Which handrail bracket should you use for your stairs?

In any design and installation, it is the smallest components that can have the biggest impact on the overall look.

You may be wanting a sleek, minimalist look but find that some of those essential fixtures and fixings only come in one form: cumbersome and ugly. However, there is help at hand with a growing range of balustrade components, the bits and bobs that connect the handrail to the wall, staircase and so on that have a beauty and elegance all of their own.

wooden balustradeBalustrade components – necessity and safety

In constructing and creating the main component of a feature or installation, it may sometimes need to be attached to something else for support and strength.

In terms of the handrail, it is a safety feature that every staircase benefits from. The climb up and descent of a staircase can be difficult at times and therefore, having something to hold on to or grab hold off to prevent a fall is essential.

This is the function of a handrail. Thus, the components and the fixings are immeasurably important. They provide strength the handrail, as well as a secure fixing.

Are all components equal?

In some ways, yes they are but clearly, like many other fixings and so on, some will perform better in some situations that in others.

To ensure that you get the right fixing for the right situation you need to be clear about what and where the handrail will be, and what pressure and use you expect it to be under.

Clearly, handrails in busy commercial settings – office complexes, shopping malls and so on – will be having more daily use than those in a domestic setting. They will need to be easily cleaned, easily fixed and, if necessary, easily repaired or replaced.

In commercial settings, you may also find that there are stringent rules and regulations governing the installation of a handrail, especially in terms of height and positioning. And this is not a ‘one-off’ consideration. The functionality and safety of a handrail in a commercial setting should be constantly scrutinised.

In other words, the health and safety implications of a handrail is an important consideration. Get it wrong, leading to someone being hurt and, as a business, you will be heading down the route of an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). This could lead to a substantial, crippling fine if short comings which should have been noticed and rectified were not.

What all these safety implications and so do NOT mean, however, you will be pleased to note, is that handrail brackets and fixings have to chunky, cumbersome and frankly, more than a little ugly.

They do need to be strong, however, even if they are minimalist. They need to be the right bracket and fixing for the material being used. And they need to be in sufficient quantity to provide the strength and robustness needed.

The materials

The type of fixing you will need to use with your handrail will depend on several factors, as noted above, and one of them is the material with which they are being used.

There are different brackets that can be used with glass, and different ones again for use with wood and metal.

Clearly, getting the right bracket is important as some will need to purchase and fix to a certain material in a certain way. Glass for example, is a material that although robust can be fragile if too much pressure is placed on one particular spot. Thus, clamps that distribute their load widely are the answer.

The design and final look you are aiming for

Fixings and handrail brackets also come in different styles, shapes and sizes. If you are wanting a minimalist look, then you will be looking for a fixing component that is strong but without obvious chunkiness.

You may also prefer polished metal, over the matt look of metal components. In many cases, there is little, if any difference between their strength and so on.

Some fixings also lend themselves better in some designs than others. For example, some people opt for a traditional design, with the use of wood and so on. Again, handrail fixings and components can sit within such a scheme easily.

In summary

There is a growing choice and range of handrail brackets. Some however, will work better in some cases that in others.

You will need to understand the pressure and use that the handrail will be under on a daily or frequent basis; you will also need an idea of what will work within your design but at the same time, meet all the necessary regulations and safety guidelines, especially in a commercial setting.

That said, there is the perfect handrail bracket for your design.

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