Both exterior and interior columns used in construction today are made from a remarkable range of materials. While the ancients were limited to wood and stone, today columns are turned out in an assortment of artificial components that are both decorative and extraordinarily strong. Some polyurethane based columns can handle weight loads as well as traditional structural supports.
Fiberglass columns are a staple in new and remodeled buildings today. A fiberglass column may be completely cast from the raw material, or it may be a fiberglass shell wrapped around some basic load bearing material such as concrete or wood. Because of the highly developed casting and coloring techniques used with fiberglass today, a fiberglass column can be made to resemble almost any material.
Fiberglass columns are equally suitable for exterior and interior usage.
Fiberglass is often used as a composite material with other components such as gypsum, concrete, stone and a number of different polymers
Fiberglass casting techniques today can provide intricate decorative styles to fiberglass column tops or along the column shaft.
Fiberglass columns weather well, requiring little or no maintenance or repainting.
Fiberglass reinforced gypsum is often used for highly stylized cornices to match the ceiling material at the top of an interior column but it is thin shelled and can be damaged easily.
Many fiberglass columns today will contain perhaps forty percent fiberglass that is mixed with other composites to achieve a desired effect. That effect may be load bearing capacity, texture, or the need to mimic traditional materials such as stone, plaster or marble. Custom sizes and shapes are also a staple with most manufacturers. Many distributors will maintain a stock of both decorative and load bearing columns in a number of stock heights and diameters, with bases and traditional top designs to match.