It’s no exaggeration to say that a balustrade can make or break a staircase. Achieving a premium finish is not only about the quality of the styling and materials, but also the precision of the design and manufacture. There are few better examples of this than a project we recently completed in London where we produced over 60 metres of cast iron balustrades with millimetre accuracy.
The commission was part of the extensive refurbishment of a seven-storey town house in Knightsbridge — an area long associated with design excellence. We were tasked with creating a cast iron baluster that could be easily modified to meet the building regulations. This required some careful initial research as all the spindles in the client’s ‘look book’ were non-compliant (due to gaps greater than 100 mm). In addition, the narrow dimensions of the property meant the goings of the treads could not be extended to accommodate wider, more extravagant baluster styles. We presented a number of options to the client, eventually settling on simple, stylish spindles that could be installed two per tread.
Once the designs were confirmed, our workshop team got to work adapting each set of spindles to the unique characteristics of the seven staircases. Not only did each flight have its own pitch line and going, they were also constructed from several materials including timber and marble. This meant we had to work closely with the other specialist trades to ensure the fixings were sufficient.
Accuracy was key, particularly on the marble sections where each baluster hole had to be individually drilled by the stone mason. An error of just one or two millimetres could have been disastrous. Fortunately, our team are highly experienced at working to precise measurements. This meticulousness is vital for our overseas projects where there is no opportunity for a site visit.
Once the balusters were fixed into position, they were then secured at the top by a 25mm x 6mm core rail. This rail formed the base for the wooden handrail – supplied and fitted by Handrail Creations. As managing director, Kenny Macfarlane, explained in a recent guest blog — Handrail Creations manufacture their handrails using CNC machines based on a scan of the core rail. Again, this meant attention to detail was crucial.
In total, the demanding project took four months to complete. The stunning finished results show this was time well spent!
If you’re interested in creating your own premium balustrade, then take a look at our cast iron store where we offer a wide range of British manufactured cast iron products to suit any taste.