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Handrail Design Ideas for Your Stairs

24 December 2018

Creating your very own staircase is always an exciting process, from the simple concept to watching it come to life in your home. Seeing people use it day-to-day will make your unique stairs feel like a pivotal landmark inside your property, so it's unsurprising that you want to make sure every detail matches your vision. There are many different design ideas for every part of your staircase, so if you are looking to create an eye-catching stair, it’s important to consider all the options available at each stage.

It might not always feel like it, but the handrail plays a significant role in the perception of the entire staircase. If you have a rail on both sides, then this is often the first thing people see, while it is also the only part of the stair that people will physically touch. Therefore, there are key design and functionality points to take into account when considering the many different styles available. Here, we take a look at some of the handrail designs you could use in your property.


Glass Balustrades with Timber or Steel handrails

Many people are looking to incorporate glass features into their homes and stairs, particularly in modern properties. Glass helps to create an open, light feeling in spaces, and when used in staircase design it can help to create a sleek, minimalist style. Some people opt for a complete glass staircase, but the more popular option is to use glass panels as the balustrade, with a wooden or metal handrail on top. This is good for creating that open feel many desire without compromising the comfort of using the baluster. However, the rail can somewhat take away from that effect.


Solid Oak staircase with Glass balustrade


Steel or Wooden Handrail Design

More often than not, stairs come with the traditional handrail and balustrade design, where the rail is held by a row of spindles that move alongside the staircase. However, there are many different styles for this classic stair design, meaning that it can be adjusted to match the tone of your property. One of the biggest questions you can ask yourself is what material to use, and while glass is an option, the more popular choices for this design are wood and steel.

As mentioned above, the material you choose will likely depend on the style and colour of your stair, and the tone of the room itself. A wooden balustrade will often work better in warmer, more traditional places, where artificial light is often the only source and a ‘homely’ feel is essential. Wooden balustrades usually come in traditional styles and will help to create a comfortable aura in the space. On the other hand, steel handrails can appear colder but are often more refined and can accommodate more complex and minimalist designs. This makes steel balustrades ideal for bright, simple rooms, where a unique and complex metal design will add modern touch and, also, a point of focus for the area.


Stained beech stairs with white spindles by WoodenStairs


Stairs Without Handrails

Another theoretical option is to include no handrails at all. This can sometimes work on particularly narrow stairs, especially those surrounded by walls on either side; however, it is required by UK Building regulations to include at least one handrail. More important than any style or design is the stair’s functionality, and the handrail plays an important role, whether you notice it or not. 

If you don’t like the look of large, bulky rails, then it may be worth considering a wall-mounted bar. By having a minimalist rail separated from the stair and no handrail on the outside, the physical staircase will appear as if it is on its own, helping to support a modern, minimalist style. It is important to mention the staircase cannot be opened and exposed to heights, therefore most often a balustrade is necessary, in effort to protect from falling.


White ash stairs with wall-mounted handrail by WoodenStairs


Another option is to have glass balustrade without a handrail while using a wall-mounted handrail on the wall-side. By not mounting a handrail on the glass, the material will have the complete effect of minimising the staircase, while the mounted handrail on the other side means that you do not compromise on comfort while using the stair. 


Floating zigzag staircase by WoodenStairs


These are just some of the handrail ideas open to you. There are many different designs, even in these three categories, so whatever you envision for your future staircase, specialist staircase manufacturers will be able to make it happen. If you are interested in seeing what our professional design team could do for your stairs, why not get in contact with us today?

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