Placing Stairway Handrails
I'm trying to find out how high to place the railing next to the five stairs going from one room to the next. Are there any guidelines or code on this?
The recommended height of a railing is 30" above the stair tread measured directly above the riser. This height will comfortably accommodate the majority of people. In case you don't know the terminology, the tread is the physical step, and the riser is the vertical board that closes in the back of each step. Some folks call it a kicker or kickplate. FYI, on a landing where you would install a horizontal railing, the height should be 34" above the floor.
Keep in mind that these are recommended heights. You local building inspector may use a different standard height, and can also give you an acceptable range should you want the railing somewhat higher or lower. The type of building is also a factor… private homes may have a different standard than rental or commercial buildings. A quick call to his or her office might not be a bad idea.
While you have the inspector on the phone, you might also want to ask about the acceptable railing types allowed in your area. I have heard that building codes in some areas are strict regarding open-ended railings… railings that are simply straight pieces of wood attached to brackets. Because there is a risk of clothing getting caught on the open ends of a straight railing, some localities are requiring that only railings that curve or angle to the wall are acceptable. You can still use brackets… however a little extra carpentry is needed to miter an angle into the end of the railing to secure the additional wood. Again, what is acceptable for a basement stairwell may not be acceptable for your living space!
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here www.naturalhandyman.com/aitikia
For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links www.naturalhandyman.com
If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page www.naturalhandyman.com/friends
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles www.naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library www.naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop www.naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at www.naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at www.naturalhandyman.com/contest
Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information is located at www.naturalhandyman.com/copyright
Also in Home
- Safe and natural hardwood floor cleaner
- Sectional sofas in small spaces
- Cleaning tile floors
- Could a home security system be right for you?
- Make your own Christmas topiaries
- Natural home clean up
- 6 reasons you shouldn't overimprove your home
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- 7 green ways to save money on laundry
- 6 ways to organize your home in the new year
- 6 ways to save on home heating
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Mortgage refinance break-even calculator
- How much money can I borrow for a mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?