What Is a Bollard?

tthompson Featured, Products

Bollards are short posts placed at intervals to define or block off an area, or to block vehicles from entering an area. Not all bollards are the same. There are a variety of types of bollards that are made from different materials and designs to suit various functions. To choose the right bollards for your needs, you must choose bollards from the right category, and choose the right materials and installation.

Bollard Categories

Bollards fit into three main categories: decorative, safety and security. Each category is designed for different functions. It is important to choose bollards from the category that meets your durability needs.


Decorative bollards have a low impact rating and are designed to line a pathway to direct traffic in an orderly manner. Lights can also be added to these bollards. Decorative bollards are usually installed 4’ to 6’ apart and are bolted to the ground. Common materials for decorative bollards are aluminum, cast iron, plastic, wood or concrete.


Safety bollards have a medium impact rating and are suitable for blocking or directing traffic or blocking entrance into an area. They are typically made out of steel, stainless steel or aluminum. Safety bollards are usually spaced 4’ to 5’ feet apart to block cars from driving between them. Installation requires an engineered footing with a concrete enclosure and structural cage.


Security bollards have a high impact rating and are designed to protect people and property from intentional vehicle intrusion. They are made out of steel or stainless steel and are typically spaced as little as 3’ apart. Installation requires an engineered footing with a concrete enclosure and structural cage.

Bollard Design and Installation

Besides bollard category, you need to consider materials, functional design, footing type and spacing when choosing a bollard setup.


The most common materials bollards are made of are steel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum or recycled plastic.

Functional Design

The most common bollard designs are fixed, removable, collapsible, retractable manual and retractable automatic.

Footing Type

The footing secures the bollard to the ground. Standard footings secure the bollard to the ground using concrete and reinforcing steel.


Spacing between bollards is determined by what you need to keep out and what you need to allow in.

Custom Installations

You can install bollards as close together as you need and choose what ever style and material best suits your purpose. The only rules are that you must choose a material and an installation that is strong enough for your purpose and spacing that will effectively block the vehicles you are trying to prevent from entering the area.