UK: Stair Railings: Stair Railing Manufacturers & Suppliers
ABOUT STAIR RAILINGS
Traditional stair railings are made of wood, with plain or decorative turned vertical spindles. Many spindle designs, including Georgian and barley twist, are available. Copies can be made of existing spindles for renovating existing staircases. Available woods include Oak, Ash, Beech, and Pine. For contemporary stair railings, various types of modular stainless steel stair railing systems are available. These comprise components which are bolted or glued together. Instead of using vertical spindles, contemporary stainless steel stair railings usually use glass panels as balustrade protection. Leading UK suppliers of stair railings are profiled below the panel of sponsored links.
CHOOSING STAIR RAILINGS
It is important first to understand the UK Building Regulations which apply to stair railings. These have the force of law. They require that any openings in stair railings (for example the spaces between vertical rails) should be small enough to prevent passing a sphere of diameter 100mm through the opening. In view of this requirement, the space between vertical rails must be less than 100mm. Building Regulations require that stairs should have a handrail on at lease one side if they are less than one metre wide; if they are more than one metre wide they are required to have a handrail on both sides. There is, however, no requirement for handrails beside the lowest two steps of a flight of stairs. For private dwellings stair railings need to be at least 900mm high, both on the stairs and on landings. In public buildings stair railings need to be at least 900mm high on the stairs and at least 1100 high on stair landings.
The most common type of stair railing is of traditional timber construction. It has three main parts: the newel posts, the handrail, and the spindles. The newel posts are the strong vertical posts which provide the main structural strength to the stair railing at the bottom of the stair, the top of the stair, and at intermediate landings where the stair railing turns through a corner. Newel posts are normally made out of square section timber, either 95mm or 115mm square. They may incorporate a decorative turned newel (for example in a spherical or acorn form) at the top of the newel post. The handrail is a smooth continuous piece of timber, usually with a curved top section to provide a comfortable grip. It may terminate at the bottom of the stairs in tightly curved volute. The vertical spindles, which are normally turned out of a square section, are decorative, provide additional strength, and act as a safety barrier. They are available in both simple turned and fluted designs. Traditional timber stair railings are available in a wide range of woods, including Oak, Beech, Pine and Ash. It is important to select newel posts, handrail, and spindles which exactly match in terms of both type of wood and design.
For a more contemporary look, some manufacturers supply stair railing kits which use adjustable metal connectors for quick assembly and flexibility. An example is the Fusion range from Richard Burbidge. It uses connectors in burshed nickel or chrome, with the pre-finished timber parts in oak, dark hardwood, beech or pine. Options include metal spindles, or glass or acrylic transparent panels.
A further option, which is generally much more expensive than a timber stair railing, is a wrought iron stair railing. Wrought iron stair railings can be simple in design, or highly complicated with decorative leaf designs and gilding. Wrought iron stair railings are particularly suited to interior stone stairs, and to outdoor applications.
LEADING STAIR RAILING MANUFACTURERS & SUPPLIERS
Handrail Design: Stair Railings. Handrail Design, which is based in Chatham, Kent, supplies a modern range of proprietary Icon stair railing components. It is also exclusive UK distributor for the Danish d-line range of stair railing components. The Icon Tube range is a modular stair railing and balustrade system. It is manufactured from stainless steel or NyMet coated aluminium. Natural hardwood handrails can be used with both types of component. Balustrade design options include inline or offset glass, perforated steel panels, intermediate rails, and stainless steel tensioned wire ropes. The Icon Cube range comprises two extruded aluminium flat bar uprights and braces these together by means of cubic components that interlock inside rebates within the inside faces of each baluster section. The cubes can slide vertically between the two flat uprights and can therefore be used as anchor points for handrails, infill panels, intermediate rails, or structural fixings.
Haldane: Stair Railings. Haldane, which is based in Glenrothes, Fife, produces high quality bespoke wooden handrails. These include complicated curved handrails, with decorative ends, for use in the restoration of historic buildings. Haldane prides itself on being able to create a continuously flowing handrail, which is not interrupted with mitred corners. Haldane argue that the stair handrail is one of the most important parts of the house, because it is touched by almost every visitor. The Haldane website contains a downloadable stair planner, which can be used to show the positions and numbers of stair treads, and the positions of newels, raking, and balustrading. Options for the handrail profile include: Flat Top, Eden, Clyde, Diameter, and Ellipse. The Eden and Clyde are both mushroom-type profiles. The hand rail can terminate in a Cap, a Post, or a curved Volute.
Seagull: Stair Railings. Seagull, based in West Bromwich, West Midlands, is a leading distributor of satin-finished stainless steel stair railings. Their products can be used to create a glass balustrade design for a hotel or restaurant, or a simple staircase rail for home renovation. Seagull's stair railings are cut to size, and are supplied with a 320-grit satin 'brush' finish. Seagull supplies the following components for stair handrails: Accessories, Base & Wall Plates, Bends Elbows & Tees, End Caps, Glass Fittings, Hand Rail Brackets, Post Stems, Posts & Tube, Side Fix Brackets, and Wire Rigging & Bar Fittings. Seagull stair railings can be professionally installed, or can be installed on a do-it-yourself basis. They comprise clean, straight-cut, stainless steel tube, and modular push-fit fittings that fit internally into the rail. Industrial grade high strength glue is used for jointing. The glue bonds in 10 to 30 minutes, and is fully cured in 24 hours.
OTHER PRODUCTS RELATED TO STAIR RAILINGS
Stair Product Guides: Baby Gates, Handrails, Spindles, Staircases, Stair Gates, Stairlifts, Stair Railings, Stairs.
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