Ceiling Lines and the effect on Staircase Balustrade


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Here in the technical department we see many different staircase styles but one of the most regular occurrence is when the staircase is tight to the upper landing leaving limited space for any handrail to reach the top of the flight, more often than not this is when we see the side fixed planks or ‘ranch style’ balustrade.  We explain how to overcome this below:

Ceiling Line / String Over String (Figs 2 and 3)

This is when the handrail hits the underside of a ceiling line or second flight string. This should not stop you installing the Richard Burbidge balustrade system that you want in your home. We recommend that you run the handrail up from the bottom newel until it meets the ceiling/string and then along the underside of the ceiling/string. Where the two handrails meet they should be mitred together and fixed using a combination of glue, screws, dowels and/or metal plate.


Spindles / Balusters

As spindles reach the underside of the ceiling/string become shorter in length, for a pleasing balance keep the bottom square of all spindles the same length and reduce the spindle from the top downwards. Depending on the style of spindle it may be necessary to cut into the turned part of the spindle and to space you should cut the timber fillets/spacers with a coping saw to suit the spindles radius. Fix the spindles and fillets as normal with glue and panel pins/lost head nails.

Our metal balusters (Fusion and Elements systems) can also be cut down in order to diminish into the corner.  

Glass Panels

Our glass panel are one set height to comply with Building Regulations; these are toughened and cannot be cut down.  As the glass reaches the underside of the ceiling/string they will also need to become shorter in length, we usually discuss this with you and advise it’s best to fit the standard pieces of glass first and then make MDF templates for the extra couple of panels you’ll need to get made up by a local glazier . Additional brackets are available from ourselves for these panels.

In the majority of these situations the staircase is fixed to a wall on the other side… making the perfect place to install a full length wall mounted handrail for those of us who like that support all the way to the top step! All of our handrail can be wall fixed, many have specially designed end caps and we have even created some boxed rail kits(see below) for even the novice DIY’er to take away in their car!

Whatever style you like, give us a call and we can let you know exactly what you need.

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