A balustrade is a structure of balusters formed together to reduce the possibility of a person falling off of an elevated space, such as a stairway, terrace or balcony. Balustrades originally were made in stone all the way back to the 17th century BC. Since then, they have evolved into a much more complex and modern design made from all sorts of materials from glass balustrades, stainless steel balustrades and timber balustrades


Why install a balustrade?

As a balustrade acts as a stylish safety barrier, it is important to install one to provide this safety for your property. Whether it is your staircase or your balcony, falling is a big issue which you can avoid with a sturdy balustrade. Whenever there is a change in level between one floor and another, a balustrade becomes a must. Not only do they protect people from falling but they also help defend against objects falling from heights or unwanted guests trying to climb into your area.


What is a balustrade on stairs?

Both a design and safety features, a stair balustrade can transform the look of your staircase and elevate your space. A balustrade on a staircase is similar to a normal balustrade, but it follows a base rail that supports the steps to prevent falling off of the stairs. A stair balustrade usually comes with a handrail at the top of the balustrade, supported by posts.


What is a handrail?

A handrail is the rail on stairs that is provided for safety and support when moving up and down the stairs. Handrails are also referred to as bannisters in some places, such as Britain. Handrails are essential when it comes to providing safety in homes and commercial buildings to prevent falls. We have installed many customised handrails of various colours and materials to provide excellent safety and style within spaces, as you will be able to see on our gallery page.


A handrail should be between 900mm and 1000mm from the pitch line of the stairs. This height is approximately 35.4-39 inches, which provides the perfect height for users to hold onto the handrail. The height of the handrail is very important as it provides the optimum safety and ease of usage with people ascending and descending the stairs.


What is the minimum height of a balustrade?

Balustrade regulations vary depending on the type of property, such as domestic or commercial. Domestic properties require that when there are any flights of stairs, landing or raised areas in a single-family dwelling then there must be a balustrade if there is a more than 600mm difference between the adjacent levels. Other minimum heights of balustrades from floor to finish based on their positions are:

  • Barriers in front of windows – 800mm
  • Stairs, edges of internal floors and landings, ramps – 900mm
  • Exterior balconies such as Juliet balconies, roof edges, etc. – 1100mm


For commercial properties, the difference in height changes, becoming 380mm. This means you will need a balustrade where there is a difference in floor level of 380mm or above (almost half that of a domestic property). For more information on the subject, make sure to check our balustrades rules and regulations article.


What is a balcony balustrade ?

A balcony balustrade is a balustrade structure built around the edges of a balcony to provide not only safety but also an improved aesthetic. From a normal balcony to a Juliet balcony, balustrades implemented into them can also boost property value. Safety is a must when it comes to balconies, therefore it is important to install a balustrade to keep your family or customers safe as even the smallest drops can be a problem. Here at SMART we are able to provide the perfect balcony whilst abiding by all the planning permissions we will allow kids, pets and those with mobility issues a chance to experience a balcony safely.


Can I have a balustrade on my terrace?

Terraces, which are similar to balconies are also able to have safe and stylish balustrades implemented onto them. Terraces have more open spaces and they can be attached or detached to a property. Balconies on the other hand are small elevated platforms that are usually fixed to a specific property and lead to one room. Balconies tend to be more private and provide less open space, but both require a safe balustrade.


Interested in a high quality balustrade?

Are you interested in an excellent quality balustrade implemented into your domestic or commercial property? Here at SMART we are able to meet our clients specific needs to provide unrivalled balustrades of various materials and styles. Make sure to get in contact with us today and we’re more than happy to answer any questions you have. You can also take a look at our case studies to follow our projects from start to finish.