5 Fun Facts about Stair Balusters

1. They’re new

Even though they look like classic architectural elements, stairway balusters did not hit the scene until the Renaissance, in the 16th century.

2. They’re named after flowers

Balusters got their name because one type looked like an unopened flower and became known in Italy as a “balaustra” which means “pomegranate flower”.

3. They’re evolved

Back then, balusters were made out of marble or bronze, whereas today they’re usually wood or some kind of stone. Looking at a baluster is a great way of figuring out when a structure was built since their sizes and styles have changed so much over the years.

4. They vary

Two common baluster installations today are tread-oriented and rail-oriented. In the first case, the balusters are placed corresponding to the tread. This makes the ornamental sections sit level to each other. Some stairways have two balusters per tread, and some have three. Either way is fine, but code mandates that they must be places no more than 4″ apart to prevent a young child’s head from becoming caught in the space.

5. The choice is yours

The material and style you choose for your home’s stair balusters can create a huge difference. Sandy Spring Builders has used a wide variety for different homes. Check out our examples below. Which style is right for your home?