Last edited 28 Jan 2020


The term ‘banister’ (or occasionally 'bannister') refers to the assembly of uprights and handrail at the side of a staircase.

The uprights may be referred to as balusters, and collectively, along with the handrail may sometimes be referred to as a ‘balustrade’, particularly if they are ornamental.

A banister can act as both guarding and handrail.

  • A handrail is ’..a rail, at hand height or a little higher, for people to hold for support’.
  • Guarding is ‘…a barrier that denies pedestrians or vehicles access to another area’.

In buildings that might be used by children under 5, guarding should be designed so that a 100 mm sphere cannot pass through, it should prevent children being held fast and should be difficult to climb.

Banister.JPG Simple banister.JPG
Ornate banister Simple banister

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