What is the Difference Between a Stair Baluster, Balustrade, and Banister?
Have you ever heard the words stair baluster, balustrade, or banister and wondered what they mean? Are they the same thing or are they different things? Are these the same words said in different ways? Here is a simple explanation of the differences.
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A stair baluster is a vertical piece between a railing and other wood or the floor that adds support and safety; a short and decorative post or pillar that supports a top rail. The term baluster comes from the Italian word for pomegranate flowers, balaustra, which was chosen because these architectural features sometimes mimic them. Balusters can be made of wood, iron, stone, and other materials. The term baluster is interchangeable with the word spindle.
A balustrade is comprised of an assembled top rail, stair balusters or spindles, and often a bottom rail, posts, post caps, and decorative finials. It is a composite made up of individual parts, such as the balusters and a railing/handrail. It can be used indoors or outdoors, for staircases and balconies, as well as decorative structures.
Stair Banister (Bannister)
The banister is commonly referring to the handrail of the structure. People hold onto a banister while on the stairs for support.
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