The main function of a balustrade is to be a safety barrier.
The type of balustrades you use for your staircase or balcony comes down to personal preferences, location, style and budget. It’s possible to choose a balustrade that is functional while still complementing the overall aesthetic of your home.
In Australia, there are strict regulations for installing balustrades so that they meet safety requirements. Always contact a professional certified balustrade company to install your balustrades.
When it comes to balcony balustrades the location of the house becomes more important as some balustrade materials function better in different environments.
To help you make the right decision, we’ve done the homework for you. Here’s our review on the different types of balustrades.
Our number one pick for balustrades for inside and outside the home is frameless glass balustrades. Why? They look amazing in almost every home, are the safest balustrade type and are extremely durable in most environments. There are of course other types of glass balustrades, like semi-frameless glass balustrades which also look great, but we prefer the uninterrupted views of frameless glass balustrades.
Many people question if glass balustrades are safe as they don’t see glass as being as strong as other balustrade materials. However, they are actually the safest balustrade option.
Aluminium balustrades are another type of balustrade that can be used outside on the balcony or inside. Aluminium is a reliable and affordable balustrade material and is especially suited for homes near the coast.
Strand wire balustrades are typically made of stainless steel wires that run through either timber or steel posts. Wire balustrades are functional and easy to install while providing a contemporary finish to your indoor or outdoor setting.
Wrought iron is a great choice when you’re trying to achieve a decorative and lavish aesthetic. They are highly customised to suit your specific taste in interior/exterior decor. Whether you want a classic Parisian balcony or a more artistic design, wrought iron balustrades are highly customisable.
Wood balustrades are used mainly for their visual appeal, however, like any wood products they come with some innate issues. Wood is best suited to more traditional homes and the indoors, or those trying to achieve a more earthy look. Choosing wooden balustrades is something you need to weigh up, as while they look great they require a lot more maintenance than the other types of balustrades.
What is the Difference Between Stainless Steel and Aluminum Balustrades?
The main differences are the strength of the metal and the price. Aluminum is very durable but is not as strong as steel. Steel is very strong but very expensive.
Do Balustrades Need A Handrail?
It is an Australian requirement that balustrades that have a drop of over 1 metre must have a handrail. You have different options when it comes to handrails, you can opt for a side mount handrail or a top mount handrail.
Where in My Home Am I Legally Required to Have Balustrading?
According to the Building Code of Australia (BCA), there must be a ‘continuous balustrade or other barrier along the side of any roof to which public access is provided, any stairway or ramp, any floor, corridor, hallway, balcony, verandah, mezzanine, access bridge or the like and along the side of any path of access to a building, if it is not bounded by a wall; and, any level is more than 1 m above the surface beneath”.
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