Ornamental Railings- Elements and Components

Railings offer safety, protection, and enhance the beauty of a space. They can make a bare building façade look interesting or attractive, which is why many property owners want to install them. When clients try to conduct some research on this structure, they stumble across different terms like treads, balustrades, newels, handrail, etc. These are all components and elements of railings, but it’s not easy to understand their purpose. At Boston Ironworks, we have put together a small guide to explain all terms.

1. Baluster

A baluster is a decorative post, also called banister, spindle, or picket. It supports a railing’s top rail and has a distinctive design. These posts are bulky at the bottom and curve upwards, creating a decorative shape. A series of balusters supporting a top rail form a balustrade. This structure is used in patios, balconies, terraces, and even to section off certain areas on in a property.

2. Bottom rail

A bottom rail supports all posts and runs parallel to the ground. Not all railings have bottom rails and posts are directly anchored to the base. Some structures require this support to ensure they can bear the weight of a human body. Bottom rails can help make a railing more secure.

4. Guardrail

Guardrails are installed on structures like stairs, balconies, walkways, etc, that are located at an elevated position. Without these railings, people can fall from a great height and sustain injuries. Guardrails contain posts, top/bottom rails, and balustrades to ensure the structure is sound.

5. Handrail

Handrails are designed to offer support to people climbing stairs or walking down a sloping path. If someone accidentally trips or has mobility issues, they can use these rails as support. Handrails are strong, designed to bear load and pressure.

6. Landing

A landing is a place of rest on a staircase. It is large, flat surface typically located at the top of a flight of stairs. All staircases have landings and treads and will have railings along the periphery.

7. Posts

Posts support railings and are the most important aspects of this structure. Without them, railings will be too weak to bear load or offer support. Every railing has regular posts and newel posts at the top and bottom of a staircase.

For questions and inquiries regarding ornamental railings, you can call Boston Ironworks at 617 657 3117. You can also fill in this contact us form. We’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible. 

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