What is the Difference between Balusters and Spindles?

The handrail of any staircase needs to have supports and theses are called either balusters or spindles. These are used for other features for home interiors and exteriors too, and they ensure that any unsafe edges are guarded. 

Difference between balusters and spindles

A baluster and spindle is actually almost the same thing, but the word spindle is more commonly used because it is easier to remember and say. Balusters usually rest on a footing; this could be a step, floor or deck, whereas, spindles are supported by a horizontal rail at the bottom that is attached to the posts. Some people also call them pickets, but this is a very loose term because pickets are usually wooden stakes that are driven into the ground.

Areas of a home that usually need balusters or spindles

The various types of balusters and spindles are primarily used to support the handrail and to protect by ensuring that the space between each baluster is not too wide. They also assist in beautifying the areas used because they are made to match with the rest of the look and feel of the home. 

Stairs: Handrails are needed for safety and many staircases have walls to which they can be attached. However, if there is a wall missing on one or both sides, then the handrails need to be supported, and the balusters or spindles take on this role. 

Decks: Decks that are higher than 30” are required to have railings according to building codes. The spindles are often combined with posts that are tied to the underlying deck structure. 

Patios: Usually balusters are used on patios because the floor provides the perfect surface for then to sit on. 

Balconies: Here again the main purpose of the materials used will be for safety purposes, but depending on the style of the house and the budget of the owners there are many wonderful materials to choose from. 

Baluster and Spindle Styles

The completion of a staircase, patio or any other feature requiring balusters and spindles is easy when owners have such a variety of styles, shapes and colors to match to their home décor.  

Laying Balusters and Spindles

When spindles and balusters are placed much consideration needs to be given to the dimensions between each one. This is not only a safety measurement, but offers a more aesthetic finish. 

Wrought Iron or Wooden Components?

This depends entirely upon the type of desired finish. The selection available at StairNation includes both wrought iron and wooden balusters and spindles; all available in a wide range of color finishes. 

The high-quality wrought iron spindles are powder coated to give a hard and durable finish and come in eight colors. Buyers can choose between hollow and solid.

Wooden balusters include traditional, rustic, modern and contemporary designs in White and Red Oak, Hard Maple, Poplar and Alder. 

Various combinations of the two materials render beautiful staircases, decks, patios and balconies. There are tons of inspiring ideas to be found online and in magazines to help any homeowner create a unique looking design. 

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