You’ve decided to purchase a new stair railing, but you’re not sure where to start. Don’t be too hasty: Before you dive in, you’ll need to take a few key measurements. Whether you’re purchasing an entirely new railing system or just a few railing components, measuring beforehand will ensure a proper fit. Find out how to measure for a stair railing to ensure your new railing is safe, effective, and compliant with local building codes.
How to Measure for a Stair Railing
Before you begin, you’ll want to assemble a few materials to help you measure for your stair railing. First, make sure you have a marking tool handy to mark your measurements. This can be a pencil or, if you’d rather not mark on your wall, a bit of easily removable painter’s tape. You’ll also need measuring tape, as well as another person to help you accurately measure the height and length of your stairs.
Measuring Stair Railing Height
Once you’ve assembled your materials, you’re ready to begin measuring for your railing. The easiest place to start is by measuring the overall height of your stairs. The best way to measure this is by starting on the floor (or landing) at the bottom of the stairs and measuring all the way to the top of the stairs. Remember, your handrail height should be no less than 34 inches and no greater than 38 inches. Keep this in mind when you’re measuring stair height.
Measuring Stair Railing Length
Once you’ve noted your stair height, be sure to measure the overall length of your set of stairs. You can accomplish this by measuring the horizontal distance from the edge of the stair nosing on the first tread (the tread at the bottom of the staircase) all the way to the edge of the nosing on the floor or landing at the very top of the set of stairs. This will determine how long your railing needs to be.
Measuring Distance from Wall
Before you install your handrail, be sure to make accommodations for the handrail’s distance, or projection, from the wall. The edge of the handrail should not project more than 4 1/2 inches from the mounting wall. Railings that project further than that distance run the risk of limiting walking space, which makes stairways much less accessible.
Other Key Measurements
Finally, be sure to take a few small measurements for the best handrail fit:
- Depth of Finished Tread: Measure the length of one finished stair tread from front to back.
- Height of Finished Tread: Measure the height of one stair riser from the base tread to the tread of the next stair.
- Risers: Most handrail providers need to know the number of risers and the number of treads. Be sure to include the riser from the bottom floor or landing, and count all the way up to the first tread. Be sure not to count the floors or landings – only the full treads. If you’re not sure how to proceed, your handrail provider can give you more information.
Learning how to measure for a stair railing is a straightforward, speedy process, but it is an important one. Make sure you note your measurements, and measure at least twice to ensure total accuracy.
Now that you’ve learned how to measure for a stair railing, are you looking for an expert who can walk you through purchasing and caring for a new aluminum railing? At Aluminum Handrail Direct, we are committed to providing high-quality aluminum handrails that are durable, maintenance-free, affordable, and attractive. If you have questions about aluminum handrails or if you are searching for a handrail system that fits your needs, call us at 417-720-8137 or visit Aluminum Handrail Direct’s online store today. We offer handrails, wall mounts, mounting screws and anchors, touch-up spray paint, and much more. We look forward to hearing from you!