Their primary function is to provide safety, however it can be just as important to ensure the balustrade injects personality and character into a property. There are a numerous different styles which can be achieved; contemporary, or traditional, all of which can be designed in a various materials.
Thin metal vertical wires as a contemporary option for balustrades convey both lightness and strength providing great visual aesthetics. Additionally using paint to cover the balustrade structure can help match your design for example, using earthy colours on a farmhouse balustrade references its rural surroundings.
For a more traditional style, timber balustrades can add character and strength to your design. It is probably the most common material used for balustrades because of the simplicity and finishes available, such as varnishes and waxes.
IQ Glass design, fabricate and install glass balustrades perfect for a contemporary design.
Requirements and Regulations
The vertical ‘riser’ of the step is allowed a rise of 15 to 22cm and the maximum pitch of a staircase is 42 degrees. The building regulations also states that the rise has to be the same for every step within the flight of stairs.
It is possible for stairs to have ‘open risers’ but these must have a rounded edge to the step ‘nosing’ of at least 16mm. The more restrictive condition for approved building regulations is that a 10cm ball cannot pass through the ‘open risers’. Additionally the headroom above any flight of stairs must be at least two metres high - measured from the ‘pitch line’ not the ‘tread’. The pitch line is an imaginary line along the tip of the nosing of the treads. This is then where the headroom is measured from the height above the nosing of a tread to the ceiling above it.
Regulations are crucial as stairs are the most hazardous features in buildings, with 80 per cent of falls occurring in descent. Therefore, one handrail is required for stairs less than one metre wide and handrails on both sides for wider stairs. Though, in general terms domestic stairs are usually 90cm wide.
Contact Sky House Design Centre for more information about Balustrades: