Originating from Europe various forms of architecture use concrete balusters in their design including royal buildings and castles. Stone baluster balconies are currently popular and are a throwback to ancient times when beautiful structural design often incorporated solid stone pillars. Today you may find them ideal on your terrace, as part of a retaining wall or a stone balcony.
Stone masons, the architectural geniuses of an era gone by, are hard to find in modern times however baluster forms are fashioned with molds to replicate concrete baluster designs of any age. Ease of use and cost effectiveness are both benefits in many molded designs instead of costing a fortune, renovation specialists find saving money without loss of artistic effect appealing to home owners.
Install precast concrete balustrades on a second floor balcony and they will look as fantastic in ten years as they do today, stonework is durable. Many different designs and styles can be found at your local hardware store but you may have to ask for a stonework catalog since these are also heavy to keep in stock.
Tip: Make sure you check building codes in your area before paying for concrete balusters, weight considerations as well as mounting hardware and railing height may be regulated in some areas. Your local masonry shop likely knows and would be happy to see you walk in to take a look at the showroom and you might even spot a matching stone birdbath or concrete flower pot. Matching your other decor to your new balustrade is a fantastic idea.
Residential or commercial, stonework is the foundation for the beauty and life you will add around it be it bushes, shrubs or trees everything looks better with solid surroundings, just take a look at these concrete baluster photos!
Concrete balustrade is available in sections usually consisting of three to six concrete balusters, a top baluster railing and a bottom baluster base or footing. The top cap and footing are extremely important in maintaining structural integrity in a wall of any sort but especially when each supporting member is not attached to the next.
Molded concrete is generally reinforced with rebar, which is a steel structural pole, before pouring the concrete. This is to ensure that it does not crack under weight or break when knocked from the side. Ask if your stonework is reinforced before you pay for it and decide if you want to upgrade before you leave the shop, these aren’t building materials you’re going to want to return due to their weight!
Stone balustrade gardens are another fun way to go, again the stone walls will likely remind you of times when stone was the norm and not the exception. A small column around the perimeter can also serve to keep animals from creating a path through your flower beds and vegetable patches and there are endless decorative designs to choose from.
Some balustrading companies will employ a poured concrete over foam mold technique which can be very desirable if cost is a concern and you plan on installing the balusters yourself however I strongly recommend you choose solid concrete for its durability. The foam filled variety often degrade more quickly over time.
One last consideration in choosing concrete balustrades over other traditional materials is paint, or more accurately if they are paintable. Even if you don’t want to paint your concrete balusters today you may decide to do so down the road and you’ll want columns that don’t pit or crack as easily, paint will often amplify any imperfections. Concrete balusters look great next to concrete steps and on decks of all kinds.
Author: Jean Harris