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Stair rail help
pr1970
October 21, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi

We're getting close to completing our new house but we are struggling to decide on a stair rail. The stairs are concrete but will have porcelain tiles , same as the ones going down on the floor below. The walls will probably be a white or light beige.
We wanted to have stainless steel and glass railings but the cost is too much going be the 2 quotes we've had.
Any ideas for a more cost effective solution that looks clean and contemporary?
Thanks a lot
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Lisa Blanchfield
Tightened stainless wire rope looks great (STROPS). I think it is used in marine applications but also as railings done with up to about 6x horizontally/ Nice clean and simple.
1 Like   October 21, 2012 at 4:10AM
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pr1970
Yes did consider the wire type. Are they safe for young kids? We have a 2 and 4 year old.
0 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 4:16AM
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Lisa Blanchfield
Not really, they can climb or squeeze through unless they are vertical and close together. If you like modern commercial looking interiors what about a simplistic panel with stainless bolts just to add a minimalistic feature. This would not be transparent though. Imagine the sticky fingers on the glass anyway.... Constant cleaning with children.
0 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 4:21AM
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charleee
I was thinking smoked acrylic panels? Or textured acrylic panels to avoid the fingerprint dilemma?
0 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 4:28AM
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Lisa Blanchfield
The only down side with acrylic is it scratches, even careful cleaning can scratch unless you use a special cleaner and soft cloth like an old nappy. I had a ghost chair "NIGHTMARE" I can see little hands with metal cars MMMMMM!
1 Like   October 21, 2012 at 4:35AM
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charleee
This is true, the scratching part is a mess. I saw a DIY show where they sanded the acrylic before installation just for that reason, and it was great!
0 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 4:38AM
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Lisa Blanchfield
I know iron isnt contemporary as such but I had a client where we did a modern take using quite a random knotted twisted approach. It looked awesome.
0 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 4:38AM
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benniebonita
Brick may be a option
1 Like   October 21, 2012 at 5:41AM
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PRO
Dytecture
I agree there is no way around having a 'modern' look without using one of the two materials. However, stainless steel would be lower maintenance.


2 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 6:01AM
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thegoddess317
I built mine out of black maleable iron pipe (any Home Depot or Lowes.) It's easy to fit together and you drill/secure the flange directly into the cement. If it's too industrial try the galvanized or paint it. (If you clear coat or paint it, you may want to do so before installing.)
0 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 6:17AM
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pr1970
Thanks for the replies.

Bobbi P.. Sounds interesting about sanding the acrylic panels. Any photos of the end result of that? A local staircase builder did suggest it but others said it would look bad and scratch. But if its sanded might be an idea.

villainteriors.. Any photos of that knotted ironwire design?


benniebonita..Thanks for the mockup but I think it would looked too closed in. We want something light and open. Especially as the front door is right next to the stairs and want a few of the living area through to the garden.

Dytecture.. Yes I quite like that design. Thanks

thegoddess317... would be interested to see photos of your malleable iron pipe stairs. But I imagine it may look a bit too industrial for us. I keep imagining it looking like a disabled access ramp to a library. haha
0 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 11:36AM
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charleee
I'm sorry, no, I don't have any pictures of the sanded acrylic. But all they did was take a regular sander with a fine sandpaper and sand away. It was pretty cool.
0 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Lisa Blanchfield
Sorry I don't have any pics either. It is basically an iron rod twisted randomly and ocasionally knotted so there is no order in its form. Another option would be a commercial mesh panel or perforated steel panel both will be contemporary and outside the square of the what I call 'normal' application box. I do get bored with the screeds of similar product. look at this link you will see a similar type of iron work if you scroll down http://www.artisticironwork.co.nz/interiorbalustrades.html
0 Likes   October 21, 2012 at 3:07PM
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pr1970
Was this the kind of frosted acrylic look?

Showing it to the wife though she wants a more open feel to the stairs so you can see down from above. I think iron railings with wire cables or thin iron rods maybe the way to go.
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 3:37AM
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pr1970
Thanks villainteriors, think the twisted effect is interesting but want something quite modern and contemporary. Will have a look through houzz photos some more for that idea.

Wondering whether if we go for painted metal rail to go for a black, silver effect or white?
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 3:39AM
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charleee
Yes, it was exactly like the pic you referenced. If she wants a more open look without fingerprints the wire cable idea will work.
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 3:42AM
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Kivi
Feldman Architecture
Towards a New Architecture-Staircase

I think the cable railing may be a good idea from a budget point of view but I am not sure how practical it would be because of the tight curve of the stairs. It might turn into too many uprights to work out well.
Steel railing like these attached images may be less expensive options than the stainless idea, but again you may not like them if the concern is that your children will climb up the horizontals.
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 4:41AM
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PRO
Rigaud crea
false FAlse false ..
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 4:44AM
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PRO
Rigaud crea
curve reproduces the mold and the wood is bent
steaming or lamélé Colé * (* french)
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 4:47AM
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Lisa Blanchfield
I think if you google iron mesh it might be what you are after.
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 12:28PM
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thegoddess317
I just googled iron mesh and love it. I must use it on another project. (Totally unrelated to this stair project) But thanks for the intro to this cool product!
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 1:38PM
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pr1970
Thanks for the replies, theyve been helpful but still struggling to get low cost ideas for these stair rails. Have looked into cables but although the cable isnt that expensive the tensors are very expensive,at least what i`ve been quoted locally.
Frosted acrylic is out of the question,my wife doesnt like the frosted look as we want to see the stairs.
Any other ideas??
The stairs will be tiled with something like these porcelain tiles. http://www.dunkleytiles.co.uk/system/cache/cms_site_products_images_67-2-119_584_584_1.png

What about something like this which should be cheaper and perhaps get steel handrail? http://www.contemporist.com/photos/pb_orcas_1108_07.jpg http://www.contemporist.com/photos/pb_orcas_1108_08.jpg

Thanks
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 7:14AM
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greenthumb2
My neighbor used copper pipe on his deck running vertically and it looks beautiful. Maybe doesn't sound cost effective but with wood or another metal it would be. You could use alternating pipe (think copper, aluminum, steel) just a thought. whatever you decide -- stairs are hazardous so do not scrimp on this item. Good railings, solid anchoring a must.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 7:23AM
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pr1970
Thanks. Plexiglass and stainless steel is out of the question, costs at least 3 times the price of iron,etc.
Also were not keen on walls as a barrier as it blocs the view too much.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 8:14AM
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greenthumb2
what about a sheetrock wall with lots of glass blocks in it? Sturdy, allows light to pass through, safe for stair goers.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 1:51PM
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greenthumb2
what about a sheetrock wall with lots of glass blocks in it? Sturdy, allows light to pass through, safe for stair goers.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 1:51PM
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PRO
Nick Dellos Creations
it looks like you could put a round stone or concrete column at the turn, say 9" or so in diameter. This could be decorated with a porcelain tile to compliment your treads. Put a tiny turret on top if you like :) Or a steel tube to keep it contemporary. From this solid base, steel or wood handrail would become a much easier task, since they would both be simple straight lines to top and bottom. Fill with balusters and its a done deal.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 2:00PM
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PRO
Nick Dellos Creations
Also if its to be inspected the handrail part I believe is required to be continuous, so check with your fabricator and inspector.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 2:10PM
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PRO
Woodcrafters Intl Inc
Flat wood top railing with punched aluminum panels between. There are lots of decorative metal panels that can be cut to fit. provides a sense of openness, adds a bit of artistry and does not have to be a custom (expensive) option. Wood can be painted a gray or punched up with something more colorful. Fasteners can be exposed. Use SS bolts if you are doing that. Check Decometals for the panels.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 2:41PM
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