Homeowners often don’t think about the correct names of fundamental stair parts until it comes to replacing them, turning an easy task into a frustrating challenge.
A recent survey by Jackson Woodturners revealed that the majority of the British public have been calling the balustrade—a structure made up of a combination of stair parts including a handrail, base rail, spindles and newel post—by the wrong name. In fact, only 15% of the public are aware of its correct term.
This integral part of a staircase was incorrectly referred to as a banister by 68% of those that took part, a further 8% called it a railing and 7% knew it as a handrail.
This confusion is likely to cause problems for homeowners wishing to renovate their staircase. In particular, online shoppers who are more than likely searching for the wrong term. Unsurprisingly, shoppers are failing to find the correct product.
Lucie Jackson, Director at Jackson Woodturners, said: “In theory, sourcing stair parts online should be very straight forward. However, it’s a whole different matter if customers are searching for the wrong terms. As a result, we have included detailed diagrams on our site, explaining the combination of stair parts needed to construct a balustrade”.
Interestingly, the survey also showed that older age groups have more knowledge of this terminology. Almost 85% of 18-24 year olds call this part a banister and only 1.2% correctly call it a balustrade. However, 34.2% of people aged 65 and over correctly know it as a balustrade.
This lack of knowledge could be a nod towards the absence of young people in the construction industry or a lack of in-depth training.
The Construction Industrial Training Board (CITB) state that just over two-fifths of construction workers aged 45 and over plan to retire within the next twenty years. This shows the importance of ensuring apprentices and young workers are fully aware of the correct terminology.
If you are struggling to find the stair part you’re looking for, there is a high chance you could be using the incorrect terminology. There are numerous guides online that can help you to identify a stair part by its correct name, which will make finding the right one much easier!