Essential to ensure the safety of people who use a staircase overlooking the void, the stair railing offers a sufficiently large aesthetic choice to match with all interiors.
What is a stair railing?
The stair railing is a set consisting of:
a low rail : slight rise from the ground that allows to fix the filling or balusters at their low point (optional because the balusters can also be attached directly to the ground on the steps);
a filling , full or perforated;
of a handrail , to allow people who use the stairs to stand at the railing.
The guardrail is also called railing or ramp .
If its filling is perforated, consisting of balusters fixed at an equal distance, it takes the name of balustrade.
Why choose a stair railing?
The railing or guardrail is placed on the empty sides of the staircase.
It is not necessarily integrated on standard stairs for which it is possible to install only a wall-mounted handrail. However, this option does not represent the best security solution since the empty side of the staircase remains open.
When a staircase is more than 1.20 m wide, it is possible to install a stair railing facing a wall handrail.
Types of stair railing
The stair railing comes in different materials:
For a modern decoration, stainless steel is the choice of elegance. It can be suitable for indoors, as for the outside, but we must be careful with the type of stainless steel used (304 or 316 for aggressive environments) when laying a stainless steel outer railing at the seaside because this material is particularly sensitive to iodine.
Iron: Particularly suitable for outdoor use, the iron railing is more complicated to install because it is heavier. It is chosen for aesthetic criteria. Regular maintenance will make it last in time avoiding corrosion.
Wood: it is perfect for the interior, but requires regular maintenance outdoors (choose a class 4 wood for outdoor use).
Aluminum: it has an appearance substantially identical to stainless steel, but offers a greater variety of shapes and a very good durability over time.
How to fix a stair railing?
There are two methods of laying for a stair railing.
French pose (or flat pose)
The French installation of the stair railing takes place directly on the ground, on the top of the steps. The filling of the railing or its balusters are fixed flat or on a low rail.
This is the simplest method of installation, and the one that offers the most security, because resting flat the railing undergoes less constraints.
However, the French pose has the disadvantage of nibbling space on the width of the stairs (10 to 20 cm depending on the style of the railing). If the width of the stairs is already reduced, the French installation may be impossible (the minimum width of a staircase is 70 cm).
English style (or wall-mounted)
The English style is very different because the brackets of the railing are attached to the outside of the stairs, on the mud or on the wall that supports the stairs.
The English pose gives a feeling of space in the stairs because the rail does not return inward.
However, the pose is more complicated and is height for some fixings.
In addition, to ensure this pose, it is necessary that the slime of the staircase or the slab that supports it are strong enough to withstand the stresses. The mounting brackets must never be placed on a plasterboard wall.
In the case of a wooden staircase, the English installation is not advisable to use adequate reinforcements.