Designing the right railings for the stairs in your home is important for interior design aesthetics as well as safety when using the stairs. Most stair railings match the color, material and style of the stairs, but some go a little more outside the box and still work. There are a variety of hand rails that can be installed, depending upon what kind of stairs they will be attached to.
With wood stairs, a sturdy wood railing made out of a similar color or type of wood is popular. Oak is a popular choice of wood as it is sturdy and helps hold up the balustrade, the upright spindles or slats, of the staircase. The railing should be strong enough to support a grown man putting his weight on it. It should also be thick enough for someone to just wrap their hand over the top. The balustrade can be thick or thin pieces of wood, depending on the look you want. However, thinner pieces will mean more will be needed to support the rail.
Wood and Metal Railings
Wood banisters and railings can also be combined with metal uprights, creating both a sturdy and good looking stair rail. Because metal uprights are strong no matter what their thickness, many more design options are available than when using just wood. They can be straight or ornate, such as metal vines growing off your staircase. However, the design needs to fit the style and decor of the rest of the house.
Metal railings are very sturdy, but don't necessarily have the elegance that a wood or wood and metal railing may have. All-metal railings should only be used on stairs made from materials other then wood or on all-metal stairs, such as spiral staircases, which are known for thin, metal railings. Metal railings can be as simple as a metal bar connected to thin metal supports. Such metal railings offer an inexpensive but effective option for metal stairs. Many metal railings are simple, modern designs that look good in contemporary homes.
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