Flat-Sawn Balusters Give Railings All-Out Style

Initially created for Victorian houses, flat-sawn balusters communicate a fantastic conservative feel in a home. Often referred to as gingerbread or paper doll balustrades, these ornamental railing features are most frequently found on historical residences, wrapping around porches, balconies and interior staircases.

Naturally resistant to rust, flat-sawn balusters are precision cut from lasting woods, like western red cedar, and designed with lifelong strength in mind. Created with a fretsaw, they encompass the use of negative space in their design. The balusters are generally 1 to 2 inches thick and 4 to 8 inches wide, and are placed together in a repeating pattern so the cut of distances attracts the eye.

Flat-sawn baluster patterns span from the late 1800s to the present day. Whether you’re restoring an old home or constructing a new showstopper, ornamental flat-sawn balusters and gingerbread details will be the crowning touch to any stair or porch design.

Josh Wynne Construction

This customized cypress balustrade in Key West, Florida, has propeller-shaped cutouts, demonstrating the homeowner’s line of work.

Travis Knoop Photography

Together with the balusters placed together in a repeating pattern, the cutouts are what draw the eye. They are especially effective in front of the dramatic exterior background.

Tim Andersen Architect

Carefully restoredthis historical home includes knee wall railings on the lower porch and flat-sawn balusters with arrow cutouts on the top porch.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

This Tudor revival in Pasadena, California, showcases a beautiful first 1927 staircase comprising 85-year-old flat-sawn balusters and a custom patterned runner.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

Elaborately detailed flat-sawn balusters grace the interior staircase of this historical gambrel house in Newton, Massachusetts.

Studio C Architecture & Interiors

This very simple spin on flat-sawn balusters was custom designed and built onsite.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Custom contemporary flat-sawn balusters were designed to mimic oars at this Vermont lake residence.

Shannon Malone

With this dark, natural timber railing in front of a white wall, the clover pattern particularly stands out.

Normandy Remodeling

A simple square pattern repeats on these flat-sawn staircase balusters and the custom made window seat bench.

Travis Knoop Photography

Chock-full of Victorian details, the exterior of this home includes flat-sawn balusters, porch mounts, an elaborate gable design, decorative spandrels and a comprehensive colour scheme.

Can you have flat-sawn balusters in your residence? We’d love to see a photo in the Remarks below.

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