Stair rails

We made the point on the stair railings as outdoor use

Everything about preventing the fall from stairs, first of people and then of objects, in the void, is the responsibility of parapets, balustrades and stair rails of various kinds (and variety of materials). 

Preserving security is their priority and raison d’être; but even these elements, even within rules that determine some mandatory parameters, are no longer considered mere functional elements.

In fact, even choosing stair railings and iron balusters you can play with customization, differentiating shapes and materials to where possible to match the style you want for your environments. 

We speak first of stair rails, specifically outdoor stair railing in iron, stainless steel stair rails: an iron stair railing in general, an iron baluster for a balcony, steps outdoor stair railing, railings for external stairs and outdoor stair railing wrought iron, external railing system for gates, gardens and fences.

Iron balcony railing and stair rails for external use: the difference from parapets and balustrades

If a building is equipped with an outdoor stair, terraces but also simply with normal balconies, it is inevitable the presence of structures to protect against falling into the void, precisely called outdoor railings, parapets and balustrades.

Safeguarding safety wherever there is a difference in altitude between different heights is their primary function: but in what essentially differs? Actually the purpose is the same but a railing is distinguished from a parapet (also called balustrade) for its structure.

It does not present itself as a unitary block and does not obstruct the view – in the parapet it is possible only if it is made of glass – at the same time with its more streamlined and agile frame, but it could allow the passage of small objects. 

The iron railings for outdoor custom made or even iron railings for outdoor prefabricated are, among the various types, the most common: we see what are the main features.

Iron outdoor railings: standards and prerogatives

Italian law governs, among other things, certain rules concerning dimensions and limits

  • the minimum height of the railing/parapet structure, which must be at least one meter, calculated vertically from the level of footfall to the extreme point bordering the opening
  • a railing must not allow, in the structure of its voids, the crossing of a sphere of ten centimeters
  • there is also a special attention to protrusions and recesses in the anatomy of the railing for the safety of children

Within these limitations you can play with the design and materials to customize to the maximum your exteriors, outdoor steps and then be able to think of modern outdoor iron railings with clean lines, or outdoor iron railings with a refined or essential aesthetic for a modern stair but also, why not, outdoor wrought iron railings suitable for fences wrought iron handrail and rails for a wrought iron stair of retro style, and especially worked erased.

Therefore, adding particular geometries or finishes to the external railings, not reducing them to their primary function, could really make a difference in the overall aesthetics of your property, whether they be stair rails (for a stainless steel modern stair, for a wood stair, aluminum stair or simply handrails for outdoor steps) or high quality stainless steel gates and so on.

Characteristics of external railings in iron

There are many railings on the market, with an assortment of different solutions to customize indoor outdoor spaces. The outdoor iron railings remain the most frequently selected ones, iron balusters for balconies and terraces, stair rails and railings for exterior wrought iron stairs, cable railing or other types to delimit a garden or simply the property.

An iron railing (also a staircase railing) in fact has the prerogative of being one of the most ductile and robust materials you can choose from

  • is extremely solid and resistant even to large temperature changes
  • during the forging process it is possible to convert it to damaged geometries and shapes
  • requires minimal maintenance, therefore entails a saving of means and time
  • thanks to the hot galvanizing and other treatments such as paints for exterior iron railings in its use is not compromised by weathering and therefore rust

Issues of security, protection of privacy in their spaces and also enhancement of the aesthetics of their home: for this and more I recommend you to take into high consideration the iron railings for outdoors among the possibilities available on the market.

Wrought iron, which has a higher cost due to its processing requiring particular skills, is also used to enhance a certain type of taste: will bring ornamental designs to outdoor wrought iron railings, wrought iron railings for outdoor balconies of baroque style, to the simplest gate that becomes a particular business card, or outdoor wrought iron railings for stairs in the garden or terrace.

In addition to iron, stainless steel is used for the construction of outdoor railings, both for its aesthetic but also functional, in fact, for example, it is particularly suitable in maritime contexts where salt plays an aggressive role on wood railing or a wood handrail, but also on an iron railing and iron stair parts. 

Types of railings in iron

Types of railings in iron

Depending on the desired style, the structural contingency or even by virtue of an economic factor, the outdoor iron railings can be chosen modular or custom by personalized projects. Custom ones are a must around particular types of stairs such as spiral/helical or other staircase design, or to give that extra touch of design with particular shapes and finishes, and are preferable if you want modern outdoor iron railings with unusual structural shapes.

The modular iron railings, as stair railing kits, can instead safely work to fence medium-large spaces, serving as a barrier, for example, or accompany an outdoor stair with predefined standards; in any case the basic structure of a railing is the same: e.g a succession of pillars alternating with columns that all join to an upper hand rail (flat or not).

You can range from a wide variety of modern and essential external steel railings, in which you can change the section of the tubular elements or their arrangement, up to safety railings for windows that must have special qualities of lightness.

You can go as far as the design of large railings with a classic and elaborate style (in some of which you can find grafts and games with a variety of materials).

The essential requirements for safety for outdoor stair rails and other types of outdoor railings

The essential requirements for safety for outdoor stair rails and other types of outdoor railings

We talked about the rules that regulate some details of the railing element. In particular, we saw that the minimum height, from the floor to the top of the vertical structure, must be one meter; great for the safety of children but also for a possible support, for example when climbing or descending a staircase, whether it is an, iron stair, a steel stair, a red oak or white oak stair.

We also talked about the fact that no object over 10 cm in diameter should be allowed to pass through vertical uprights. Two other points are essential for your outdoor iron railings:

  • the inside of a railing must necessarily be smooth without any possibility of grip or lever by a child who can then climb over it.
  • with regard to outdoor iron railings, but generally valid for all external railings, in addition to resistance to various weather conditions, they must necessarily be of sufficient strength to cope with the horizontal stress of several persons at the same time.

With regard to this subject we can say that, by discussing external iron balusters or stainless railing systems with clean lines, we are not only talking about safety and design issues, but also about cutting-edge technology. In particular, we are talking about materials technology, thanks to which considerable progress has been made in the search for alternatives that can maximize the combination of resistance and lightness.             

Focus on the (indoor and) outdoor stair handrail 

Focus on the (indoor and) outdoor stair handrail 

Outdoor stair handrails must meet several specific requirements to ensure safety and functionality; this is a brief summary of what are the main features, what an outdoor stair handrail typically requires, some are specific for outdoor spaces, others concern the element itself in indoor and outdoor contexts:

  • weatherproof materials in case of handrails for outdoor steps 
  • robust and durable structure of the hand rail 
  • non-slip surface of stair handrail  
  • appropriate height and dimensions for a right project and ergonomic design of a  stair handrail
  • secure fastening and load resistance

If we are talking of outdoor stair rails and handrails, we have to think that they are exposed to weathering, so they must be made of materials that are resistant to corrosion, deterioration and prolonged exposure to UV rays. Common materials include treated stainless steel, painted aluminum, PVC or composite materials. It’s possible the use of wood railing but only specific treated wood.

The handrail must be robust and durable to withstand the weight of users and withstand lateral and torsional forces: it must be properly a staircase handrail, anchored to the supporting structure of the stair or to stair rails, but also an hand rail for a balcony to ensure stability and safety.

The surface of the handrail must be designed to provide a safe and non-slip grip even in wet or wet conditions, by using materials with rough textures or grooves on the surface.

The height of the handrail must comply with local regulations and safety guidelines to ensure adequate support for users (in this case see Italian legislation); basically the dimensions must be ergonomic and comfortable, to allow a secure grip during ascent and descent of stair treads and  of outdoor steps (maybe a wall mounted handrail). In fact the handrail element, whether or not it is part of stair railings, must be ergonomically designed to fit the hand and offer a comfortable and natural grip. It can have a round, oval or flat shape, depending on the preferences and needs of users.

An extremely important aspect is that the handrail shall be designed to withstand static and dynamic loads, including concentrated loads applied during normal use and accidental impacts.

In accordance with this aspect an handrail, as well as furthermore stair rails, must be firmly attached to the supporting structure of the staircase or balcony using appropriate support brackets, screws or anchorages; the fixing method must be robust and durable to ensure the stability and safety.

Discover outdoor stair rails and other railings by Officine Sandrini

If you are looking for the distinctive element to give a unique design touch to your spaces, special stair rails could be perfect for you: with their irresistible warmth and irrefutable functionality, these installations represent the essence of modern elegance.

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