Q:

What is a good stairway handrail height?

A:

Quick Answer

The height of a stairway handrail should be between 30 and 37 inches from the top surface of the handrail to the top surface of the closest stair tread. This measurement should be taken so that it is in line with the face of the stair riser. To maintain this safe height, the stairway handrail must maintain the same rise and run as that of the stairs.

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Full Answer

To ensure that the handrail maintains an appropriate height, measure the handrail from the top of the rail to the top of the stair tread and then from the top of the handrail to the bottom of the same stair. If this measurement stays the same, then the rise and run of the handrail is the same as the stairs, maintaining the safe height of the handrail from stair to stair.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an American federal agency that watches over the well-being of workers, decided this handrail height would ensure that people of a wide range of heights could easily grasp the handrail to prevent falls. In accordance with these same safety regulations, stairways with more than four stair risers must have a handrail of at least 30 inches.

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