Handrails and Ballustrading

In weather exposed applications, or subjected to other sources of moisture, handrails, posts, newels, balustrading and infill should be either naturally durable Class 1 or 2 species including Spotted Gum, mixed durable hardwoods or Kwila.

At Garde Timber, we nominate Spotted Gum as locally produced Queensland timbers as can be oiled as a high feature or painted with peace of mind knowing our product will outlast any other Timber species in durability and longevity. Profiles and options as below: 

Queensland Hardwoods  – Spotted Gum

This is a Class 1 Durability hardwood produced in Queensland. It can oil as a feature.

Profile     Size Species Lengths
Handrail(Beer Rail) 90 x 44/140×44 Spotted Gum Set Lengths 300 mm increments
Mid Rail 66 x 42 Spotted Gum Set Lengths   300 mm increments
 Bottom Rail

Rectangle only

66 x 42 Spotted Gum Set Lengths   300 mm increments
Balusters 68 x 19 Spotted Gum Set Lengths 300 mm increments

Imported Kwila / Merbau

This product is available in laminated. It features gun barrel straight and can be oiled as a feature.

PROFILE                              Size Specie Lengths
Breadloaf

Laminated

66 x 66

66 x 66

Kwila / Merbau 5.4 m lengths  -Finger Jointed

Set Lengths Solids   to 3.6 m

Ladieswaist

Laminated

66 x 66

66 x 66

Kwila / Merbau 5.4 m lengths-Finger Jointed

Set Lengths Solids to 3.6 m

Beer Rail

Solid or Laminated

 

90 x 42

140 x 42

190 x 42

Kwila / Merbau 5.4 m lengths Finger Jointed

Set Lengths Solids  to 5.7 m

 

Mid Rail – Laminated

Grooved option in F.J.

66 x 42

66 x 42

Kwila / Merbau 5.4 m Lengths -Finger Jointed

Set Lengths Solids – 300 mm increments

Weather Bottom Rail

Laminated

66 x 42 Kwila / Merbau 5.4 m length

 

Ballusters 62 x 19 Kwila / Merbau Set Lengths Solids -300 mm increments
Ballusters 42 x 19 Kwila / Merbau Set Lengths Solids -300 mm increments
Ballusters 25MM DOWELL Kwila / Merbau 900 / 1200 mm lengths

Pine LOSP Treated Finger Jointed  Pre-Primed

This product is a cost-effective solution for paint finish. It features gun barrel straight and comes pre-primed.

Profile                              Size Specie Length
Breadloaf 66 x 66 Pine 5.4 m lengths
Ladieswaist 66 x 66 Pine 5.4 m lengths
Beer Rail DPR 90 X 42

140 x 42

Pine 5.4 m lengths

5.4 m Length

Mid Rail 66 x 42 Pine 5.4 m lengths
Rebated Bottom Rail 66 x 42 Pine 5.4 m length
Balusters 42 x 19 Pine 5.4 m Length

BCA requirements

Handrails and balustrades for all buildings are required to comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The BCA specifies that a continuous balustrade or handrail must be provided along:

  • The side of any roof to which public access is provided.
  • Any stairway, ramp, floor, corridor, hallway, balcony, verandah, mezzanine, access bridge or the like.
  • Along the side of any path of access to a building, if it is not bounded by a wall and more than one metre above the surface beneath.

The height of a balustrade or other barrier must not be less than one metre above the floor of any access path, balcony, landing or the like and not be less than 865 mm above the nosings of the stair treads or the floor of a ramp.

Openings in balustrades (including decorative balustrades) or other barriers must be constructed so that they do not allow a 125 mm sphere to pass through. Floors more than four metres above the surface beneath, any horizontal elements within the balustrade or other barrier between 150 mm and 760 mm above the floor must not facilitate climbing.

Structural properties

Several structural properties must be considered in the design and construction of handrails and balusters.

Posts/newell post sizes

Posts and newel posts shall have a minimum stress grade of F5. Where they only support handrails, the minimum size of posts and newel posts should be 80 x 80 mm (maximum post spacing 3600 mm and height of 2700 mm). Refer to AS1684 to determine the size for posts that support additional loads such as roof or flooring.

Infill/balusters sizes

The minimum size of infill/balusters should be:

  • Hardwood: 19 x 19 mm or 21 mm diameter
  • Softwood: 19 x 42 mm, 32 x 32 mm or 25 mm diameter