Oct 25, 2023

Choose the right balusters for a perfect house finish

3 months ago

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A row of repeating balusters forms what is commonly known as a balustrade. Balusters are small posts that support the top rail of a railing.

Balustrades are seen on staircases, around balconies, and verandahs and are even used to define entranceways, and porches, among others.

Basically, they serve two purposes; to define the area and to provide protection so that people do not fall off the edge of a staircase or balcony. When choosing the appropriate staircase for your home or development, balustrade is often as important as the stairs themselves.

The balusters, handrails and posts can completely change the look of not only the stairs, but the entire building. External balustrade and handrails are slightly more expensive than internal balustrade and handrails due to the fact that it normally has to be treated for use in conditions subject to the weather.

External balustrade and handrails can be made from any material, as long as they meet the strict requirements. This includes gaps below or between the balustrades. Finishes range from hand-finished, stained and sealed and paint.

There are different types of balustrades on the market and these vary, depending on the material used. Before constructing a balustrade, however, it is a good idea to make yourself familiar with your choices.


Architect Abdu-Wahab Nyanzi says aluminium balustrades are good for balconies and stairs. They are usually powder-coated and are available in a wide range of colours. The handrail is usually made of a hollow section of aluminium that is welded to the rest of the balustrade sections. According to Nyanzi they come in a variety of designs, such as twists, scrolls and rings and can be customised. They are rust-free and cost-effective.


Ali Kibuuka who deals in concrete bricks in Kawanda says concrete balustrades are mostly used in luxury homes or other buildings. They are made in two different ways; carved or cast. Carved ones are more expensive than cast. Concrete balustrades may range between two-and-a-half to three feet long. They can be painted any colour.


Steel balustrades are rust-free and complements a wide range of building materials. They are timeless and can be used both inside and outside the home to provide a classical or modern look. They are cost-effective since they are durable and versatile.


Wooden balustrades can be painted or stained to the colour of your choice. The wood posts can be turned, carved or left sleek, depending on the feel that one is trying to achieve.

Nyanzi says that in case you are using them outdoors, the wood should be treated to avoid rotting and other defects that may arise when exposed to moisture. When painted or polished and well-fitted, wood balustrades provide years of classical service. They are more expensive than other types and require highly skilled labour to produce quality workmanship.


Glass balustrades are made up of a series of glass panels that are fully framed, semi-frameless or fully frameless. The glass can be clear, tinted or frosted to a colour of your choice. They are made in toughened glass for safety

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A row of repeating balusters forms what is commonly known as a balustrade. Balusters are small posts that support the top rail of a railing. Aluminium Concrete Steel Wood Glass