What exactly are Balustrades and Where Do You Find Them


For any of you good people out there who aren’t aware or who may just have heard the word somewhere, but never checked out exactly what it means, a balustrade is a series of architectural posts commonly known as “balusters” which are supported by top and bottom railings.

  • A baluster is normally not that large and most of them are shaped into a teardrop or vase shape that can vary in width.

Some balusters are longer while various others are thicker and more rounded. A balustrade is more than often seen on stairways, porches or balconies. And although balustrades are usually of a decorative nature, they’re really designed to stop people falling from inside or outside buildings

Early Latin Roots

The actual word “balustrade”, comes from the French language, which then derives from the Italian balaustrata. Balaustro is the Italian word for baluster, whilst balaustrata is what is known as the balustrade system.

  • A balustrade system includes the top and bottom railings and what are called “newel posts” as well as the balusters.

The newel posts are columns that support the balustrade and are positioned at the entrance, or the foot of a staircase and at corners of a balcony also and then are evenly spaced at intervals along the length of a balustrade.

The Decorative Appeal of Balustrades

And although the reason for newel posts is to hold up balustrade structures, they are ornamental and provide any place where they happen to be fitted, an eye catching attractive impression.

You will see them in a circular or square design which are simple but elaborate.

Secure in Their Place

Balusters are made with a small cylindrical section in the centre of each of their ends. These are round pegs which have been designed to fit snugly into holes drilled in the top and bottom railings and are kept securely in place also by the use of a strong adhesive.

  • There are also balustrades which are made from stone, wood, glass or metal, and can be either straight or curved in shape, all depending on a customer’s wishes.
  • The stone balusters are often known as “cast stone columns”.

From Now on, You Will Notice Them!

Stone balustrades usually accompany stone railings, although some metal balustrades will have wood railings. You may have already seen some stylishly scrolled black wrought iron balustrades with polished wood top railings.

Nowadays, nearly every shopping mall and office building will have glass balustrades fitted somewhere. The glass design may be just plain or textured, but have actually been designed so as not to be eye catching, but to let more light shine around any building where they are fitted.

  • And just In case you don’t know, that very same glass being used is tempered safety glass, which will not shatter!

Beautiful balustrades are in so many places, check them out!

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