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wrought iron vs ornamental steel

Wrought Iron vs Steel Fencing: Which Is Better?

April 25th, 2019   Category: Fence Design

Choosing a fencing style for your yard is a huge decision. You want a certain style and need specific functionality, all while staying within your budget. Many people are drawn to the stately feel and durable construction of iron and steel fencing but are not sure whether wrought iron or steel is the best choice.

Wrought iron and steel have plenty in common as fencing materials, but each has a unique set of strengths that potential owners should be aware of.

To fully understand the differences between the two, homeowners need to consider the following:

  • Fence Cost
  • Fence Maintenance
  • Fence Durability
  • Which Is Easier to Install?
  • Ease of Welding
  • Overall Appearance

Fence Composition

To begin with, let’s discuss the composition of each fence. A key difference between the two is that wrought iron is just iron, while the steel is a mixture of both iron and carbon. This composition affects the fencing in the following ways:

Fence Cost

When steel is added to iron to make ornamental steel fencing, it does not add to the cost. The mixture of the two metals actually makes the fence easier to produce and to mold into specific lengths. Iron fencing, in contrast, is more difficult to produce which adds to the overall fence cost. This makes ornamental steel a better choice for those on a budget, and those putting in a long or high fence.

Fence Maintenance

Both iron and steel need annual maintenance to stay in good shape for a multitude of reasons. One of the main drawbacks of iron fencing is how much it will rust if not properly cared for. A good quality steel fence has nickel and chromium added to help make it rust resistant, a huge benefit. Just be sure you use a quality supplier because if you have a lower quality steel fence installed it will rust. If it does not have the added nickel and chromium it will rust more quickly than iron.


This is a more complicated question, as each type of fencing has distinct weaknesses from a durability standpoint. Scientifically speaking, the carbon in steel fencing strengthens the fencing material, making it more durable than iron. But, steel can break suddenly from impact, a disadvantage if the fencing will be in an area of high activity.

Which Type Is Easier to Install?

Steel is a lighter material than wrought iron, which gives it the benefit of being easier to lift into place and hold erect while installing. It is also easier to mold into different shapes, which allows you more artistic leeway in the design of your fence.

Iron, on the other hand, is extremely heavy and difficult to work with if your installer only has a small team.

Ease Of Welding

Some fence repairs are performed by welding the broken pieces together. Each type of fencing has distinct advantages in this category.

Steel will heat up quickly due to the added carbon and is a more natural metal to weld into place. It is also lighter and therefore easier for someone to work with when constructing or repairing your fence.

An iron weld, on the other hand, takes more work than a steel weld but holds up to more activity.

Overall Appearance

Iron and steel each have unique looks that align with different home styles.

An iron fence looks like it has been there for many years even when brand new, creating a regal or historical look the yard.

Steel will have a shiny new glow and fresh look when installed and creates a more modern look to the home and yard space.

Get the Help of a Professional

Fencing is a significant investment – don’t risk making a mistake and regretting it later. Our design professionals will make sure you choose the fence type and layout that you will enjoy many years.

At Ivy Fence Company, we feel steel fencing is a step above iron for many reasons and only offer steel to our customers. We want to be sure you get a long-lasting fence that you will enjoy for years to come.

The design professionals at Ivy Fence Company will not only help you choose the fence type and design that will fulfill the vision you have for your yard but will also construct that fence using our years of expertise, ensuring it’s done right and will hold up for years to come. Call us today at (662) 842-3431 to schedule a consultation and free estimate.