I'm finaly getting around to putting a rail up the stairs to the second
floor I added to my home several years ago. Question is, which side is the
standard for a rail? I seem to recall seeing then on either side, however
for my application I think having it on the left side as you go up makes
Any rules on this?
Handicap compliance to the ADA:
"Hand railing must be securely anchored, have a smooth surface and easy
to grasp, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter
Mounted between 34 and 38 inches high.
Handrails projecting from a wall must have a space of 1-1/2 inches
between the wall and the handrail.
The railing ends rounded off, returned to the wall or terminate at the
There are no standard rules. Local codes may apply.
It is suggested on the right hand side as you go down the stairs. I read
that somewhere in a Government standard but can not site the source. The
ADA info in another post was also a part of the post I read.
If you have the room, why not do both sides? Very few stairwells are full
walled on both sides, so the wall-mount rail is usually same side as the
banister rail. Stairwells in public buildings are almost always railed on
both sides. Make the rails removable if getting furniture up and down is a
Rules, as of 1999 BOCA:
If the stairway is otherwise normal, and this is a single-family
dwelling, not subject to special local codes or ADA requirements,
then no, there is no regulation as to which side it should go on.
From a useability standpoint, its better if you can make the
stairway handrail continuous with the bannister at the top,
where there is one, but traffic patterns may militate
against that. The idea is that, when you're starting down
the stairs, you should get to the railing before you get to
the steps. (Which means that, if you can approach the stair
from both sides of the upper landing, you need two railings)
Thanks to all for responding. I don't think I need to go both sides at this
point. The walls do go all the way from the 1st floor to the second. with
the wall on the rigtht side as you go up ending as a 1/2 wall between the
stairs and the room at the top. For this reason, difficult to describem I
think I'm going on the left side with the rail. That puts it in our right
hand as we go down, more natural for us since we are both right handed.
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