Stair Railing Height
Does My Stair Railing Have to be a Specific Height?
Guard and Stair Railing Height are dictated by the building codes.
First, determine whether you are dealing with a handrail or a guard.
A handrail is in place to provide guidance on a stair. It is required when you have two or mores risers on ramps with a rise greater than 6 inches. A guard is in place to prevent an accidental fall. In the U.S., the I-Codes require a guard if there is a 30″ drop while in Canada, a guard is required once there is a 24″ drop.
In the U.S., handrail height is based on either the Americans With Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design (ADASAD), the I-Codes (International Building Code and International Residential Code), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In Canada, it would be based on the National Building Code (NBC).
This table provides an overview of the various code bodies and their railing height requirements:
|Residential||Commercial||General||Where children are primary users (recommended, not required)||General||Stair Rail System||Residential||Commercial|
|Handrail Height||34″ to 38″||34″ to 38″||28″ with a minimum of 9″ clearance between the child and adult handrail||30″ to 38″||36″ to 38″ — may also serve as guard||34″ and 42″||34″ and 42″|
|Guard Height||36″ minimum||42″ minimum||not specified||42″ — plus or minus 3″||36 to 38″||36″ minimum||42″ minimum|
Need more clarification, contact Wagner with any additional questions.
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