A balustrade is a railing supported by posts and is most commonly found on staircases, balconies, patios and decks. It serves as a protective barrier; something that’s required by building regulations for any raised platform more than one metre high.
As well as being an important safety feature, a balustrade is also an opportunity to make a bold design statement. The right balustrade can create a wow factor in any interior or exterior area.When choosing a balustrade, there are many factors to be considered, which are discussed below.
First and foremost, make sure your chosen balustrade meets Australian Safety Standards and BCA Codes. No matter how innovative the design may be, it needs to be strong enough for the job and have no gaps wide enough that children or pets could squeeze through, particularly if being installed on a balcony or staircase.
Unless price is no object, start with a budget or price range in mind. Do some online research to see what’s out there, determine what you like and don’t like, and take your house plans with you when you visit a supplier. That way they can discuss dimensions, available materials and designs, and give you a ballpark figure on what your new balustrade might cost.
3. Strength and durability
Most reputable suppliers will only recommend tried and true designs that meet Australian standards. But if you’re working with a designer or have your own design in mind, make sure it’s constructed from strong, durable materials, particularly if it’s for an outdoor application.
4. Aesthetic appeal
Think beyond simple railings and choose a design that reflects the personality of your home. If you like traditional designs or your home is an older style, consider wrought iron with scrollwork or similar designs that reflect this. If you like clean, modern lines, choose a minimalist design using glass or vertical wire.
Consider whether your balustrade is for an indoor or outdoor location and choose your materials accordingly. If it’s for an interior staircase, it can be made from a greater range of materials, including polished wood or glass. But if it’s to be used outside and exposed to the elements, materials would need to be more durable and weather-resistant, such as toughened safety glass, wrought iron or treated aluminium.
Following on from Tip 5, your choice of materials should also take into account the amount of maintenance they might require. For example, wood or steel would need more TLC than glass or aluminium, particularly in an outdoor location.
The most popular materials for your balustrade include:
- Timber - Timber adds warmth and is a popular balustrade material. It’s strong, versatile (it can be repainted to match any décor changes), easy to work with and relatively inexpensive.
- Metal – Offers a contemporary look, is strong and is easy to maintain. It also has a non-porous surface for superior hygiene.
- Wrought iron - Elegant, easily handcrafted, and able to withstand the harshest weather conditions, making it ideal for outdoors.
- Aluminium – Affordable, low maintenance, lightweight and durable, with high corrosion and rust resistant properties.
Another popular material being used for balustrades is glass. We’ve made this the final consideration because, at Trade Glass Depot, we believe it’s the best option. Some of the excellent benefits a glass balustrade has to offer include:
- It creates the illusion of space – Glass reflects light to make the space appear larger than it actually is, creating the illusion of an open and more expansive area.
- It complements modern designs – The clean, elegant lines of glass are perfectly suited to open plan and minimalist interiors.
- It’s very low maintenance – Glass is practically maintenance free and a breeze to keep clean with a lint-free cloth and some detergent.
- It’s strong and durable – Glass balustrades are made using tempered glass heated to temperatures of more than 700 degrees Celsius.
- It works well with other materials - Glass balustrades offer excellent design versatility and complement whatever materials you want to incorporate, including wood, metal and stone.
- It’s safe – Unlike the gaps in some traditional balustrades, glass panes have no openings that children or pets could squeeze through.
The best balustrade is glass
Ready to move ahead with a glass balustrade for your home? Then you need the best available, and our team are here to help. Trade Glass Depot are the experts in everything related to glass balustrades. Contact us today for a quote on your project.