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Balustrades are used to line a staircase – adding style, safety and also becomes part of the interior design. It can prevent people from falling and injuring themselves – allowing them to use the stairs safely. The term ‘balustrade’ refers to the combination of handrail, spindles (or ‘balusters’), base rail and newels, which together form the railing system that encloses one or both sides of a staircase. These are of course regulated in the UK to meet with safety standards.
Here are the parts of it, which you need to think of buying;
- Handrails or Banisters – railing at the top of the balustrade, supported by newel posts
- Baserail – railing at the bottom of spindles which supports the steps
- Spindles – decorative uprights running between the handrail and base rail
- Newel Posts – strong, structural support for the handrail
- Newel Caps – decorative top of the newel to enhance the final look
Balustrades are commonly made with wood, glass or metal elements. When choosing a the material for your balustrade, make sure to choose form a retailer that offers good quality, durable and they are eco-friendly too, so for example wood comes from a sustainable source. Each material can bring a different style to your home and of course you can combine materials as well.
Classic, minimalist, natural and traditional style homes can all benefit from wooden balustrades. These can be hard wood (like oak, walnut, sapele or ash) or soft wood (pine or hemlock). Hardwood is usually the more expensive choice but it’s also more durable. It’s the best if it’s coming from a sustainable source. Softwood is more environmentally friendly than hardwood, as the trees grow much quicker and can be easily managed on timber plantations. Wood lasts ages as they are very durable and all the little scratches will blend in well over the years. Easy to clean and maintain. Just needs to be polished and retreated with varnish from time to. time.
Metal staircases provide a unique design that is the perfect line between traditional and modern. the most commonly used metal materials are stainless steel, chrome (that is chrome is a plated metal to prevent corrosion and provides a highly reflective surface), nickel, black metal, brass or brass plated. Metal of course is naturally very durable.
Often used in contemporary and minimalist homes but it can also be a lovely addition to classic interior designs as well. Glass balustrades add light, openness and character to any contemporary staircase project. To add safety, glass balustrades feature toughened glass panels that are normally 8mm to 10mm thick. Glass is easy to clean (although, glass does tend to show every hand print or smudge that it comes into contact with) and the safety glass panels used for balustrades are very though.
Even indoors, yes, in case you own a small chateau or a big house. Dramatic, grandiose, yet practical, stone balustrade is sure to add decorative flair to interiors. Cast stone balustrades are often custom made to match restoration projects and architects details as part of renovation works or newly built properties. There’s a definite plus side with stone balustrade, which is that it last very long and easy to clean and maintain.