How to measure a handrail for your stairs?

How to measure a handrail for your stairs?

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How to measure a handrail for your stairs? 

You are probably wondering what the proper way to measure a handrail for your stairs in a residential home is? Do not be discouraged, luckily this is not rocket science, so you will be fine. As a metal contractor and handrail expert I have measured and made thousands of handrails myself so you are absolutely in good hands. Here I will show you step by step how to measure a handrail.

If you prefer watching a video on how to do it. Copy this link to my YouTube video on how to measure a handrail. 

Video - 

instrumental for Installing stair handrail

Tool you will need - Tape measure 

The best way to measure for a wall mount handrail that is code compliant is to

  1. Clip the tape measure to the first bottom step of the stairs.
  2. Measure all the way up to the last nosing where the stairs meet the landing. 
  3. Use this measurement for your handrail. 
  4. If you have more space on the wall feel free to add 6” to 12” inches to the total length of additional safely while using stairs. 


  1. The handrail must cover the whole length of the stairs from top to bottom in order to be code compliant. 

Make sure that there is enough space on the wall to be able to mount your handrail on. To do this, measure the length of your wall and make sure your handrail length is not longer than your wall. If you would like to make your handrail the length of the wall. Take the measurement of your wall and subtract it by 2 inches and that will be the right measurement for your handrail. This avoids the problem of your handrail sticking out past your wall which will not be good. 

In order for your handrail to pass home and safety code compliance, the handrail must at least cover the whole length of the stairs. This means that for every step on the stairway, a handrail must be present to assist someone using the stairs. Now let's go make the world a safer place! 


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