Balustrade Jargon Buster!

If you are thinking of installing a balustrade as part of your project, you will have many questions about how to construct one, design the best one, measuring and so forth.

glass balustrade

Knowing what the jargon means ensures you understand what it is you are opting for and that you get the right balustrade for your project.

Cast your eye over our comprehensive jargon busting guide to balustrades…

Balustrade Building Regulations

Building regulations are applied across a range of construction projects, including the installation of balustrades on stairs, balconies etc. Regulations do change and are updated from time to time so it is vital that you check you are using current guidance and rules.

Centreline Measurements

This is the measurement from the centre of the first post in a run to the centre of the last post in the run. You will need to repeat this for every run in your balustrade in order to get the right balustrade for your project.


If you are considering a frameless glass balustrade, you will need stainless steel cladding to complete the installation and neaten the edge. Cladding has an adhesive rubber seal that is secured on the underside of the cladding ‘lip’.

Frameless balustrade

Some balustrades are designed with posts every metre or so to act as points of strength and to distribute the weight of the system across the entire balustrade run. A frameless system is anchored in such a way that there is no need for posts. In fact, where the posts would be, there is an expansion gap. Perfect for projects that need a minimalist and super-modern appeal.


A gasket is a rubber separator that is slotted into place between the glass and the stainless-steel fixing or bracket. They are also known as seals and are used as dampeners, taking the impact of small movements in the system so that the glass infill is not damaged.


This is the part of the balustrade between the posts. There are various materials available such as tempered glass, wire rope, wood or a combination of materials.

Juliet Balcony

This is a balcony that sit across a full-length window, usually starting from the floor that allows the window to be fully opened but with a barrier that prevent falls from a height. Can be made from metal or glass balustrades are popular.

Maximum Centres

This is the maximum amount of space you can have between the centres of two balustrade posts. Infills or centres that are too large lead to a weakened balustrade and this means it isn’t safe.

Mirror Finish

When choosing a balustrade system, there are components and fixings that are needed to hold it in place. We supply only the highest quality stainless steel components. A mirror finish means it has a shiny, reflective surface. Works well indoors and outdoors.

Outside Measurement

This is the measurement around the area of the project where your balustrade will sit.

Part K Building Regulations 2010

Entitled ‘Protection from Falling, Collision and Impact’, Part K is the section of the Building regulations 2010 that apply to balustrades. In order for a building inspector to sign off your project, your balustrade will need to meet the standards laid down in Part K of the regulations.

Planning Permission

You may need to apply for planning permission for your project as a whole, with plans for the balustrade included or, if you are adding a balustrade as a standalone project, you may need to apply for planning permission. If you are unsure, contact the local planning department of your council BEFORE you start work.

Satin, Brushed or Matte Finish

This is the opposite of a mirror finish. The stainless steel will have been brushed to create a delicate linear pattern on the surface of the components giving it a non-shiny finished. Works well for both inside balustrade installations and outside projects too.

Stand Off Point Fixing

Glass panels can be used in balustrades and in other projects too, such as fitting a raised shelf at a front of house reception desk and so on. When there is a need to raise the height of this glass shelf, stand off point fixings can be used. They are also used in glass balustrades too.

Toughened Laminated Glass

If you are considering a glass balustrade you will come across toughened laminated glass. These glass panels have a coating known as Ethylene Vinyl-Acetate or EVA. This layer is inserted between each layer of thin glass that is the sandwiched together to make a thicker piece of glass. Toughened glass will hold together if it is broken, meaning no risk of millions of razor-sharp shards of glass all over the place.


For more details on any of these issues, measurements or specification contact the Balustrade Components team on 01543 624780 or email us direct on


No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *