Delta Balustrades


Delta Balustrades Twitter

Latest Tweets from
Delta Balustrades

Which Baluster on a Stair takes the Most Strain?

Posted on 6th July 2023

We all know that handrails are there to keep us safe when ascending or descending stairs. The typical balustrade system on a staircase will have between 25-30 balusters (vertical support posts), but what a lot of our customers find surprising is that they don’t all take equal amounts of strain or stress on their fixings.

So, which baluster actually takes the most stress and why aren’t they equal?

To answer this question, the baluster that suffers the most strain and stress is the one at the bottom (or entry) of the staircase.

The bottom of a staircase.

This is because of two reasons:

  1. Balustrade users typically exert the most force upon a handrail at the point they connect with it – particularly when attempting to change the direction of their body.
  2. The post acts independently with very little support from adjacent posts.

Do landing balustrade systems differ?

It’s important to realise the variations in baluster strain between landing areas and staircases.

Landing area handrail and balustrade systems are frequently fixed into a brick wall at each end. This locks (or wedges) the system in place and provides immense support to the balusters as it relates to rigidity. Adding to this, landing areas with corners, or bends in the system, provide additional support to the baluster as the bi-lateral supports means that any strain is distributed in two directions.

A landing area within a school.

Concluding Remarks

So, to conclude, the Balusters that take the most strain are those at the bottom of a staircase as they act independently. Conversely, those Balusters that are on a corner take the least strain because they’re locked in two directions and share the stress.

If you’re unsure as to what part of a balustrade the baluster is, take a look at this article: “What is a Baluster? Decoding balustrade jargon“. Additionally, if you’d like to stay up to date with the newest industry knowledge, keep an eye on our learning centre here.