by Michael Banks May 30, 2023

Balustrade Materials: Finding the Perfect Mix of Style, Strength, and Budget-Friendliness

Welcome, home design enthusiasts! If you’re reading this, we bet you’re in the process of upgrading, renovating, or simply fine-tuning the aesthetics of your home. And today, we’re going to discuss the hot topic of materials! Yes, those elegant, safety-enhancing features that can effortlessly uplift your home’s charm.

The big question is, which balustrade material is the best fit for your home’s style, and of course, your budget? Stick around as we guide you through a labyrinth of balustrade materials and help you find the perfect one for you!

Wave Goodbye to the Balustrade Blues

Before we embark on our balustrade adventure, let’s briefly clarify what a balustrade is. In its simplest form, a balustrade is a series of pillars (also known as balusters) capped off with a rail. It serves a dual purpose – safety and aesthetics. You’ll usually find them adorning staircases, balconies, terraces, and even pool sides.

Material #1: Wood – The Timeless Classic

If your home is channelling a classic, rustic vibe, wood is a brilliant balustrade choice. Not only does it exude a warm, welcoming charm, but it’s also flexible enough to be carved into almost any shape you desire. The catch? Regular maintenance to keep it looking ship-shape and shiny.

But don’t worry, the result will be so worth it when you’re sipping your morning coffee beside your beautiful wooden balustrade!

The Traditional Townhouses of Bath

The beautiful Georgian townhouses in the city of Bath are outstanding examples of the elegance of wooden balustrades. These terraced homes feature ornate wooden balustrades along their staircases, adding warmth and character to the interiors.

What Could it Cost?

DIY: For a 15-foot interior wooden balustrade, you’d spend approximately £300 – £600. For a 20-foot exterior wooden balustrade, this would be about £400 – £800.

Professional Installation: Professionally installed, a 15-foot interior balustrade would cost around £600 – £1050, and a 20-foot exterior balustrade would cost about £800 – £1400.

Material #2: Glass – For the Modern Maverick

For all you fans of minimalist, contemporary design out there, glass balustrades will be your new best friends. They offer a sleek, clean look while also allowing an unobstructed view of your surroundings.

Worried about the fragility of glass? Fear not. Modern glass balustrades are constructed from toughened safety glass that can withstand quite a bit of pressure. The cost may be higher than wood, but for that ultimate sophisticated look, it’s a small price to pay.

The Shard, London

At a dizzying 310 meters high, The Shard, a spectacular piece of modern architecture in London, features glass balustrades for a minimalist and contemporary appeal. These balustrades allow unobstructed views of the London cityscape, making it a marvel of aesthetic and engineering.

Is Glass More Expensive?

DIY: For a glass balustrade, materials for a 15-foot length would cost about £1500 – £2250, and for a 20-foot length, around £2000 – £3000.

Professional Installation: A professionally installed 15-foot glass balustrade would be approximately £2250 – £3000, while a 20-foot length would be about £3000 – £4000.

Material #3: Metal – The Strong Silent Type

Sturdy, durable, and with a broad range of design possibilities, metal balustrades are an excellent choice for those after a mix of strength and style. You can choose from wrought iron for a romantic, whimsical feel, or go for stainless steel or aluminium for a more industrial, chic vibe.

Metal balustrades tend to be easier to maintain than wood and less expensive than glass, making them an affordable and reliable choice.

The Albert Bridge, London

The Albert Bridge in London is a stunning example of the beauty of metal balustrades. The wrought iron design adds charm to this iconic structure. If this style appeals to you, consider wrought iron or other metal balustrades for your home.

What’s The Cost of a Metal System?

DIY: A 15-foot metal balustrade would cost around £450 – £900 for materials, while a 20-foot length would be about £600 – £1200.

Professional Installation: A professionally installed metal balustrade for a 15-foot staircase would cost around £750 – £1500, and a 20-foot deck or balcony would be about £1000 – £2000.

Material #4: Stone – Durable and Distinctive

Stone balustrades are the epitome of elegance and durability. Whether it’s granite, marble, or limestone, stone balustrades can add a unique character to your outdoor spaces. They withstand the elements like champions and need little maintenance.

However, the cost can be on the higher side due to the weight and installation complexity.

The Roman Baths, Bath

Back to Bath, but this time we’re going Roman. The historical Roman Baths showcase the enduring elegance of stone balustrades. These grand balustrades have withstood centuries, speaking volumes about the durability of stone.

How Much Will Stone Cost?

DIY: For a stone balustrade, the cost of materials for a 15-foot length would be approximately £1050 – £2250, and for a 20-foot length, around £1400 – £3000.

Professional Installation: A professionally installed 15-foot stone balustrade would run between £1500 – £3000, and a 20-foot stone balustrade would be about £2000 – £4000

Final Thoughts: Matching Your Home’s Style and Budget

The right balustrade material for you really boils down to your personal taste, your home’s style, and, of course, your budget. Wood and metal are generally more budget-friendly, whereas glass and stone can be more costly, but offer a distinctive aesthetic appeal.

Remember, balustrades are not just about safety; they’re also about adding personality and style to your home. With a little bit of research, you’re sure to find the perfect balustrade material that will enhance your home’s charm without breaking the bank!


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