I want to replace the hand rail that runs down our basement stairs.
The current one is just a 1.5" round stock and terminated back to the
wall with 45 degree miter cuts. Looks like the builder just painted it
with wall paint. I have found a piece of Colonial handrail,
unfinished that would do the job. But I wanted to know the best way to
My thought was that we did not want to buy any extra pieces, just
miter the ends so that when mounted the end would be straight up and
down and then maybe another cut just to take of the very tip that
would be left.
Is there a simpler way to do this ? or a better idea ?
That is how it is typically done, just cut the end so the cut ends up
vertical when installed. If you want a more custom/professional look
you can miter it and use a piece of leftover handrail to return it to
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
DAGS for how far away the rail needs to be from wall, and how high off
the floor. Many old rails fall short of modern guidelines, and trivial
crap like that is what inspectors like to find come sale time. Back in
stone age, we always just mitered the ends- having a return dying back
into wall looks neater, but also increases how fast that spot on wall
gets dirty if you have kids. The rails also flex, so the miter and the
wall where it attaches may get stressed and open up.
For a colonial-style rail, if the borg has matching end knobs in the
same style, I'd go ahead and get those. Makes it easier for using rail
in the dark- you can tell when you get to the end of it. Also helps if
you have anyone that Really Needs a rail, like older folks.
What you have now may be code required in your area. I suspect that it
might also be an OSHA requirement in public buildings for safety. If
you plan to live in house for many years, do it any way you like, with
knobs on the end of the rail or whatever. If you think you may ever
sell the house, stick to the codes that your city requires.
With no mitered corner or other tactile termination, a person won't
bruise his knuckle when he slides his hand to the end the rail. But
then he may be surprised to find the rail ends before he has a firm
footing on a level floor. So maybe the best solution would be a
transition to a horizontal piece of rail at each landing.
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