5 Classic Types of Balustrades

When you hear the word ‘staircases’ you often think about the steps, landings and handrails. These parts of the staircase are often recognised because they are the most prominent parts. They are also where most of the design and style is focused because they are a main focal point of the home and are first seen when entering the house.

However, there is one part of the staircase that is also worthy of recognition and design is the  balustrades.


What are balustrades?

Balustrades are the columnar pillars in between the staircase steps and handrails. Traditionally, these were made from iron, wood or cement. However, many modern homes and architectural improvements have started using glass as balustrades too. Apart from the staircase, balustrades can also be found in balconies, terraces or upper floors of homes.


What is the purposes of a balustrade?

Balustrades have different purposes for both the staircase and the homeowner. For the staircase, they provide additional support to the handrail. For homeowners, the balustrade provides safety and protection and keeps homeowners from the dangers of falling off the staircases or the upper floors of their homes.  

Balustrades are even more important for homes and families with children as a safety precaution. They also provide privacy as they obstruct the view of the upper floors of homes, out of sight from the main ground floor entry way of the home.  

If you’re a homeowner and are thinking about adding extra floors or a balcony to your home, think about the type of balustrades that you want installed that will give the best aesthetic feel to your home.


Here are some of the most common types of balustrades:


#1 Wooden balustrades

Wooden balustrades are the standard for wooden staircases and handrails. When choosing wooden balustrades, the handrails should not weigh more than the balustrade. This is because the wooden balustrade might not be able to carry the weight of the handrail.  A benefit of choosing wooden balustrades is that they can also be ornate and fit perfectly with your overall design. Varnish in any shade can also then be applied to preserve its beauty.


 #2 Cement balustrades

This type of balustrade is appropriate for staircases that are also made of cement. These types of balustrades are usually for exterior of homes wanting the Tuscan or Grecian look.

#3 Iron balustrades

This type of balustrade can be matched with staircases and handrails made of steel. However, they can also be paired with wooden staircases. The advantage of iron balustrades is that they can either be straight and simple or they can have intricate patterns.


 #4 Glass balustrades

Glass balustrades are perfect for modern homes. They can work with a wooden or cement staircases and various handrailings. Glass balustrades work well for homes that want the upper floor to be visible. For a bit more privacy, the glass balustrades can be covered in film that conceal the upper floor. Glass balustrades, however, require constant maintenance to make sure of its durability and safety.


#5 Wire balustrades

Balustrades are also not limited to vertical and columnar designs. There are also horizontal wire balustrades. These can work with wooden or iron balustrades, as well. Wire balustrades are most common and appropriate for outdoor terraces and balconies.


While these types of balustrades differ in material and design, most homeowners and designers combine a mix of two or more of these styles. Others have installed both glass and vertical aluminium balustrades to create a more aesthetic design.


If you’re looking for reliable balustrade installation, Custom Spaces can do the job for you. We build custom stairs including fabricated iron railings, cable systems, detailed ornamental woodwork, glass systems and stainless steel systems. We also remodel and repair existing staircases and provide you with design options that will match your space, style and most importantly, your budget. Whatever your idea is, we can make your vision a reality.

Brett Columbus