Most of the character of a staircase comes from the staircase spindles. These spindles are the vertical slats that go between the rails. They are usually spaced a few inches apart and can be in a wide variety of shapes and designs for a different presentation of the staircase. Spindles do not have to be of only one particular type of material. Besides having different shapes and designs, the staircase spindle can also be made out of a wide variety of materials.
Matching Material with Staircase
When it comes to either choosing spindles for a staircase or replacing ones that have been broken, it is important to match the material with the staircase. Beyond that, you want to look at also matching the entire look of the spindles for a uniform presentation.
Wood Staircase Spindles
The most popular form of staircase spindle is one that is made out of wood. This is mostly because they are easier to make than other types of spindles. A lathe machine can easily turn a spindle into any shape or design that you want. Many DIY homeowners like to take the time for themselves to build their own spindles for staircases that are on the interior, as well as the exterior, of the home. Wood spindles are relatively inexpensive, but that will depend on the type of wood that you are going to use.
Metal Staircase Spindles
When there is a metal staircase, metal spindles will be used to finish off the look. A metal staircase spindle is a little harder to work with, but can give a very elegant look to a long, curving, widening staircase. Mostly metal spindles are used in conjunction with a spindle kit or with a spiral staircase. They can be easily painted to match any color and are available in a wide array of designs.
Wrought Iron Staircase Spindles
Many older homes want to have a more regal look to their main staircase, especially if it is the center point of the foyer or great room. In this instance, a wrought iron type of material will be used for completing the staircase look. This is different than a metal spindle as they use different raw materials than steel tubing. Wrought iron spindles are usually worked into elegant curves and designs for a regal, defined look.
Ceramic Staircase Spindles
When it comes to staircase spindles, the type of material used can vary widely. This is seen in ceramic-type spindles. These spindles are not going to support a lot of weight or pressure from people banging into them. However, they can be great for small staircases where style is more important than function.
A less expensive alternative to wooden, metal, ceramic and wrought iron staircase spindles are those that are already pre-fabricated out of a hard material like that used in deck planking. This material has the look and feel of wood, but is really very hard plastic. They can be painted without any problems and have a wide variety of designs and shapes. A staircase spindle made out of this material will last for many years without any type of upkeep or maintenance.