The word balustrades originated in France in the mid 17th century. It is the plural of baluster and is a cluster of ornamental low blocks or columns placed at the side of a balcony, staircase or bridge. They are sometimes even used in porches and entranceways.
The correct balustrade will not only be functional in terms of offering safety to the user, but will also define the area and add a certain charm to the overall perception of the building. This is the reason why quite a number of people are taking more than an active interest when it comes to choosing that perfect baluster that not only blends but even add a certain charm to it. Today, the market offers different kinds of balustrades in different materials to please the taste of one and all.
Materials used in balustrades
One of the most commonly used materials for balustrades in ancient times was the ubiquitous wood – it remains popular to this day. Depending on the taste and budget, the wood posts can be plain or carved and can even be painted in different colors. Although this kind of balustrade needs to be periodically treated (as opposed to more modern building materials which do not)
The next popular material which finds favor with those looking for sleek lines and modern design is steel. Balustrades made of steel are both durable and versatile. It can be shaped and designed in various ways and is also easy to maintain.
Glass paneled balustrades are the preferred choice for those looking for a material which will not obstruct their view and like the contemporary look. Toughened glass is used in this type of baluster and depending on the taste; clear, frosted or tinted glass can be used. Users can also opt for fully framed or semi-framed glass balustrades which can be both straight and curved.
Wrought iron and wrought aluminium too are a popular choice for balustrades for those who want their baluster to be a bit ornamental yet low on maintenance.Other less popular choices in balustrades are lace, stone, vinyl, polymer and polyurethane.
Lace baluster is made of aluminium panels or cast iron and is very intricate in its design. Balustrades made of stone or granite are preferred by the rich since it is one of the most striking (and expensive) options available.
So if you are looking to replace your balcony balustrade – these are your main options. You obviously have a fair bit of research still to do as this is just a brief overview of your options!
So look around online, see what advertisers have on offer, and then look into your specific choice a littler further to make sure you know what you are getting into!