Handrails are defined as being used for guidance and support when ascending or descending a staircase. Nowadays, handrails are used for far more than just safety – they are a feature of their own and can actually add value to the property.
Handrails need to be on any exposed side of the staircase. They are not purely decorative – they need to be strong enough to take the person’s weight if the person should slip and fall while using the stairs, whether the person falls against the handrail or simply grabs on to it. Generally accepted heights for handrails are from 34 inches to 42 inches.
A baluster is a post that runs between the handrail and the stairs. The handrail is what you hold on to when climbing or descending a staircase. A balustrade therefore is simply the row of balusters topped by a handrail in order to stop a person from falling from the side of the stairs.
Balustrades can be made from a variety of materials including glass, stainless steel, wrought iron and timber. As far as safety goes, the height of your balustrade should be so that young children cannot climb them easily and the balusters should be spaced so that children cannot squeeze through them nor get themselves stuck.
There are a many different handrails that you can choose for your staircase. Some of the most common types include:
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