glass balustrade

What is the difference between handrails and balustrades?

If you are planning on specifying for a staircase there will be a number of considerations that you will need to make. An important one being which handrails you would prefer.

brass handrailOnce you begin your search you will likely become overwhelmed by the amount of options that are available. You may also quickly realise that two terms are used time and time again handrails and balustrades. It is easy to become confused as to what the difference is between these two terms and what part of the stair people are referring to when using these phrases.

What is a balustrade?

A balustrade is made up of numerous vertical posts or a solid section which sits at the side of the stair treads. The balustrade on your stairs will be found under the handrail and its main purpose is for safety to stop people from falling over the side of a stair or ramp. Many materials are now used to form the balustrade including metal, wood or glass.

What is a handrail?

Stair handrail is the term used to describe the railing that runs along the staircase. This is the rail, which can be held with your hand, it is the section that acts as a support or guide. There are requirements for handrails which dictate the height, materials and colours used to ensure good visibility and safety.


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