If you are looking for a way to add a little character to your floor level balustrade here is an idea that gives a new purpose to a standard stair part. Designing a distinct and memorable balustrade from the myriad components available definitely involves some creative thought. There is more to it than picking the right profile; you must also consider their quality and how well they will harmonize in the complete architectural design. I’ve spent a lot of time recently trying to point our customers in the right direction, to get them asking the right questions about the big picture, and so forth. Today, I’d like to make a very simple and specific suggestion. In addition to the standard components that make up interior stair railing design such as Newel Posts, Wood or Wrought Iron Balusters, Stair Treads and all of the accompanying accessories and moldings, here is a suggestion you might find interesting for your floor level balustrade.
Handrail fittings are typically used in two scenarios, as a decorative termination to a handrail and to make a transition between two handrails that intersect at different angles. For example, the most common termination fittings are Volutes and Turnouts while Quarter Turns, Easings, and Goosenecks are standard transition fittings. So now for the big idea 🙂 Instead of using transition fittings as they are intended, you might consider using them to add a three-dimensional detail to your floor level balustrade. If you are planning a post-to-post system then instead of having the handrail terminate straight into the post, use fittings to give it a little flair just before the attachment. Because this is such rare practice, which is good and bad, I don’t have many pictures. Here is a before and after of one of WoodStairs.com’s customers remodel projects. While this balustrade is in a small space, the change and the goose neck fittings make a huge visual impact.
Here is another of our customers who used this suggestion in their luxurious balustrade in a high-end custom home. I’m sorry I don’t have more examples but perhaps you will send us pics when your done with your project :).
Anyway as you know, most of the time when a floor level handrail “dies into” the post it does so in a straight line. Though, as you can see from the pictures above, this simple addition definitely adds character to the typical straight-in connection and the floor level balustrade overall. It adds graceful, flowing lines to any wood handrail profile you choose and gives more depth to the system as a whole. So, for less than a couple hundred bucks you can have that little something extra that virtually no one else has. Whether you just want to add some originality to your home or if you want to distinguish the home you are selling from the house down the street this will definitely catch the eye and set your design apart. Enjoy the compliments, and I’ll even let you take all of the credit 🙂 Finally though, I don’t want you to misunderstand, if you already have a balustrade in your home adding the fittings may require replacing the handrail and possibly even the balusters (if they aren’t tall enough as they are). When I say simple I mean if you are building new or renovating anyway, this is a very easy and relatively inexpensive embellishment to your standard balustrade.