woodwork, millwork, stairs

Balustrades: Cast, Fabricated, Turned and Molded

Click here for a list of balustrade suppliers

The Classical balustrade was an invention of the Renaissance architects, used primarily as an attractive and emphatic boundary marker on the perimeter of such things as balconies, loggias, staircases and garden areas. The Classical balustrade consists of two primary elements: fat, round balusters, essentially miniature columns, that are topped with a rail of some bulk and substance. The baluster-and- rail system is usually sub-divided into sections by square piers.

Originally, the Classical balustrade was fabricated from natural stone. And there are still stone fabricators (some noted in the linked list) who can supply balustrades in that material to your specifications using pretty much the same methods that produced the balustrades for Michelangelo's grand staircase on Rome's Capitoline Hill. But there are also less expensive alternatives: cast stone, reinforced molded polymers, turned wood, fabricated metal and thin-shell composites. Suppliers for each of these more economical types are also found in the attached list.