Also known as balusters, spindles are small, narrow uprights that serve to fill the gap between the handrail and baserail of a staircase, doubling both as a safety barrier and a decorative feature. There is a huge variety of spindle styles and materials available to make your staircase as simple, or as ornate, as you require. 

Wooden Spindles 

Wood is a highly versatile material that can be sourced in a huge variety of interesting tones and visual textures, making it extremely popular within the world of staircase fittings.

It is possible - and currently very fashionable - to use the natural appearance of the wood with a finish or polish that enhances its existing features, but stained or painted wood is also widely in use within the staircase industry for a bolder appearance.

If you opt for wooden stair spindles, you will be able to choose from a multitude of options when it comes to the design in which they will be carved. Twist, stop-chamfered, fluted, stop-ovolo, square, Oxford, Georgian, Colonial and Provincial are just some of the styles that can be created to give your balusters an extra flourish.

Georgian spindles in American white oak

Madison and Savannah modern metal spindles

Metal Spindles

Metal is also a highly malleable material and therefore provides a sound and attractive alternative to wood when crafting spindles. Metal has come back into vogue in a big way over recent years, coinciding with the industrial aesthetic that has influenced the use of exposed brick and other “raw” minimalist looks within construction.

Wrought iron-effect mild steel and stainless steel tend to be the most popular metals chosen by home-owners as they complement a wide number of shades in other fittings and upholstery, but numerous other options exist, of course. Many metal spindle designs are available, including the Savannah and Madison balusters shown on the left.

Your Choice

It's not easy to replace a staircase - so when making the final decision, many home-owners pick staircase features that have longevity, both in terms of the hardiness of the material and the type of design. Bold colours and unusual or irregular shapes are therefore rarely chosen, but can be employed to great effect. 

As they have been used consistently throughout the history of interior design, both metal and wooden spindles make an excellent choice when considering both the current look of your home and its future potential. Visit our online shop to view our selection of wooden balusters, or take a look at the handy guides within our Help & Resources section for more detailed information about replacing and fitting spindles. You can also see what your final design might look like using our StairCreator tool. If you require any further assistance, call 01938 553311 to speak to one of our stair designers for expert advice.