How to Choose the Right Wooden Balusters for Your Staircase
Balusters, also called spindles, are part of a staircase that adds beauty and a finished look to the entryway, balcony or other parts of a home. As a safety measure, they are generally installed with less than 4” in between each spindle, mainly so that children and pets can’t fall through them. However, you should check with local authorities prior to installation to see what codes apply in your area.
There are several options to consider when designing your staircase. Some common designs for balusters and some related terms you may hear are:
- Classic Turned
- Rope Twist
- Barley Twist
Think about what you are trying to accomplish. Are you matching rail, posts or finials? What style are they? Take a look at some of these pictures to help determine your style:
There are many wood species to choose from as well. The first questions is whether these will be used in an interior part of your building or in the exterior. You should also consider whether you will you paint or stain the baluster. All of these factors will help determine what wood species are best for your project.
Interior: Poplar, Red Oak, White Oak, Mahogany, Soft Maple, Hard Maple, Pine, Cherry, etc.
- Best for painting: Polar, Soft Maple
- Best for staining: Red Oak, White Oak, Hard Maple, Mahogany, Cherry
Exterior: Cypress, Pine, Mahogany, Cedar, etc.
- Best for painting: Cypress, Cedar, Pine, Mahogany
- Best for staining: Mahogany
Can I Replicate a Wooden Baluster?
Sure you can! The best way to do that is to provide a picture of the baluster, and if possible, provide a sketch with measurements.
How many balusters do you need?
Your contractor or architect should be able to work with you in determine the right quantity. If you are doing this yourself, consider the length of the railing, including posts and post sized and consider the space between balusters.
There are several articles online regarding the technical aspect of installing balusters and railing.
Where can I find more information?
Here at H. Arnold Wood Turning, Inc., we can help you with ideas and help choose the best style to meet your custom requirements.
Please visit our website to see samples of some of our completed baluster products that were custom made to meet our customers’ requirements.