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What is the code for handrail?

4 min read

Asked by: Efrain Cobb

On a stair, since handrail must be between 34″ and 38″, the handrail and the top of the guard can be one and the same. In commercial applications, the IBC requires a minimum height of 42″. On stairs, once there is a 30″ drop, a handrail will be required and placed between 34″ and 38″ above the nosing.

What is code for top of handrail?

between 34 and 38 inches

(c) The top of stair railings, handrails and handrail extensions installed on or after April 3, 1997, shall be at a vertical height between 34 and 38 inches above the nosing of treads and landings. For stairs installed before April 3, 1997, this height shall be between 30 and 38 inches.

What is the handrail height?

ADA Height Requirements

The current ADA standards dictate that the top of Handrails gripping surfaces shall be 34 inches minimum and 38 inches maximum measured vertically above walking surfaces, stair nosings, and ramp surfaces with a greater than a 1:20 slope.

What is the standard handrail?

The top rail must be at least 42 inches in height (§1910.29(f)(1)(ii)(B)) and the handrail must be 30 to 38 inches in height (§1910.29(f)(1)(i)) (as measured at the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface of the rail).

Can a 2×2 be used as a handrail?

According to the IRC (2018), you can use a 2×4 to make a handrail, but you must cut finger recesses along both sides of the board and position the lumber lengthwise on its end. Using a 2×4 as a handrail laid vertically is not allowed. Porch and deck guardrails made from 2x4s laid horizontally are permitted.

Where should a handrail start and stop?

The railing must be continuous, starting at the nosing of the upper landing and extending at a minimum to the nosing of the lowest step or “riser”. For optimal safety, whenever possible the handrail should run the entire length of the Nosing Line.

Do you legally have to have a handrail on stairs?

Handrails are mandatory. Stairs should have a handrail on at least one side if they are less than one metre wide, and on both sides if wider than this. Handrails should be placed between 900mm and 1000mm above the highest point on the staircase steps.

What is the maximum distance between handrails?


Stair width requiring acenter handrail, rule of thumb

Maximum stairway width between handrails: is given as 36″ of clear walking space or in some standards 30″ of clear walking space. This article explains and illustrates the requirements for one or more intermediate handrailings on wide stairways.

How far apart should handrail brackets be?

36 to 48 inches apart

We recommend spacing the Brackets 36 to 48 inches apart. In most cases, it is desirable to transition the Handrail past the last stair with a horizontal rail of 6 to 12 inches. Some local codes require this extension be 12 inches. Contact your local authorities to confirm requirements.

What side of stairs does handrail go on?

The handrail can be on either side of the stairs as long as it continuously runs the entire length of the stairs. Building codes require a guardrail if there is a drop that is more than 30 inches in order to prevent serious falls.

Can I use 2×6 for handrail?

(The 2-inch handrail is allowed by all U.S. building codes.) Watch out: No model building code and no other building code that we have surveyed permitted 2×6 or even 2×4 handrailings installed “on the flat” as a safe graspable stair handrail system.

What is the maximum gap between balusters?

US building codes require that the space between balusters be no more than four inches—assuring that small children can’t slip through or get stuck between them. They must also be able to resist up to 50 pounds of pressure exerted over a 1-square foot area.

How do you make a basic handrail?

We're going to be holding an 8 foot 2×4 into place. And we're gonna make a mark at the very top. Here. Then we're gonna make a mark at the very bottom here a.

Can you make your own handrail?

It is very easy to build your own exterior handrail; whether it’s for the stairs, decking, porch, ramps or just an alleyway – either go for one of our pre-designed handrail kits or build an outside handrail from scratch.

How can I make a cheap handrail?

Once you locate where your stud is go ahead and measure up three feet and put a line repeat this as often as you need to put a bracket about every three to four feet.