All savvy business owners know that no decision they make for their business is a small decision.
Everything from finding the right employees to picking out a new logo and yes—purchasing the right post and rope stanchion, can have financial implications for your business.
That’s why we put together this definitive Post and Rope Stanchion Buying Guide with six questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing retractable belt stanchions.
Download the guide or keep reading to find out what you need to know before purchasing post & rope stanchions.
What to Ask Yourself Prior to Purchasing Post and Rope Stanchions
1. Where will you use your stanchions and how much use will they get?
There are two main types of rope stanchions: economy and premium.
When you're considering which option is best for your business, you need to think about how much wear and tear your stanchions will acquire. As with any product, the more use a stanchion gets, the faster it will wear down.
For large businesses that endure heavy foot traffic, we recommend investing in premium stanchions. Premium stanchions are designed to last longer and hold up to larger crowds.
If you run a small business or have light foot traffic, you can save some money by opting for less expensive economy stanchions.
✔ Does your business only see light foot traffic during the day?
✔ Do you generally leave your stanchions in the same place throughout the day?
If you answered YES to either of those questions, you probably don't need to splurge on premium stanchions.
Benefits of Economy Stanchions
- Sturdy construction
- Full-circumference, rubber floor protector
- Multiple designs for tops and bases
If your business regularly deals with large crowds (>300 people per day) or you routinely rearrange your stanchions during the business day, premium stanchions are probably the best option for your business.
Benefits of Premium Stanchions
Cast iron base weights (rather than concrete base)
- Durability and longevity
2. What type of base or floor mount will you be using?
There are three categories of bases and floor mounts for retractable belt stanchions: portable bases, semi-permanent floor mount bases, and permanent bases.
How, where, and how much your stanchions will be used all play a factor in which type of base or mount you should buy.
If you need to regularly rearrange your stanchions to decrease or increase the size of your queues (for example, in airports, museums, amusement parks, and arenas), you need stanchions with portable bases that can be repositioned and stored when they're not in use.
NOTE: All portable stanchion options come with rubber floor protectors so you won't have to worry about scratching your floors when you move your stanchions.
The two types of portable bases are premium bases (cast iron sloped base) and economy bases (concrete sloped base).
Similar to premium and economy stanchions, premium bases are sturdier and have a longer lifespan than economy bases.
Semi-Permanent Floor Mounted Bases
Semi-permanent floor mounted bases are ideal for businesses that occasionally rearrange their stanchion queues for events, like stadiums, or for companies that lease a building because they require limited drilling into floors. Some magnetic, semi-permanent floor mounted bases require no drilling whatsoever.
There are three types of semi-permanent floor mount bases: removable/socket and cap, magnetic, and mini-socket.
Benefits of Removable/Socket and Cap Floor Mounts
Posts that slide in and out of a socket openings
- Covers that fill the opening in the floor when a stanchion isn't in use
Benefits of Mini-Socket Floor Mounts
- The smallest footprint of any semi-permanent floor mount base. The core-drilled floor socket base has a dime-sized diameter
- Designed so that the post screws into the pocket with a few turns
- The post base is spring loaded to absorb pressure, leaning, and contact
Benefits of Magnetic Floor Mounts
Magnetic plates that attach to the floor with VHB tape or Epoxy to hardwood, marble, or cement floors, or permanently secured to the floor with screws
- They come in multiple colors and small sizes, making them nearly invisible
- A magnetic base that is strong enough to be approved to use in nuclear power facilities
Permanent bases are the sturdiest stanchion base option. Keep in mind that once these are installed they are difficult to remove, and the floors underneath them will require significant repairs if you remove the stanchion bases.
Benefits of Fixed Mount Permanent Bases
Stable bases designed for fixed queue layouts
- Can be screwed into any floor type
3. Will your stanchions be indoor stanchions or outdoor stanchions?
Some stanchions are designed for use in outdoor environments; other's don't fare as well outside in the elements. Buying indoor stanchions for outdoor environments will end up costing you more money because of how quickly you'll need to replace that first set of stanchions.
If you plan to use your stanchions outside, consider the following options:
Outdoor Portable Base Options
- Weatherized Base Weights Filled with Concrete (considerable girth, minimal durability)
- Cast Iron Base Weight with Base Weight Covers (durable, large girth)
- Aluminum Bases (more durable, very visually appealing, thinnest girth)
Outdoor Post Options
- Stainless Steel (durable)
- Aluminum (most durable)
If you aren't planning to use your stanchions outside, that doesn't mean you should avoid these types of stanchion bases altogether. Rubber bases, for example, are very durable in warehouse and industrial environments where heavy machinery is used.
4. Which type of rope material will you need?
Ropes can be made from a variety of materials. Which option will be the best for your establishment?
Premium ropes are made from a heavy-duty 1.5" cotton core, and are available in the following styles:
A plush velvet is a crowd favorite, adds elegance and glamour to any event or space
- A leather-like, easy-to-clean, durable classic rope
Heavy-Duty Twisted Polypropylene
- A strong, lightweight plastic rope, ideal for outdoor use
5. How long do your ropes need to be?
To decide how long your ropes should be, you first need to figure out if you will be connecting the ropes to stanchions or to wall plates. The max length recommended for stanchion to stanchion connection is 8 ft. If connecting from wall to wall, any length up to 12 ft. will work. Ropes can also be custom cut to any length.
NOTE: When choosing the accurate rope length, just remember to leave room for the rope to have swag - which is recommended at about an extra 3".
6. What finishes do you want for your post?
When you're buying rope stanchions, it's important that the style you choose stays true to your branding and the aesthetics of your business. Classic post and rope manufacturers know this, so they offer a variety of finishes.
Here are your styling options:
Popular Post Stanchion Finishes
- Polished Stainless Steel
- Satin Stainless Steel (brushed)
- Polished Brass
- Satin Brass (brushed)
Specialty Post Stanchion Finishes
- Specialty Finish
- Antique Copper
- Statuary Bronze
- Black Chrome
- Pewter Nickel
- Textured Powder Coat
- Black Wrinkle
- Silver Vein
- Copper Vein
- Gold Vein