Stainless Steel System

Laidlaw Balustrades – The Stainless Steel System

Performance Characteristics

Structural stability

The balustrades can resist a uniformly distributed line load of up to 1.5 kN/m, making it suitable for use on all staircases, except those that are likely to be subject to overcrowding by the general public. To view the British Standards click here.



Due to the choice of marine grade stainless steel, this system can be used equally well internally and externally, even in the most aggressive environments. It is suitable, therefore, for a wide range of building types. Maintenance is minimal with any marks being removed using a damp cloth.

Touch characteristics

Stainless steel has a very high thermal conductivity, making it feel colder to touch than nylon-sleeved galvanised steel or timber. It is, therefore, not recommended externally for public buildings in parts of the country or exposed sites where, in winter, handrails or balustrades could become very cold to touch. To view the British Standards click here.

Tactile characteristics

All handrails and balustrades finish by returning to a wall or with a closed end. This tells a visually impaired user that they have reached the end of a flight and ensures that clothing cannot be snagged on an open-ended rail. Handrails terminate either with a rose fixing on the wall or with a stop end.

Visual contrast

Laidlaw Balustrades ‘brushed’ finish is entirely compatible with the guidance in Approved Document M and BS 8300 that handrails (and by implication the rails of balustrades) should contrast with the background against which they are seen, without being highly reflective. To view the British Standards click here. To view Bulding Regulations click here.

Design compatibility

The stainless steel range complements perfectly the Orbis range of architectural hardware, which is available exclusively from Laidlaw. It is also ideal where it is necessary to match other stainless steel design elements, such as light fittings (see below).

Application Examples

Matching stainless steel elements

In this commercial office installation, the stainless steel balustrades has been used to complement the decorative lighting and the architectural hardware used on the doors.

Achieving a light and bright atmosphere

A continuous stainless steel top rail guides the pedestrian around the atrium and the toughened glass panels allow natural light to flood into the building.