The Do's and Don'ts of Installing Stair Railings

Stairs are made up of several important components. These are the railings that include the posts and balusters as well as the handrails. Without them, a staircase would not be complete and functional.

Why the need for the stair railings and handrails? It is because they ensure the safety of people using the stairway. All types of people are protected when these fixtures are present. Toddlers learning to walk can make use of the railings as their guide. Teenagers ascending and descending the stairs two steps at a time will also be safer. Those with health conditions such as people suffering from back and knee problems as well those with disabilities and not to forget the old folks can depend on the stair railings for support.

Various types of materials can be used today in creating attractive railings for staircases. One material can be utilized on its own but a combination of two or more is also possible depending on one's personal style. Examples are a mix of wood and wrought iron, brass and wrought iron or wood and brass. For an indoor staircase such as in your home, it's best to use wood or wrought iron. The stone and pure metal type is ideal for outdoor use.

If you have small children and old people in the home, always prioritize safety over the aesthetic aspect of your staircase. What's important is they have the right support while moving up and down the house.

Railings should be installed in the entire length of your stairs. Whether you have one running in one direction, two directions or a spiral type, continue the railing up to the landing portion. You can also extend the handrail a few inches more from the bottom step to provide more support for those descending the stairs. This can either be straight or curved hanging on the style of your staircase. Just make sure that the end part is rounded to keep it safe. Another option is to install a post at the end of your handrail to keep it sturdy.

The topmost part of a stair railing should have a handrail. This should at least be 34 inches in height from the floor. It can go higher up to 38 inches. For small children, a lower height is advisable. Other than putting the handrail on the railing, you can freely install another one on the wall at the other side. Remember, however, that it should be at least one and a half inches away from the wall to give your hand enough room to hold on to the rail.

The balusters also known as guards are another vital component of a stair railing. These need to be properly spaced approximately three to four inches so that no small child can get through it. They can be installed right on the treads of the stairs while the uppermost part is attached to a handrail.

So remember these basic steps when you decide to remodel your stairway or create a new one for your home.