Which Bannister Rope Is Perfect For Me? Updated 2021

bannisterrope

Which Bannister Rope Is Right For Me?

Bannister ropes have been used for decades in houses, churches, shops and offices. They add a lovely feature piece to any staircase creating a talking point whenever used. Here at RopeServices UK we hand make all of our bannister ropes to order, meaning that we can make them to any length with any number fittings. We offer customisers on our website so that you can pick almost any configuration you require.

How To Chose The Correct Rope?

A bannister rope should be for life so choosing the correct rope is important. We offer one of the largest ranges of ropes in various colours and diameters in the UK. We offer ropes for indoor and outdoor use. If you are unsure on which rope to purchase, please contact us and we will assist.

Natural Bannister Ropes

Natural Ropes are ideal to be used indoors as they will shrink, expand and rot if used outdoors.

Natural Jute Bannister Rope

Natural Jute stair rope is one of the most popular you can buy. Many people chose natural jute rope because it is the cheapest of the natural ropes you can currently buy. Even though it’s one of the cheapest ropes it is also one of the best rustic looking bannister ropes you can buy on the market today.

Natural Jute Rope

Diameters – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm, 36mm and 40mm
Colour – Natural (Dark)
Maximum Length – 24mm to 40mm – 220 Metres
Worming – This rope can not be wormed

Natural Hemp Stair Rope

Natural Hemp rope is one of the most recognisable ropes available. Adding an authentic look to any stair case bannister. Natural Hemp rope does carry a slight barn yard smell but this will fade over time.

Natural Hemp Rope

Diameters – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm, 36mm and 40mm
Colour – Natural (Dark)
Maximum Length – 24mm to 40mm – 220 Metres
Worming – This rope can not be wormed

Natural Cotton Staircase Rope

Natural Cotton rope is a soft to the touch rope, available in four different colours – Natural (cream), Optic White, Red and Black. Natural Cotton rope is suitable for worming.

Natural Cotton Rope

Diameters – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm and 36mm
Colours – Natural (Cream), Black, Red and Optic White
Maximum Length – 24mm to 36mm – 110 Metres
Worming – This rope can be wormed (What is Worming)

Synthetic Bannister Ropes

Synthetic Ropes can be used indoors and outdoors and are easy to clean. Synthetic ropes with not shrink, expand or rot when wet.

Grey Synthetic Bannister Rope

Grey Synthetic rope is one of the most modern looking ropes you can currently buy on the market. It is soft to the touch and can be used indoors or outdoors to add an extra modern look to any staircase.

Grey Synthetic Rope

Diameters – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm, 36mm and 40mm
Colours – Grey
Maximum Length – 24mm to 40mm – 220 Metres
Worming – This rope can be wormed (What is Worming)

Polyspun Stair Rope

Polyspun rope is a synthetic rope with a hairy texture, it can be used indoors and doors and comes in a range of colours. This rope can not be wormed.

Polyspun Rope

Diameters – 24mm and 32mm
Colours – Black, Burgundy, Red and Royal Blue
Maximum Length – 24mm to 32mm – 25 Metres
Worming – This rope can not be wormed

Softline Multifilament Bannister Rope

Softline Multifilament is a great rope to use as a staircase rope. It comes in five different colours Black, Navy Blue, Olive, Red and Royal Blue. This rope has a smooth, soft to the touch finish.

Softline Multifilament Rope

Diameters – 24mm
Colours – Black, Navy Blue, Olive, Red and Royal Blue
Maximum Length – 24mm – 220 Metres
Worming – This rope can not be wormed

Synthetic Polyhemp Bannister Rope

Synthetic Polyhemp rope is designed to look and feel natural with the benefits of a synthetic rope. Only the trained eye will be able to tell the difference between this rope and natural hemp rope. Unlike natural rope this rope will not shrink, expand or rot when wet making it great for indoors and outdoor use.

Synthetic Polyhemp Rope

Diameters – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm, 36mm and 40mm
Colours – Sandy (natural looking)
Maximum Length – 24mm – 40mm – 220 Metres
Worming – This rope can be wormed (What is Worming)

How To Choose The Correct Diameter Bannister Rope

Many people ask us what diameter is right for them. In most cases this comes down to personal preference. If you have a narrow staircase you may need a thinner rope to save on room. Our most popular diameters are 28mm and 32mm with 40mm also following closely behind.

24mm – 2.4cm – 0.94inches

28mm – 2.8cm – 1.10inches

32mm – 3.2cm – 1.25inches

36mm – 3.6cm – 1.41inches

40mm – 4.0cm – 1.57inches

How Do I Measure My Staircase?

Every Staircase is different, some are 10 foot some are 12 foot. Luckily we are able to offer you a bespoke service as all of our bannister ropes are handmade to order and can be made to any length with any number of fittings. All our bannister ropes are fully customisable and can be designed on our website with an instant price.

  • Measure you stairs in a straight line

All our bannister ropes are measured from behind the knot so you would need to take this into account when measuring. (Knot Sizes). If you need to add a drape to your bannister please see – (Do I Need A Drape?)

 

My Staircase Has Corners

If your staircase has corners this isn’t a problem, you would need to add a few extra fittings. For a 90 degree corner we would recommend having a fitting 150mm away from each side of the corner allowing the rope to make the turn correctly.

How Many Fittings Do I Need?

RopeServices UK always recommend have a fitting behind each knot and unless requested we will also secure these fittings in place during the manufacturing process. We would then recommend have a fitting every 1 metre (3.30 foot) along your rope. You would need extra fittings if your staircase has corners.

Which fittings are right for me?

We offer fittings in six different finishes – Polished Brass, Polished Chrome, Copper Bronze, Gun Metal Black, Powder Coated Black and Satin Nickel.

Polished Brass – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm and 36mm

Polished Chrome – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm, 36mm and 40mm

Copper Bronze – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm and 36mm

Gun Metal Black – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm, and 36mm

Powder Coated Black – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm and 36mm

Satin Nickel – 24mm, 28mm, 32mm, 36mm and 40mm

All fittings except 40mm are available in Standard and Low profile. The difference is the distance the the fitting sits off the wall. If your staircase is narrow then it would be more beneficial to use low profile fittings.

Diameter Standard Fitting Low Profile Fitting
24mm 7.5cm 6.5cm
28mm 8cm 7cm
32mm 9cm 8cm
36mm 10cm 8.5cm
40mm 12.5cm N/A

How do I Secure My fittings in place?

The fittings behind each knot will come fixed in place by our manufacturing team, we will leave all other fitting loose so they can be fitted in the correct place up on installation. To fix the remaining fittings in place –

  • Attach the fitting to the wall
  • Use a 4mm screw driver though the centre hole of the fitting to create a pilot hole
  • Make the pilot hole slightly bigger with a 5mm screw driver
  • Push the screw into the pilot hole making sure it connects with the threads on the inside of the fitting
  • Hand tighten with a screw driver

PLEASE DO NOT use a drill during any part of fitting the centre screw into place as this can catch a yarn in the rope. This will damage and misshape the rope.

What is Worming

Worming is when a smaller diameter rope is secured into the lay of the rope adding an elegant finish to any bannister. We offer a lager number of different types and colours for worming but not every rope can be wormed. Worming requires three lengths of rope to be worked into the lay of the strands. As three ropes are used we can mix and match colours to your preference. For example we could use Emerald Green, Yellow and Red to make a jester wormed bannister rope.

Worming Rope Types – Natural or Synthetic

Worming Colours – Natural, Beige, Black, Brown, Emerald Green, Fluorescent Yellow, Grey, Navy Blue, Olive, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Royal Blue, White, Yellow and Yellow With A Red Fleck.

Ropes Which Can Be Wormed – Natural Cotton Rope, Grey Synthetic Rope, Synthetic Polyhemp and Softline

Ropes Which Can Not Be Wormed – Natural Jute Rope, Natural Hemp Rope, Polyspun Rope, Natural Black Cotton, Natural Optic Cotton

What Rope Ends Do I Need?

Rope ends are required by building regulations as the knot and the splice stop the rope from giving way when under tension. We can offer three types of finishes on our bannisters – Man Rope Knots, Soft eye Splices or a mixture of both.

Man Rope Knots

Man rope knots are a knot which is tied at the end of the rope, each knot and is hand crafted by our highly trained rope splicers. Each knot takes approximately 30 minutes to complete, even longer if wormed. Man Rope Knots need to have a rope fitting fitted directly behind them, this is to stop any excess play should someone fall and grab the rope. A fitting will come already fixed into place with the centre brackets left loose. Once the bannister rope is complete these knots should not be undone as the knots will not fasten back the same way. This is why it is important that the correct number of fittings have been added to your bannister rope.

Knot Sizes

Approximate man rope knot sizes

Diameter mm cm inches
24mm 72mm 7.20cm 2.83 inches
28mm 84mm 8.40cm 3.30 inches
32mm 96mm 9.60cm 3.77 inches
36mm 108mm 10.80cm 10.80 inches
40mm 120mm 12.00cm 4.72 inches

Spliced Soft Eyes

Spliced soft eye is when the rope is looped back on it self and spliced into the rope to form a secure connection, it is then finished by whipping the splice to give it an attractive finishing. Normally the whipping is finished in a natural rope but it can be finished in any of the following colours –

Whipping Rope Types – Natural or Synthetic

Whipping Colours – Natural, Beige, Black, Brown, Emerald Green, Fluorescent Yellow, Grey, Navy Blue, Olive, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Royal Blue, White, Yellow and Yellow With A Red Fleck.

A rope fitting will be secured into position at the top centre point of the eye when manufactured. Once the bannister rope is complete these soft eyes should not be undone as they will not fasten back the same way. This is why it is important that the correct number of fittings have been added to your bannister rope.

Man Rope Knots and Spliced Eyes

We can offer a service where we can do a man rope knot at one end and spliced soft eye at the other, giving you the benefits from both the above.

Do I Need A Drape?

A drape is the sag that is made by the rope in-between each fitting. It is down to personal preference whether you have a drape or not. All rope will sag over time ending up with a little drape once it has relaxed and acclimatise. For a slight drape we recommend adding 5% for a large drape add 10% to the overall length of your bannister rope. We have provided a drape calculator below.

Do I Need Wooden Mounts?

Wooden mounts are advised to be used to connect your bannister rope to the wall. They are made from a none specific hardwood and come pre drilled to suit a no 10 countersunk screw. We would recommend using wooden mounts on plasterboard walls.

Installing A Bannister Rope

It is important that your bannister rope is securely fixed to the wall – please be sure to know the type of wall it is being attached too.

Placement Of The Rope

Hold the rope in position and mark where the fixings are to be attached (wooden mounts / handrail brackets). Bear in mind that the natural drape of the rope will show over the first to second month after installation.

Attaching Handrail Bracket Mounts

RopeServices UK recommend that hardwood mounts are used with each bracket and can be supplied by us with your rope.

Our mounts are pre drilled to suit a no 10 countersunk screw but if larger screws are to be used you must re-drill the holes to stop the wood from splitting.

Please make sure that you use the correct length of screw to suit the job – it is recommended that a 2 1/2 inch (60mm) screw is generally sufficient but you must make sure that it has penetrated well beyond the plaster and into solid bricks or stones.

Align the holes in the mount to run in line with the rope this will enable the bracket screws to avoid the steel screws when fixing.

if drilling through dry lined or plaster boarded walls, it is recommend that extra precaution is taken because of the gaps behind the boards, some sort of infill or reinforcement may be required.

Before fixing the mounts into position, you can stain, seal, polish or paint them or they can be left in their natural state.

Attaching Handrail Brackets To The Mounts

Use the screws provided (4 per bracket)

If fixing brackets directly to walls without the mounts, suitable screws will be needed as the screws supplied are only suitable for the mount attachments.

Before screwing into position, make sure the steel screw heads are covered and the brackets holes avoid them. From pilot holes in the mounts with a fine drill to avoid splitting the timber.

Securing Rope Into Brackets

When securing the brackets onto the rope at your chosen spaces, it is advisable to make a pilot hole through the rope with a tapered ended toll such as a Pozi / Phillips screwdriver, this will enable the screw to drive straighter to the bracket shaft. A small amount of manoeuvring should be expected.

If you are unsure about any aspect of attaching the mounts and brackets, we strongly advise you to seek professional advice from a competent joiner or builder.

Building regulations

All bannister rope leave our factory complying with building regulations. Should the brackets be moved from behind the knots this would be against building regulations. We accept no liability for how bannister rope are fitted/installed and the moving of any brackets after leaving our factory.

 

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