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Frequently Asked Questions


1) Does your company sell COLUMN COVERS, SURROUNDS, WRAPS?

Yes! FRP, Cellular PVC, and Polyurethane wraps are made as half columns to accomodate internal structures. GFRC or concrete comes in many segmented pieces and can also wrap existing supports. The rest, Fiberglass, Polymer Stone, and Wood, can be split to many plan types and used to surround lally columns, wood posts, etc. Our Polyurethane (high density foam) Columns are very accomodating because the columns are actually manufactured in 2 halves and then assembled into full columns so if a customer needs a split column, we simply do not assemble the column: Each half comes with an interlocking edge which allows for easy reassembly around any support. The Cap and Base are then split using regular wood working tools and assembled around the column shaft. Since our Polyurethane columns come primed with 2 layers of high quality primer, after some touch-ups to the seam, the column is ready for final paint finish. Frp is also a good choice because it is manufactured with a lap joint that allows for quick "reassembly" around supports. For Square wraps, cellular pvc is a great choice. All of the other column types do not come with the interlocking edge but are frequently used as Column Covers: see Split Columns for more information.

2) Does Architectural Mall provide Pricelists?

Yes and No. Quoting a column and/or balustrade project involves a lot of work so we try to do all quoting inhouse. If we quote your project, you can rest assured that everything that you need is included in the bid. We do provide catalogues at no charge to our customers but the catalogues are without prices for the aforementioned reason in addition to the always changing costs of raw materials. Feel free to call in for prices, request a quote via our online contact form, and/or fax in or mail in blueprints. If you use the E-mail address on the contact form to request prices, please provide all of the contact information that is requested on the contact form. The E-mail (sales@columnsandbalustrades.com) address is a good option if you have a picture or PDF files that you want to attach in order to facilitate the quoting process. We do give prices over the phone in some cases but prefer to generate formal quotes with prices, terms, and lead times clearly spelled out. If you are interested in becoming a distributor, we will provide pricelists.

3) Where is your SHOWROOM? Do you sell DIRECTLocal Distributors?

Architectural Mall's corporate headquarters and showroom is located in Addison, Illinois.  We do not have showrooms in other states but we will gladly send actual product samples for a nominal fee.  Even if you don't get to see our product before ordering, rest assured that Architectural Mall, Inc. only sells premium products at competitive prices. Many customers ask if we have local distributors in their area because they are concerned with high shipping costs.  While the rising costs of transportation are reason for worry, most orders qualify for free shipping or low, flat-rate shipping nationwide.  The only product with higher shipping costs is Polymer Stone mainly due to the weight of the product.       

4) Should I get round tapered or NON-Tapered columns?

Round Tapered Columns are considered to be architecturally correct and are known as Classical Columns. A crucial part of the modeling of the classical column is its entasis, the subtle curvature that causes the column to swell at the bottom, as if to express the load that it is bearing. The lack of entasis on extruded aluminum “columns” is why they look so lifeless in place. Because of the extrusion technology used in their manufacture, extruded aluminum “columns” have a uniform diameter throughout their length. An extruded aluminum “column” is actually a post, because the shaft can be turned upside down and — without entasis — it will look exactly the same. Read more at: Classical Columns

5) Which Caulking do you recommend?

Architectural Mall, Inc. gives no warranties express or implied on any caulking materials but the following caulks work with our products based on experience. For Synthetic Stone installation (non-painted applications), BASF's MasterSeal formerly Sonnalastic NP 1 and TX 1 work well and the colors that BASF offers match up closely to several of our standard colors. The difference between NP 1 and TX 1 is that TX 1 has some texture to it and resembles chinking. Chinking is also a good product to use as the texture matches up with our textured products: We give no recommendation on chinking products.

For fiberglass Column or paint-grade column installation and polyurethane balustrade installations, follow our Installation Instructions for caulking/adhesive advise.

6) How do I Install Split Columns?

Please visit our Installation Instructions page for specific installation instructions.

7) Are your columns/balustrades Load-bearing/Structural?

The majority of our columns are loadbearing and can be structural with the use of Simpson Strong Ties, lally columns, or equivalent for uplift protection. Load-bearing and structural are often incorrectly used interchangeably. Load-bearing means that it can support weight that is applied from above in a downward direction like the roof of a building. Structural means that the columns will hold something down in case of strong winds that can cause uplift to the roof for example. Uplift protection is a consideration usually in hurricane affected areas and shouldn't be a concern for the majority of our customers. Our balustrades, however, are structural and pass international building codes. We have certified testing for all of our load capacities.

8)What is a balustrade?

A balustrade is a combination of balusters or spindles, top and bottom railings, posts, and the relevant hardware to secure the system together. A balustrade is often times secured into architectural columns, brick piers, walls of houses, or other structural members in lieu of posts made from the same material as the rest of the balustrade.