Monday, December 18, 2017

Stair Railings need not be Boring, Make them Attractive!

January 1, 2007 by  
Filed under General

Wooden Staircase Railings - photo by TomMost people think stair railings are just a functional addition to stairs in order to make getting from one floor to another safe and simple. However, this need not be the case. You can make your stair railings an extension of your personal decorative taste by utilizing ornaments and subdued design elements as an integral part of your stairs to enhance the visual appeal and add value to your home.

Besides, stair railings are one of the first things people will see when they come in which is why you should give careful consideration to the design and elegance it passes on to the rest of your home’s decorative style and architecture.

For the uninitiated, staircases are not just staircases. They are decorative yet functional parts of the home that adds elegance and value to your house. There are several components that make up a stair:

Balustrade: Also known as the handrail; is a system of railings and spindles that prevent people from falling over the edge of the staircase.

Baluster: Also known as spindles, these go straight up to hold the handrail and is often decorative.

Newel: The large post that anchors the handrail and is attached at the sub floor or the floor joists. Some manufacturers match the turnings of the baluster to the turnings of the newel for a coordinated and artistic effect.

Base Rail: This is often used for railing systems when the baluster does not go directly into the tread or the bull nose; it runs underneath the balusters.

Volute: A handrail for the bull nose step that is shaped like a spiral, usually seen in spiral staircases. In creating the volute, the Fibonacci numbers are used to ensure that it is mathematically correct.

Turnout: Also for spiral staircases, a turnout is a quarter-turn rounded end to the handrail; normally used when the bull-nose step is not large enough to warrant a volute.

Gooseneck: This is the vertical handrail that joins a sloped handrail to a higher handrail on the balcony or landing.

Rosette: This is where the handrail ends in the wall; it is usually adorned or decorated with a rosette and can also be used to extend the width of the handrails between the handrail and the wall.

Wall Brackets: Wall mounted handrail attachments.

There are a wide variety of materials that can be used to make stair railings like wood (preferably oak wood), wrought iron, concrete, and stainless steel (for a futuristic and contemporary look). However, oak wood stair railings remain as the all-time favorite.

It adds elegance and functionality and generally improves the overall appeal of your home’s interior. This is also evident in most corporate and government buildings like public libraries and even the White House and the Vatican. The genteel appeal of oak wood stairs and stair railings provides the warmth, charm and elegance due to its smooth and warm color.

However, if you prefer other materials than oak wood, go ahead and use them. They have even more decorative and design options than the traditional oak wood but keep in mind that whatever material you use, make sure that the fusion of form and function is well-balanced and maintained.

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