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Balustrade

From Draftsperson.net

  • A series of balusters in the one flight or along a landing
  • A handrail and the row of posts that support it, as along the edge of a stair or balcony.
Figure 01. An example of a balustrade
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Figure 01. An example of a balustrade
  • The complete system of railings and balusters that prevents people from falling over the edge.


  • BALUSTER

The vertical balusters that hold the handrail. Sometimes simply called guards or spindles. Treads often require two balusters. The second baluster is closer to the riser and is taller than the first. The extra height in the second baluster is typically in the middle between decorative elements on the baluster. That way the bottom decorative elements are aligned with the tread and the top elements are aligned with the railing angle. However, this means the first and second balusters are manufactured separately and cannot be interchanged. Balusters without decorative elements can be interchanged.

  • BANISTER, RAILING OR HANDRAIL

The angled member for handholding, as distinguished from the vertical balusters which hold it up for stairs that are open on one side; there is often a railing on both sides, sometimes only on one side or not at all, on wide staircases there is sometimes also one in the middle, or even more. The term "banister" is sometimes used to mean just the handrail, or sometimes the handrail and the balusters or sometimes just the balusters].

  • BASERAIL OR SHOERAIL

For systems where the baluster does not start at the treads, they go to a baserail. This allows for identical balusters, avoiding the second baluster problem.

  • CORE RAIL

Wood handrails often have a metal core to provide extra strength and stiffness, especially when the rail has to curve against the grain of the wood. The archaic term for the metal core is "core rail".

  • EASINGS

Wall handrails are mounted directly onto the wall with wall brackets. At the bottom of the stairs such railings flare to a horizontal railing and this horizontal portion is called a "starting easing". At the top of the stairs, the horizontal portion of the railing is called a "over easing".

  • FILLET

A decorative filler piece on the floor between balusters on a balcony railing.

  • GOOSENECK

The vertical handrail that joins a sloped handrail to a higher handrail on the balcony or landing is a gooseneck.

  • NEWEL

A large baluster or post used to anchor the handrail. Since it is a structural element, it extends below the floor and subfloor to the bottom of the floor joists and is bolted right to the floor joist. A half-newel may be used where a railing ends in the wall. Visually, it looks like half the newel is embedded in the wall. For open landings, a newel may extend below the landing for a decorative newel drop.

  • ROSETTE

Where the handrail ends in the wall and a half-newel is not used, it may be trimmed by a rosette.

  • SUPPORT BALUSTER

A post supporting a handrail and balustrade

  • TURNOUT

Instead of a complete spiral volute, a turnout is a quarter-turn rounded end to the handrail.

  • VOLUTE

A handrail for the bullnose step that is shaped like a spiral. Volutes may be right or left-handed depending on which side of the stairs they occur when facing up the stairs.


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