Identify the Different Wood Handrails Stair Parts

There is a wide variety of wood handrails stair parts from which to choose. It all depends on your preference of hand railing style. A popular style, and my personal favorite, is composed of all wood with fillet material set between the stair spindles, which are also known as balusters. Since the spindles fit into the recessed area between the top and bottom handrails, there is still an open area left.

Handrail Styles

There are several different styles and sizes of wood handrails. The ones, which I’ve built the most of, are the small handrail, which has a 1 1/4-inch baluster, and the larger handrail having a 1 3/4-inch baluster. Both of these give the handrail a polished look. Be sure that you select the matching top and bottom rail size when shopping for your hand railing parts.

Baluster Styles

Balusters, or spindles, also come in a wide variety of styles. Turned balusters are shaped with a lathe into different styles and profiles. The bottom of the baluster is still square so it fits neatly into the rail. Square balusters are square shaped from top to bottom. When you order balusters, be sure to order them in pairs to avoid mixing styles by mistake and double check the size to ensure they’ll fit into the rails.

Newel Post Styles

The newel post is the main support for the handrail and comes in many styles. They can be similar to the baluster as square or turned with an assortment of top styles. An example is a square newel post with a top shaped like an acorn. You’ll also need to decide on the length of your newel post.

Rosette Styles

Don’t forget about finishing off the spot where the handrail and the wall meet. Here’s where you’ll want to attached a rosette, which is a piece of wood that decorates this spot. Again, you’ll have lots to choose from in the many styles, shapes and designs. The rosette is optional, however, and the handrail can simply be placed flush with the wall for a clean and simple look.

Miscellaneous Parts

There are several other parts to a staircase, such as cap boards and the boards that fit over the knee wall. A bull nose trim on the floor edge of the railing or a step edge is a nice look. Newel posts, depending on the style, sometimes need additional parts for mounting. This is a popular project and is easy to modify for different uses.