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Style Guide: Choosing staircase balustrades


At Multi-Turn, we understand the importance of choosing the right staircase balustrades for our clients. It's not just about aesthetics, but also about meeting regulations, ensuring durability, and considering maintenance. Our team ensures that every step of the process, from measuring to quality checks, is done meticulously. By combining technical research with our design expertise, we offer a range of options to help you make the best choice for your space.


Firstly, what are balustrades?


Essentially, a balustrade is the complete system that connects the baserail and handrail of a staircase and fills the gap between the two. It traditionally supports a row of balusters (or spindles) but, as trends have changed, a variety of styles and finishes have been developed. More on this later!


What regulations are there?

  1. For staircases wider than 1000mm, you need to have a balustrade on both sides. Anything less and one side will suffice.

  2. The height of the balustrade should be 900mm from the pitch line of the stairs and on the landing (unless it’s a communal staircase, in which it should be 1100mm on the landing).

  3. As with all parts of a staircase, there should be no gap within your balustrade or between your spindles through which a 100mm sphere could pass.

  4. Balustrades need to be connected to your stairs when they reach 600mm off the ground. You don’t need a balustrade on the first two steps, for example where curtail or bullnose bottom steps are incorporated.


What styles can you choose from?


Glass balustrade

Glass can be a versatile material, whether used on its own or in combination with other materials like wood. The result is a timeless finish that will impress for many years to come.


One of the advantages of using glass balustrades is that they allow light to flow into more areas compared to traditional wooden balustrades.


Additionally, the glass is typically the final part fitted in any interior installation, reducing the risk of damage from other trades. However, it's important to note that glass panels can be slightly more expensive and require more maintenance as they tend to show fingerprints and smudges more easily.


Despite these considerations, the choice between glass and other options ultimately depends on the interior design of the home you're developing. 


If you're aiming for a light and natural aesthetic, glass is an obvious choice, regardless of whether it's currently on-trend or not. Especially in grand hallways with views or ample natural light, a glass staircase can serve as a stunning statement feature, enhancing the flow of natural light and creating a sense of a brighter and more spacious environment. 


With Multi-Turn's first-fit guarantee, you can be confident that your staircase will be efficiently installed, fitting seamlessly into your project timeline.


Wood balustrade

Wooden balustrades are known for their versatility, strength, and adaptability, making them a standout choice among other options. You have the flexibility to choose between hardwood and softwood styles based on your budget and personalise them with various shapes and paint selections to complement your home's interior.


In times of financial constraints, developers are opting for cost-effective softwood like pine instead of pricier oak hardwood. To elevate the design without significantly increasing costs, consider painting the softwood risers and switching to an oak handrail for a more appealing look.


Consider this when choosing softwood staircases.


Within a wood balustrade, you have various styles of spindles to choose from too, including:

  • Square spindles – the most simple and economical option available, suited to understated and sleek designs.

  • Stop chamfered spindles – take a square spindle and chamfer the edges of a central portion to add an extra flourish to simple designs.

  • Turned spindles – typical of the Edwardian style and available completely bespoke to you and your style.


Metal balustrade

Though a more popular material of choice for outdoor staircases or balconies, metal balustrades can be a striking and unique addition inside the home. The team here have worked with both seamless stainless steel and intricately designed spindles that take pride of place in a trendy home.


Bespoke balustrade

When it comes to making a statement on your staircases, there’s nothing quite like bespoke elements to set yours apart from others.


Why have a unique home, beautifully furnished with a staircase that matches a number of other developments?


It’s the small touches that make a huge difference. Anything is possible and something as subtle as a bespoke cap, some additional angles on the post, or grooves machined make your staircase stand out.


Whilst these are the main options available to our customers, if you’re looking for something a little different then get in touch! Our expert team are on hand to discuss your requirements and offer useful advice. Give us a call on 01962 712299 or send your plans to web-enq@multiturn.co.uk.

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