A Brief History of Balustrade
Balustrade was first discovered on bas-reliefs representing the Assyrian
palaces. Appearing to have Ionic capitals on top of each baluster, or
spindle, the Assyrians utilized them as window balustrade. During the
Italian Renaissance, balustrade was largely employed for many applications,
commonly being seen on great palaces in Venice and Verona. The Italian
revivalists, being used to accent patios, balconies, windows, and roof
parapets, applied balustrade with great importance.
This style of architecture was revered by the great architects
of the Italian Renaissance, yet was misused and the definition corrupted
by the English. Based on the idea of balustrade, the English designed
indoor stair railing and adopted the term, banister, attempting to retain
the elegance of the original word. Even though there is a similarity
between the words, there is a significant architectural difference, and
a banister could never replace a balustrade system.
Since the birth of balustrade, it has been assembled out
of several different materials including, wood, stone, and even molded
metal. Departing more and more from these inferior materials, balusters
are now constructed from a wide array of substances. Ranging from one
extreme such as concrete, to the other end of the spectrum with vinyl,
there is a material and style that will work for you.
As technology advances, different composite materials are
being applied to architectural detail work. For the production of our
balustrade and columns, we have employed the use of some of the most
technologically advanced architectural building materials available.
Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) is a patent-pending composite that
replicates the smooth texture of cultured marble while providing the
strength and endurance of simple concrete. Being a maintenance-free product,
this innovative material is a combination of crushed marble, resins,
and fiberglass, offering us the load bearing capacity of traditional
stone balustrade, without the obvious weight and difficulty of installation.
Being the same materials that our government is utilizing in construction
today, FRP far exceeds all BOCA requirements and is impact, weather,
heat, and insect resistant.
The design of balustrade is actually broken up into three
basic sections, a top rail, a bottom rail, and the balusters. Each baluster
reflects a turned post or has even been described as a miniature column.
The first thing that you must consider when fitting a system to your
project is the size of the top rail. If you are looking for a smaller,
more slender look, a five or six in diameter for the top and bottom rail
is suggested. Desiring to go with a larger, more substantial look? Then
a seven or even a twelve-inch balustrade system would probably work best.
Once you choose what size of a top and bottom rail
would work best in your situation, the next step is choosing your spindle,
or baluster. Providing you with a wide array of styles and sizes, you
can match the different choices that we have, and what will fit best
with your project. Each spindle has its own heritage, its own personality.
With each baluster having unique styles and sizes, our goal its to
make sure you receive the look that you desire for your project at
the lowest possible price.