What is a Balustrade and Why Are They So Popular?
The French King had one to separate his bed from the rest of the room. They have been popular with civilisations and cultures for millennia – including Italian palaces from the 15th century. Good enough for kings and queens, is the balustrade a favourite choice of yours too?
Why install a balustrade?
A balustrade is a safety barrier to prevent people from accidentally falling from a height and thus, whenever there is a change in level between one floor and another, a balustrade is a must. The way in which this defined further is they are to be used when there is a danger of injury should someone fall from one level to another.
Thus, balustrades are a must for internal and external staircases and balconies.
Optional and stylish additions
However, we are seeing an increasing number of customers who are opting to use balustrades as a stylish extra. There are many reasons why this is the case;
Open plan living never really fell out of fashion. But in recent years, there has been an upsurge once again in its popularity. Offering seamless living throughout the social area of the home, it is no wonder that this interior design is popular again.
But, in both a domestic and commercial setting, open plan design can look ‘too’ vast and too cavernous. When it lacks detail, it doesn’t have the appeal that many people want it to.
As well as using larger items of furniture to zone areas, many are choosing a more permanent solution in the shape of balustrades. And no wonder – the design options are many and varied from the super-minimalist appeal of a frameless glass balustrade to more traditional design and materials.
Garden sculptural additions
Many customers are also using them outdoors in the garden. Zoning areas and creating private space is a way of adding detail to any garden but a wall or fence may give too much of a blunt finish.
Opaque or clear glass panels work well in the garden. With such minimal effort to maintain and clean, it is no wonder then they are the must-have modern choice.
But there is a second reason too and that is safety. In the UK, unlike other countries, we don’t have laws that stipulate pools and ponds must be securely fenced off. In Australia, for example, there is a clear law regarding child-proof pool fencing that has been successful in reducing drowning accidents.
Although we don’t have a law, many people are increasingly choosing to invest in high-quality ‘fencing’ options around the pond and some pools, especially where the swimming pool is more or less permanent in the garden.
Glass balustrades are perfect, especially as they can be designed to be quite tall and because it is hard to get a foothold on the smooth surface, they are difficult to climb over.
The detail of a balustrade is important. A minimally styled glass balustrade is all well and good. But if the fixings are cumbersome, clumsy and ugly they will detract from the overall finish.
On the other hand, the strength and performance of the entire system rests not just on installation but on the glass brackets and specialist glass clamps that firmly, but gently clasp the glass panels into place. These fixings and clamps must be checked periodically so that the balustrade is not compromised.
What you must know about balustrades
When balustrades are installed, whether they are deemed essential or not, they need to meet certain criteria. When someone sees the balustrade, they will assume that they are safe to use.
They need to meet a minimum height and they need to be able to withstand force and pressure of use too.On the whole, a well designed and installed balustrade, glass or otherwise, is a stylish detail that many customers are choosing to add to their homes, whether they are considered essential or not.
We’ve always known that balustrades are a beautiful sculptural addition, indoors and outdoors. Do you feel the same?