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What’s the difference between a handrail and a balustrade?

What’s the difference between a handrail and a balustrade?

Shopping for home improvement ideas? Thinking you’d like to upgrade your hall, stairs and landing? Great choice. Although frequently overlooked, updating this busy thoroughfare of the home can have a real impact on the overall look and feel of your property. So taking the time to do your research, think about how you want it to look and what will work for you, is really important.

But where do you start? If you’re planning on modernising and opening up your stairwell, you need to think about how you might achieve that. Do you want to strip things right back and just have a handrail against the wall, or do you want a full new balustrade system putting in?

Before you can consider any of that properly though, you need to know your handrails from your balustrades. And, at Square 1, we’re here to help. We strive to offer exceptional service and choice and are always on hand to talk through any queries you may have. So let’s start by taking a closer look at the difference between these two options.

What is a handrail?

A handrail is the railing that runs alongside a staircase – essentially, it’s what you grip with your hands as you walk up or down the steps to guide and steady yourself. A handrail can be fitted against the wall your stairs follow and/or you can have a handrail included in your balustrade system (which can also be called a bannister) – for example with a metal handrail fitted on top of glass balustrades.

Take a look at the range of handrails we have on offer.

What is a balustrade?

Put simply, this is the bit below the handrail. A balustrade is made up of vertical posts – or a solid section – which sits on the side of the stairs and follows their path upward. Their main aim is to offer protection and safety, stopping people from falling.

Typically, they are made of wood or metal but, as more emphasis is being put on creating attractive hall, stairs and landings, people are now turning to glass and wire rope alternatives for a more distinctive and modern feel.

Depending on the look you want to achieve we offer a wide range of balustrade systems, including:

  • Modular glass systems
  • Steel and wire rope systems
  • Frameless glass balustrades
  • Contemporary and classic designs
  • Standoff bolted balustrade systems

So you see, you can have one without the other – or combine the two – but to make an informed choice and pick the right option for your needs, it’s important to be clear on exactly what each feature offers.

Why not discuss your ideas with the professionals? Our team here at Square 1 are experts in all things handrails and balustrades and have worked on a huge variety of hall, stairs and landing projects. We will be happy to discuss your requirements and chat through design concepts offering advice based on your personal situation – young family, pets, mobility – your style preferences and, of course, your budget. Helping you to achieve something that not only looks great but that works for your home too.

Get in touch today by calling 01489 583 371, email or complete our online contact form.


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