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Style Guide: Choosing staircase spindles

A striking staircase can be an eye-catching centrepiece for your home and the little details are often the best way to add some character. Whether you’re undergoing a renovation or having a completely new flight installed, we’ve put together a handy guide to choosing staircase spindles that will wow your guests for years to come.

What is a spindle?

Otherwise known as a baluster, the spindle is the upright that forms the guarding to the side of the stairs, connecting the baserail or treads to the handrail. In general, spindles are often more decorative than balusters which are commonly simple and square.

Building regulations

Your spindles need to be spaced correctly, not just for an even and consistent look, but also to comply with building regulations. These state that the gap between two spindles should not exceed 100mm and that your handrail can have a maximum height of 900mm.

Closed or cut string?

The style of your staircase will determine the best spindle designs to choose from.

Closed string stairs enclose the treads and risers using a baserail at the side, which your spindles will be attached to.

Cut string stairs intentionally leave everything exposed, so your spindles will be fixed to the treads. Building regulations state that you have to have two spindles attached to each tread, with the front one being 900mm long and the back being 1100mm.

Spindle materials

At Multi-Turn, we create our bespoke staircase designs using a variety of materials. You can choose from the following for your spindles:

Timber is the traditional material of choice and can be used for both classic and contemporary designs. We have a number of finishes to choose from, including oak, ash, pine, sapele, hemlock or any other commercially available timbers.

Metal is becoming an increasingly popular spindle option for people who wish to add a contemporary twist to a traditional property. The combination of the Savannah and Madison styles used in the below project help to enhance the finish of this otherwise simple staircase.

For more minimalist designs, consider brushed nickel, chrome or even stainless steel.

Glass, as we’ve mentioned previously, is quickly becoming the material of choice for staircases. By combining the timeless beauty of natural timber with the openness of glass spindles, you can create a bright and clean finish.

If you’re in the process of a new build or renovation project, download our staircase components brochure to browse the styles and materials we have available. If you have any questions regarding your staircase, get in touch with us on 01962 712299.


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