balusters and balustrades

Are Balusters and Balustrades One and the Same Thing?

Balustrades have been used in across the world in structures built using different architectural styles. In days gone by, these features used to be made of stone and later wood, metal and concrete was used in their construction. As technology advanced materials such as vinyl started being used and today, glass balustrades are a very popular installation on residential as well as commercial properties.

There are a number of different balustrade styles to choose from such as frameless, semi-framed and fully-framed. These installations add to the aesthetics and functionality of any structure and can be used in exterior and interior applications.

Understanding some basic differences

Many of our customers want to know what the pros and cons of these features are and many also want to know whether there is a difference between a balustrade and a baluster. Well, here we demystify these terms distinguish what they mean; and give you a little peek into balustrade history as well:


These are the vertical posts on which a railing is supported along a balcony or terrace. These posts can be made of iron, wood, stone, concrete, vinyl etc. The word is derived from the French word balustre, from Greek balaustion, the Latin word balaustium and the Italian word balaustro


This is the entire installation which includes the balusters that are positioned at equal distances from each other. The balusters hold up the railing that could be made from a number of different materials as well. This entire feature forms a decorative edge along the balcony, terrace, veranda or even internal or exterior structures such as staircases, landings and more.

In simple words, a baluster is just the single post while a balustrade is made up of several balusters to form a larger unit that is used as a safety and aesthetic feature.

Different baluster shapes

The balusters’ shape is designed to blend in with the architectural style of the structure it is to be installed in; and as mentioned earlier, can be used to great effect in indoor and outdoor applications. When it comes to balustrade designs and styles, the sky is the limit and can range from simplistic designs with clean lines, to more elaborate and ornamental features with various embellishments.

A peek into balustrade history

  • Balusters as well as balustrades first made an appearance sometime between the 13th-17th centuries; they are seen depicted in sculptural murals as well as ancient bas-reliefs in many countries across the world.
  • Architecture of the early & dynastic China is known for its structural purposes and the balustrades here were made of wood that was painted to prevent it from decaying; some parts of the roof structure had overhangs while others had open terrace-like features with wooden balustrades running along the periphery.
  • By the 10th century, wooden and marble balustrades with very elaborate and intricate styling were used in private gardens designs.
  • During and post the Renaissance period classical stone balustrades made an appearance and were used in landscapes, gardens and buildings alike.

Modern day glass balustrades

Today, many modern residential and commercial structures across Australia sport glass balustrades and these add true elegance and style to the buildings. Glass helps create a very open look on the property and these balustrades are strong enough to be used in indoor and outdoor applications. We use laminated, toughened glass of varying thicknesses in the installations and make sure the hardware is of the best quality.

Quantum Frameless Glass can provide excellent, customised solutions for residential and commercial spaces. For any more information about our glass balustrades, call us at this number – 1300 282 248. You can also contact us using this online form.

Thanks for reading,
Quantum Frameless Glass Team
1300 282 248

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