Before & After: Changing ranch rails for a glass balustrade


Interior style trends have changed over the years and while many of us have changed the pink and green bathroom suites which were once popular, the ranch rail balustrades are a 1970s design feature which have somehow outstayed their welcome for decades. One of the main reasons cited for replacing ranch rails other than the dated appearance is the amount of light which is restricted by the solid wooden planks which span the stairs.

A quick-fix compromise which was often favoured was to paint the balustrade white in an attempt to lighten up the area. The before and after images (pictured right) show how this pales in comparison to replacing the ranch rails with glass which allows light to flood the stairway and create a feeling of space and openness.

Add the Wow-Factor!

In the majority of British homes, the staircase is situated near the entrance to the house which means will be seen by all visitors. With this in mind it makes sense that upgrading your staircase has the potential to create a striking first impression of your home. Replacing ranch rails with glass creates a huge wow-factor as the transformation is so dramatic and revolutionises the appearance of the area.

A transformation at all levels of your home

While the transformation of the main staircase creates maximum impact, it’s important not to forget how the upstairs of the property can also be transformed.  It isn’t just the along the stairway itself where replacing ranch rails with glass makes a big impact. Ranch rails along a landing balustrade can make the upstairs feel dark and cut off from the rest of the home. As the upstairs is often reserved for the family rather than for guests it’s important that the most intimate area of your home feels warm and bright. Glass also adds to the cohesion of moving between the floors making the transition feel more like one larger space rather than two completely separate areas.

Each of the Before & After image blocks on this page are taken before and after a real Abbott-Wade installation from UK homes visited by our installation teams. Some of the images may be taken at different stages of completion with carpets/decoration left unfinished.