tarnishing.

If a tarnished look is preferred, then brass can be used and allowed to tarnish naturally, or an antique finish can be applied. Even though you won't have to wait 50 years to achieve an antique look, the mesh will still be there 50 years later with proper installation. Wire mesh column covers are custom made to fit a column. If a column is not perfectly level, perfectly square, circle or oblong, mesh can be made to accommodate and hide any imperfections.

As mesh is custom made it can also accommodate any shape or size that is needed. Mesh can be made flexible to be more of a column wrap and follow the exact shape of a column or it can be manufactured rigid and then formed into any shape without jeopardizing the strength or integrity of the mesh or column. Wire mesh can also be manufactured with virtually any open area percentage to either completely cover the column or allow a percentage of the column visible to show a material or color through the mesh.

A Simple Solution

When it comes to installing woven wire mesh column covers, it doesn't get much easier. No matter what the material of the column you are covering, there is a simple solution for fastening mesh to last for years. The simplest technique is to bolt or lag the mesh onto the column. If that is not an option due to the column material or not wanting to see hardware, then an industrial-grade adhesive or epoxy can be used. This is also the preferred method when in high-traffic areas due to the lack of protruding hardware for clothing and bags to get caught and damaged.

Whether covering a column in your basement, a hotel, hospital, airport, restaurant, school, office or any other environment to provide protection or to add a certain visual appeal, wire mesh is a versatile and durable material that offers a variety of designs.

Derek Roes is project manager of Wire by Design Co., Lancaster, Pa. To learn more, call (714) 680-6063.

AuthorPeggy Ciley