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What to consider before installing balustrades

Now a popular feature in lots of architecture, and over the years being used for buildings exteriors and interiors, the first application of balustrades to buildings was in the early 15th century, for balconies on palaces in Venice and Verona.

Balustrades have two primary purposes; to give stairs, balconies, and landings, for example, a safety barrier, and to provide buildings decorative finishes.

Having been made from clay and wood traditionally, we’re now used to seeing more modern features made from glass and steel. These styles allow more light in certain areas, and create a more contemporary feel.

Adding a safety feature to your building doesn’t mean that it can’t look good. Today we’re able to design and manufacture balustrades that compliment different types of architecture easily and become the perfect finishing touch to a home or commercial space, rather than a necessity that ruins a design.

glass balustrade

But which type of balustrade is going to be best for you?

Glass balustrades are perfect for outside areas, such as balconies, by windows, or around gardens or pools, as they don’t block any of the views and allow light to pass through. Glass balustrades are also a great option if you have a small area that you don’t want to give the illusion of appearing any smaller. For example, a cosy landing or narrow staircase. There are certain types of glass that must be used for safety reasons, and that will be put through impact tests.

Steel balustrades are great for commercial areas as the metal is durable, strong, and very low maintenance. For domestic use, steel balustrades are a great option if you are after a more contemporary, modern look. Steel balustrades can come in a variety of designs, including square, round, thin or thick railings, and different colours to add personality where desired.

Wooden balustrades are great for houses with a more traditional style. Different woods can be used for different effects, whether you’re looking to create a warm, homely feel or a natural, calming environment. However, wood does take some maintaining, and over time it will degrade.

glass and steel balustrade

What next?

Once you’ve decided which balustrade style is going to work best for you, there’s going to be some regulations that you will need to meet. One of these is the height of the balustrades. For internal use, around stairs or landings, the balustrade needs to be 0.9 meters. For external use, this increases slightly to 1.1 meters.

Luckily, there are no restrictions regarding the use of materials for balustrades. However, any materials used need to be sturdy and able to take the pressure.

The weight and pressure that balustrades need to withstand vary depending on where they’re being installed. The amount goes from 0.36kN/m for domestic, internal balustrades, but this increases for external fittings, and again for use in commercial, public spaces.  

steel balustrade

Here at Any Weld, we carry out projects all over the UK and Channel Islands. Using the finest materials, we can design, manufacture, and install balustrades to any indoor or outdoor area. If you’re looking to add a balustrade to a part of your home, or as part of a commercial project, don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free consultation.

Email enquiries@anyweld.co.uk or call 01271 860794.