Modern tendencies of individual design and construction of the private dwellings are increasingly aimed at creating the multi-level apartments and multi-story buildings with a wide porch. Despite the popularity of cottage lifts, stairwells and classic handrails from wood and metal with decorative elements remain the main binding structures between the floors. They often play a central role in the interior. Apart from providing the safety of occupants, railings must serve as a decoration of the building and fit organically into any design of the house.
Characteristics of railings
Regardless of the materials used for manufacturing the railings, they must comply with a number of technical norms and requirements:
- Height. According to SNiP, the height of railings for the person of average height must be at least 90 cm. Standard height for the children’s railings is 50 cm, which allows the child to feel comfortable while climbing the staircase.
- Width. The width of handrails is selected individually. However, it is advisable that the size of railing pad doesn’t exceed the width of your hand (6-8 cm).
- Strength. Railings must easily withstand the weight of an adult and have some margin of safety (100 kg per 1 linear meter).
Criteria for the selection of material
Adequate strength, different design options and aesthetic appearance are combined in the metal and wooden products. In this, you should consider a number of factors affecting the choice of one or another material:
- General style of house design.
- Material for finishing the staircase and the premises.
- Expected load on the railings.
- Price of material and manufacture of the stairs.
Metal railings (especially with the elements of art forging) blend in almost any style of house design (except where different wooden elements prevail in the decoration). In this case, the choice of wooden railings, decorated with artistic carving, will be a natural extension of design idea. Despite their high price, such products are in high demand due to the ability of creating the original and unique interior decoration by your own sketch. Besides, wooden railings have a number of advantages.
Advantages of wooden railings
Advantages of wooden railings include:
- Ease of processing. Elements of wooden railings can have different shape, art style and be based even on the most complex sketches: choose the original balusters and banisters and decorate them with the radial handrails.
- Simplicity of installation. Installation of wooden railings can be made carried out manually with a minimum set of tools.
- Ecological safety. Wood as a natural element doesn’t leach toxins as is safe for human health.
- Operational safety. Unlike other materials, wood can soften the blows and causes less damage upon contact, which is especially important if you have children.
- Color variations. For better integration in the interior, wooden railings should be the same color as the parquet, laminate and doors.
- Sufficient strength. To build the wooden railings, you should use hardwoods (larch, oak and beech). Therefore, they can withstand heavy loads.
- Moderate price. The cost of wooden railings (even made by the individual sketch) can’t be called “sky-high”, considering that their planned service life at home is calculated in decades (and a little less if used outdoors).
To add strength to the wooden structure, you should use metal decorated frame (photo on the right).
It is possible to create the elements of decoration that can embellish any interior and highlight the features of the chosen style. These are the metal railings, made by art forging.
Benefits and peculiarities of forged railings
The popularity of forged railings for use both inside and outside the house is related to their numerous advantages:
- high strength and functionality;
- flexibility of metal allows you to create the railings of any shape;
- ability to build the railings by 3D-sketch, which will be combined with the design of the house;
- ability to add the elements of decoration by means of cold welding;
- the technologies of blueing and patination can not only prevent corrosion, but also make the railing look noble. If you house is designed in warm, light colors, you should use artificial aging of the railing metal (patination), and for the strict interior- the elements must be painted black (blueing).
- the use of numerous pictures, patterns, complicated weaves and bent elements of decoration in the design of forged railings.
Complexity, shape and intensity of weaves of the forged railings give the notes of desired style and aesthetic value to the staircase.
Types of patterns
According to the complexity of patterns, the forged railings can be divided into three levels:
- Simple pattern. It is used in concise, austere style and is characterized by straight uniform shape (picture at the beginning of the article).
- Pattern with an intermediate level of complexity. You can use the monotonous simple weave of both straight and curved lines, as well as the additional simple decoration.
- Complicated pattern. This type includes various decorative elements, rich in the weaves of different shapes. Railings with complicated art forging are very beautiful. They are perfectly supplemented by the wooden railing pads. Classic forged railings indicate the skills of the blacksmiths. They are very time-consuming, and therefore the most expensive (pictured below).
Experienced masters can build high-quality forged balusters and railings by hand, based on the most complicated drawings. However, you should choose the sketch, part of the elements of which can be made on the special bending machine, which allows you to significantly reduce the price of railings and decorate the interior of your house.
What’s your idea of the beautiful stair railings? Share it in the comments!