Baluster – Our Word of the Week


Baluster – You and nearly everyone has seen a baluster before, even if you might not have known what it was called. But rest assured, you’ve seen plenty of them. In fact they usually come in groups – they don’t travel alone.

A baluster is one in a series of vertical posts that support a handrail or bannister. Look at any staircase, and you’re likely to see a baluster. Whether you call it a post, a picket, a spindle or a stair stick, these vertical members (collectively forming a balustrade) are often decorative. Balusters can be made of any of a variety of materials, but usually wood or wrought iron, depending on the theme of design.  The design and shape of balusters can vary greatly, from a classic, ornate shapes to a simple square or tapered post. Balusters are an important part of the aesthetic style and design of a railing. But they also serve an important practical function. They make stairs and balconies safer by preventing people from falling through the railing!


Bonus architectural trivia – The term “baluster shaft” is also used to describe candlesticks, chandelier stems, furniture legs, or any upright support.

I hope this information is helpful to you. You might want to get yourself a copy of my best-seller, Designing Your Perfect House. It is chockfull of valuable tips and advice that will save you many times the cost of the book on your house building or remodeling project. You might also like The Well-Centered Home: Simple Steps to Increase Mindfulness, Self-Awareness, and Happiness Where You Live. It will show you how to make your home a happy place.

Bill Hirsch | Architect

Bill Hirsch

Leave a Comment