Columns have been a viable option for adding design and structure to buildings for centuries. The history behind columns goes back to the beginning of architecture, and so does their customization features. Columns can be built round or square, plain or fluted, tapered or non-tapered.
Flutes are the narrow channels that run up and down architectural columns vertically. In ancient Greece, builders felt that the fluted columns gave a building more of a unique rhythm and often times used them in their temples. If you are looking to add that same feeling of rhythm to your building’s design, or you just like the look of them, you now have more options.
Worthington can provide you with a variety of different column choices including adjustable fluted columns or molded fluted columns.
What’s the Difference in Adjustable Fluted Fiberglass Columns and Molded Fluted Fiberglass Columns?
Worthington adjustable fluted columns, also known as custom columns, start out from a plain column in the manufacturing process. As they are designed, the flutes are routed into the columns with a special router tool. We have the ability to stop and start the flutes at any point on the column to allow for different heights on a single porch or different column heights on multiple porches. You can also specify the distance the flute stops above the base based on each height.
If you are using a decorative capital or cutting the column down to a certain height, you would most likely will need a custom fluted column. Custom fluted columns require an approved shop drawing, by the client, to be properly manufactured.
Worthington’s molded columns do not start out with a plain surface. Flutes are molded directly into the columns when they are made and are limited to the mold.
The molded flutes start 10 – ¾” above the base. Their starting and stopping point cannot be adjusted. The flutes on a molded column have a deeper ridge and a more symmetric appearance. Molded columns from Worthington are architecturally correct where the flute depth is equal to ½ of the flute width.
The picture above shows a sample of a molded fluted column and an adjustable fluted column. This sample has been cut in half to show you the difference in the flute depths. It is easy to see that the molded fluted columns have more depth than the adjustable fluted columns.
The adjustable fluted columns have a smoother look. The grooves are not as clear cut. However, when you look at the fluted columns from a distance, it is harder to tell the difference.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
The disadvantage of a molded fluted column includes limits in your design. You are limited to the design of the prefabricated mold. If you are looking to resize a column, this could be an issue as the flutes are set at the 10-3/4” distance from the base. The advantage of a molded fluted column is your flutes are very well defined and architecturally correct.
Unlike the molded flutes, the adjustable fluted column can be customized to your exact need. If you are looking to do a fiberglass column with half stone or half brick, but you would still like to have the flutes, you will need an adjustable column.
Both columns will give your building a classic look, and both products are made from high quality, fiberglass material that is guaranteed to last.
When it comes to choosing between the two, it depends on your style and the overall look that you are trying to achieve with your design.