How to Calculate Balustrade Loadings

Updated April 17, 2017

A balustrade is the railing connected to several vertical bars -- or balusters -- that protects you and also gives you a place to lean on, if necessary, when you're out enjoying yourself on a balcony or porch. If you are installing a new balustrade, you need to know how much load the entire length of the rail can withstand when pressure is applied to it and the balusters; get the right information from a balustrade resource and with a few measurements.

Measure the entire height of one of the balustrade posts with the tape measure; also measure the rod diameter of the post with the tape measure. Write these figures down on the paper with the pencil.

Measure the length of the rail between two of the balustrade posts with the tape measure; record this information with pencil and paper.

Consult the balustrade resource to determine the loadings, or weight, that can be safely placed on your balustrade; for example, a post with a length of 42.4cm, a diameter of 4cm, and a distance of 0.5m between it and the next post has a load capability of 1.5 kN/m (kiloNewtons/meter), which is equivalent to 150kg, or about 150kg.

Write this information down for reference purposes when you are installing the new balustrade. Note that indoor balustrades must be able to bear a load of at least .25 kN/m, or 250 Kilogram, and outdoor balustrades must be able to hold a weight of at least .5 kN/m, or 50 Kilogram. Make your balustrade heavier, if necessary, by shortening the distance between each baluster post during installation; the closer the posts are, the more weight they can withstand, as noted in the balustrade resource.


Use this information to help you convert KiloNewtons/meters into kilograms, and kilograms into pounds: 1 kilo Newton/meter=100 kg 1 kilogram=2.204 lbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
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About the Author

Joseph Mars has been writing professionally since 2007. He writes for the Sports Xchange website and reported for the "Eureka Reporter" newspaper. Mars earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Humboldt State University.