Balustrade Design Ideas

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Balustrade Design Ideas - WA Special Projects
Balustrade Ideas - WA Special Projects

Designing a home that is both stylish and functional can be a challenge. Balustrades are an important design element in any home, but they can also be a practical necessity, especially on staircases and balconies where regulations have to be met. As balustrade installation specialists we design, manufacture and install many different types throughout WA. With so many different options available, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to choosing a balustrade design. Here are some ideas and things to consider to help get you started.

Good Balustrade Design

Whether you’re building a new home or doing home improvement, good balustrade design can have several benefits, including providing safety and security, improving the appeal of a space, offering privacy, and potentially increasing the value of a property. A well-designed balustrade can also help to define the boundaries of your space and can serve as a functional yet stylish element in the overall design of a building or structure. The space that you’re working with and whether it’s inside or outside will influence the balustrade ideas that you can utilise.

The Benefits of Using Glass

There are several benefits to using glass as balustrading. One of the main pros of glass, particularly frameless glass, is that it can provide an unobstructed view, which can help to create a sense of openness and flow within a space.

Glass balustrades can be easy to maintain, as they can be easily cleaned and do not require painting or other ongoing maintenance.

There are a number of glass types that can be used in the construction of balustrades, and the choice of glass type can depend on a variety of factors.

The most common type of glass and the most affordable is 12mm thick, clear, toughened glass as shown below. This also shows one of the most common methods of mounting frameless glass balustrades and that’s using standoffs.

Balustrade ideas - clear glass mounted with standoffs

Balustrade with Privacy

Patterned glass and satin-etch glass are both types of obscure/decorative glass that can be used in the construction of balustrades to offer degrees of privacy. Patterned glass is a type of glass that has a decorative pattern or texture applied to its surface, which can help to obscure the view through the glass.

Satin-etch, also known as frosted glass, is a type of glass that has a matte, frosted finish applied to its surface, which can also help to obscure the view through the glass and can provide a softer, more diffused light. Both of these styles offer privacy without blocking light.

Grey glass also offers a degree of privacy but can look very contemporary when paired with a similar coloured timber handrail and spigots.

Aluminium with a Modern Twist

Aluminium balustrades are popular for their durability, low maintenance requirements, and resistance to rust and corrosion. Aluminium is also a relatively lightweight material, which makes it easy to work with and install, and it can be custom-fabricated to suit a wide range of applications. Additionally, aluminium can be powder-coated to provide a wide range of colors and finishes, which can help to enhance the appeal of the balustrade and tie it in with the existing decor.

Balustrade Ideas - Powder Coated Aluminium

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel can be used for both indoor and outdoor balustrading. Stainless steel is a durable and corrosion-resistant material that can withstand a wide range of environmental conditions, including moisture, sunlight, and temperature changes. It is a strong material, which can sometimes look too polished and clinical for some properties but can be softened when paired with other products, like timber handrails.

Balustrade Design Ideas - Stainless Steel and Glass

With Wire

Mixing stainless steel with wire can look amazing in the right setting, especially when paired with softer, natural elements like these wooden stairs.

Balustrade Ideas - Stainless Steel with Wire

Get Creative with Lighting

Stairs, balconies, and decking can all benefit from tactical lighting placement. The image below for example shows how illuminating stairs and handrails can add that finishing professional touch.

Balustrade Ideas - Creative Lighting


Pairing timber with glass or metal can work wonders if you’re looking to highlight or soften aspects of the balustrade. The photos below demonstrate how both contemporary and traditional looks can be achieved and modified. A wooden handrail on glass or metal can be the perfect touch.

Mixing Things Up

As mentioned, Stainless steel or aluminium can be combined with other materials, such as glass or wood, to create balustrades with a more hybrid or mixed-material finish. This is important when you want to continue or highlight certain elements throughout a property such as a particular colour or type of wood.

Decking – Safety with Style

There are several options for securing balustrades or pool fences to decking, and the choice of method will depend on the specific type of balustrade and the layout of the deck. Some common methods for securing balustrades to decking include:

  • spigot fixed
  • channel fixed
Balustrade Ideas - for Decking

Fixture Design Ideas

The method of fixing the balustrade to the floor and wall can have a major impact on the design and look of the balustrade, particularly when using glass.

Channel fixed panels when grouted into the floor is a great idea if you want to portray an elegant and minimalistic look. The photos below of a staircase with frameless glass set directly into each stair and side fixed with stand-offs look very luxurious and of the highest quality.

Unique Balustrade Design Ideas

Balustrades can be custom designed to be unique and one-of-a-kind. Custom balustrade design allows homeowners and designers to create balustrades that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the project, and this can provide a unique and personalized finish.

Custom balustrade design can involve a variety of different design elements, including the choice of material, the shape and configuration of the balusters, the design of the handrail, and the overall aesthetic of the balustrade. Custom balustrades can be designed to suit a wide range of architectural styles and design preferences, and can be fabricated using a variety of materials, including wood, metal, glass, and composites.

Custom balustrade design can be a more expensive and time-consuming option compared to purchasing something from a standard range, but it can provide a one-of-a-kind balustrade. The image below shows a very unique style, constructed with panels of aluminium and painted with a striking dark paint. This would not be to everyone’s taste but it certainly turns the stairs into a bold feature in the property.

Incorporating Australian Standards

Here in Western Australia, the design and installation of balustrades are governed by the National Construction Code (NCC), which sets out the minimum safety requirements for the construction of new buildings and the alteration or extension of existing buildings. The NCC specifies the minimum requirements for balustrades in terms of their height, strength, and spacing, as well as the materials that can be used in their construction.


I hope we’ve inspired you with an idea or two so that you can create an elegant solution of your own, whether it’s for a balcony, staircase, or fencing, explore your options and then consult with professionals like ourselves at WA Special Projects to install the perfect balustrading to match your vision.

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