Handrails: More Than Just Safety Features
If you own a commercial building or design them for a living, you know that there are guidelines and building codes in place to help you determine where you need handrails. Any architect worth his salt can put them where they are necessary — the trick is to design them to fulfill the aesthetic goals of the building as well.
Thankfully, with the advent of modern materials and technology, the days when handrails were simple and less regulated by local building codes are long gone. Today, handrails and guardrails are an intricate part of your building’s interior design. They can be as modern or traditional-looking as you want and still make your property safe for visitors and employees.
A Modern Look
Whether you are renovating an existing building or starting from scratch, if the look you’re going for is sleek and modern, there are a variety of handrail options you can choose from. With materials like glass and stainless steel to choose, from, each one looks clean and elegant to meet your style needs while still meeting your safety needs.
Glass Is Beautifully Transparent
Glass infill is particularly popular for obtaining a modern look with unmatched visibility. Glass railing solutions offer clean lines and are suitable for staircases, ramps & guardrails both inside and out. Architects and Glaziers turn to glass as a superior option with widespread and ever-increasing adoption for easy installation on balconies, loft areas and observation decks. You have several options when it comes to glass railings. You can select an uninterrupted view with a dry glaze system like PanelGrip, which uses grips along the bottom edge of each pane (glass shoe-moulding) so that there are no posts like that of traditional railings or guardrails. This is a stunning element for long or short length railing installations. Alternatively, a post style system such as our Legato Railing Collection, adds an additional architectural option for your interior or exterior design with your choice of post styles and finishes.
Light the Way
Another great feature of railings today is the fact that you can illuminate them. Advancements in LED lighting make them the perfect option to safely light your railing system. This not only improves the safety factor but can also add another ambient or even an accent light source to your interior or exterior design. This can be an interior or exterior architectural feature.
Stainless steel is another modern material that inspires a sleek look. It is by nature a clean-looking material and straight-line designs only add to its appeal. It’s easy to maintain and you can light these with LEDs as well when you combine them with the Lumenrail system. When you combine glass and stainless steel, you get a look that’s undeniably modern.
Get Linear With Cable
Cable railings are an alternative to solid glass or stainless-steel infill panels as balustrade options. They consist of lines of stainless cables that provide the safety you need without blocking the view or airflow. They’re ideal for outdoor applications like decks and sunroofs, but they work just as well as decor enhancements inside. They have a hidden hardware system so all you get are crisp clean lines. Cable rail can be combined with a variety of railings to get the customized look you need. Add lights for a fun outdoor look around a pool or patio or use them to make interior stairwells safer.
Go More Traditional
A traditional handrail system is a good fit for many locations. Consider welded or non-welded aluminum pipe construction for an industrial look that works well for a variety of applications like libraries, college campuses, museums, stadiums, subways and more. You can easily customize these by painting them a variety of colors. Different colors can be used for different floors, different departments or different buildings in a multi-unit complex. The colors can blend with the surroundings or provide a pop of color to contrast your existing decor.
When considering the required safety features your building needs to have, you don’t always have a lot of choices when it comes to how they look. A first aid kit or fire extinguisher is what it is. However, when it comes to handrails and guardrails, you can use them as a highlight to your decor both inside and out.
Contact Wagner for more help in choosing your next railing.