A Box Column is a decorative (non-load-bearing) square column that often covers/ hides an existing structural wood or metal post. They can also be used completely as decorative elements; either interior or exterior use.
There are three basic styles-- Smooth, Fluted (vertical grooves in the shaft), and Panelled (raised edges with a flat recess in the middle of each side)-- and two basic shapes-- Straight and Tapered (sloping toward the top of the column). Within those categories most of them overlap; the exception here is "Tapered and Fluted", which looks very odd on a square column.
The decorative trim around the top of a column is called its Capital, while the trim on the bottom is referred to as its Base. You may also encounter a "ring-like" feature, near the top of the shaft but below the capital, called an Annulet or a Neck Ring. In the case of box columns, An extended Base (and even an extended plain Capital) are commonly known as a Plinth.
When choosing a size, architects will typically use the rule of thumb: "One inch of width to one foot of height". That means matching the nominal dimensions-- 8" x 8'-0" tall, 10" x 10'-0" tall, and so on. Since the available sizes are somewhat limited, it is often best to oversize the width (providing that you have the space available), so 6" square x 5'-0" tall, 10" square x 8'-0" or 9'-0" tall, 12" square x 9'-0" or 10'-0", etc.
Your choices will also extend to the type of material that the columns are made from and even how they are shipped:
Polyurethane box columns are joined at the plant (or left in two L-shaped halves, for re-assembly on-site) and come ready to paint, with a (white) prime coat on them already. They are boxed in cardboard before shipping.
EPVC columns will be shipped as flat boards, with factory-cut mitered angle corners, for re-assembly on-site. They require a "quick-dry plastic primer" before painting. They are also much heavier than polyurethane is, but that adds to the durability and surface hardness of the final product.
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