• Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think they're increasingly specific:

    A railing can be anywhere, for any purpose. For example, it may be to prevent people from falling off a cliff or a roof.

    A handrail is a railing intended to be held by people's hands to support them while they walk or do something else. A handrail could, for example, be constructed along a bumpy path. A railing that is intended for any other purpose is not a handrail.

    A banister is a handrail along a staircase. A handrail anywhere else is not a banister.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    From the Word Reference dictionary on "balustrade":
    a railing with its supporting balusters.
    From the Word Reference dictionary on "baluster":
    any of a number of closely spaced supports for a railing.

    A balustrade is a railing with closely-spaced supports.


    New Member
    Ok, so I understand that there isn't a difference in the function but just in the appearance.
    Thank you.