Wood Stairs: Railings for the Design Conscious

Wood stair railings are just one of the ways that you can change the look and feel of your home. One of the great benefits to wood stairs is their versatility. You can add many different design elements to compliment any wood stair. Custom Stair railings are one of the best ways to make an visual impact in your home. Your stairs are the focal point of the center of your home. The design conscious homeowner knows that the structure of the home make just as much of an impact as the furniture, if not more. This article will outline several of the stair railing options that are available to homeowners.

Metal Railings

Metal railings are increasing in popularity as wooden railings are being seen as more traditional and outdated. The type of metal is varied as well. Many people are going with wrought iron for both the railing and balusters to compliment their wood stairs. Wrought iron is possibly the most common upgrade to the modern wood stair. It allows for a more sophisticated, updated look, without looking too modern. This is the perfect choice for the homeowner that prefers to have a rich, or even slightly gothic look to their wood stairs. Interestingly, on the opposite end of the spectrum is stair railings made from metal as well. Stainless steel railings and balusters are also becoming more popular. Stainless Steel will give your stairs a very modern appearance, and is increasingly sought after in today's contemporary homes. The clean lines are simple and understated, and help the stairs blend more into the structure of the home rather than being a large focal point like wrought iron.

Cable Railings

While this may fall under metal railings, since cable is increasing in popularity, it deserves it's own category. Rather than saying that they want a metal railing, people will ask for cable railings by name. Similar to the stainless steel railings, the cable railings also have very clean, understated lines. Cable railings have the additional benefit of not obstructing the view like traditional railings. This is especially attractive for an outside view or the view from a large window that may have been obstructed by using typical wood balusters and handrails. Since cable railings can be purchased as a kit, installing them is not nearly as difficult as they once were. Cable railings can be used with wooden or metal frames and are weather resistant enough to use outside. With the kits, you can install a cable railing yourself with new or existing frames with only a drill and a few extra hours of your time.

Glass Railings

Glass railings are the ultimate modern, contemporary, stair railing. Today's glass stair rails come with easier installation, as well as the benefit of hidden hardware. With utilizing glass grips that slide into a recess along the stairs, you can have a completely clean line of glass without any visible frames. A stainless steel handrail is the best compliment for a glass railing and keeps with the glass' modern appeal. Glass will offer a completely unobstructed view and still provide the safety that traditional railings provide.

Wood Railings

Despite the growing popularity of metal and cable railing systems, wood is still the most common stair railing. Since it has been used for so long there are many design choices for balusters, handrails and newel posts. You can easily update the look of your stairs by simply going with a different wood style or type of railing. You can choose wood railings that match your hardwood floors, or a contrasting color that will bring out the floors and compliment the wood of the stairs as well. Given all of the design choices that are available with wood railings today, there is no reason for your wood railing to come across as traditional. No matter which stair railing you prefer, they each still have to conform to the building codes. You cannot have more than a 4 inch space between any railing. Keep this in mind when you are choosing your design.