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Your Guide to Understanding Balustrades and How They Can Transform Your Staircase

A staircase renovation can become a home transformation with endless opportunities. Understanding the integral parts of your staircase design is the first step to finding and perfecting a bespoke staircase solution that is unique to your personal style and requirements. One of the most important parts of your staircase while renovating is the balustrade. It has the capacity to completely transform the look of your stairway and here’s what you need to consider.

Cut string glass balustrade: before and after

What makes up the balustrade?

The balustrade is the railing and baluster that prevents you from falling over the edge. It’s also the collective name for the complete assembly of handrails, including spindles and newel posts. These can be highly decorative; turned, carved, forged, or even replaced by wooden or glass panels. They sit between the handrail and stairs and are also known as balusters.

While its main function is to provide safety when ascending or descending the stairs – it is the most important design element when renovating a staircase.

Handrail: This is the part of the staircase we use for support when going up and down the stairway. It sits on top of the balustrade.

Spindles: Spindles (also known as balusters) sit in between the handrail and the baserail, while serving as protection from falling off the edge of the stairs. The spindles offer the most flexibility when it comes to design and can be a hugely decorative element.

Baserail: The baserail sits on your string and has a groove which accepts the spindles. Should you want a cut string staircase there would be no need for a baserail as the spindles enter the treads.

Newel cap: This is the ornamental cap that sits on top of the newel post.

Newel post: The newel post is a structural element that extends below the floor and subfloor and is bolted to the floor joist.

What materials are best for the balustrade?

The beauty of the balustrade is that glass, timber, and steel can create equally stunning features for your stairway, and all serve as a safe and secure option.

Timber Transformations

Choose from a wide range of timbers including oak, sapele, maple, beech and walnut and add beautiful finishing touches to create a perfect entrance and an elegant first impression.

Slim Oak Spindle

Glass Creations

Glass can give the impression of your staircase gracefully floating. It’s a wonderful choice for both vast and compact spaces as it allows the light to flow through the entire hallway. It’s a contemporary choice that can complement many home styles.

Cut String Glass and Oak Staircase

Steel Combinations

Our steel staircases are available in a number of design styles and finishes that are unique to Neville Johnson. Steel can look dramatic with forged spindles or you could opt for minimalist chic, combining brushed steel with glass.

Opus Steel Staircase Design

For more information on your staircase renovation request a brochure here, or book a design consultation with one of our expert designers here. Alternatively, you can call us directly on 0161 873 8333.

Discover the different types of stairs or view more of our staircase designs today!

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“The craftsmanship is superb”

From the outset of our contract with Neville Johnson, we were supported with design choices, given expert advice and all deadlines were met. Everyone was courteous, knowledgeable and friendly. The craftsmanship is superb; our staircase is now an outstanding feature of our open plan lounge.

Judith Scorer, Stockport

“I would really recommend Neville Johnson to anyone”

A real easy process, I would really recommend Neville Johnson to anyone. From the first phone call through to a very skilled fitter (who had to go above and beyond with our old house not having one straight line in it) it was all so easy. We couldn’t be happier that we chose to use Neville Johnson.

Richard Smith, Surrey

“Impressed by the whole process”

From contacting the company to the point where the cupboards were fitted I was impressed by the whole process. The initial salesperson that visited was knowledgeable and helpful. I would certainly use Neville Johnson again and highly recommend this company.

Mrs S. D, Lincolnshire

“Hugely admired by family and friends”

The room is transformed and has been hugely admired by family and friends. I was pleasantly surprised by the attentive and courteous client care – everything went according to plan and nothing seemed too much trouble. They were in regular contact before and after the installation. I would highly recommend Neville Johnson to anyone wanting to transform a room.

Cherry Murdoch, London

“Our new staircase looks fantastic”

Our new staircase looks fantastic. We’ve had lots of compliments and it has transformed our hallway. The whole experience was great from beginning to end, from discussing our requirements to the finished article.

Mr & Mrs Begbie, Hampshire

“We would recommend Neville Johnson without hesitation”

From the initial meeting with the senior designer to discuss our needs, to the surveyor and then the installer, we were extremely delighted with the end result. The installation process went without any problems. All the staff were very professional and we would recommend Neville Johnson without hesitation.

Rosalind Tunnicliffe, Solihull

“Utterly professional”

From the initial contact with the company to the completion and installation everything was utterly professional; we have no hesitation in recommending the company to anybody. We are so pleased, that Neville Johnson is returning to install a new staircase!

Mr and Mrs Thorpe, Radcliffe

“The staircase has transformed our living space”

From our initial enquiry to the completion of our staircase, we have found all the members of the team at Neville Johnson to be very helpful, courteous and professional in all our dealings. The staircase has transformed our living space. We have been very impressed with this company from start to finish and would not hesitate to recommend them.

Pauline Treston, Northumberland

“Effortless from start to finish”

From the moment the brochure was delivered, I was optimistic that we were buying quality. I wasn’t disappointed. All contact made was courteous, polite and clear, with phone calls confirmed by email. In short, we’re really thrilled with our library and it was effortless from start to finish.

Alison Cole, Swinton

“I cannot recommend this company enough”

I cannot recommend this company enough. From first contact we received very high quality service. We were informed as to everything that was going on, which was backed up by the necessary paperwork, plans and phone calls. The fitter was competent and the work he did we can’t fault.

Mrs K Holroyd, Wrexham

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