Regardless of their location, stairs should be equipped with railings. They include handrails of different shape that perform important functions. Mainly, they provide safety of movement, preventing the fall, and can be an important element of interior decoration. Handrails can be attached to the railings. However, if the staircase is situated along the wall, you should use the wall-mounted handrails.
Handrails and railings are not the same thing
Ignorant people often think that handrails and railings are the same thing. Therefore, let’s try to find out the difference between the two concepts. Handrails are the fencings of the outer edge of the stairs, its platform or balcony edge, while railing is an upper element of the handrails, installed on their racks. They are interconnected by the balusters. Simply put, these are the elements the human holds onto when climbing or coming down the stairs.
Handrails are an integral part of staircase construction. It is desirable that their style matches the style of the stairs. In the photo, you can see the options of combining the elements of construction.
Handrails are usually made of wood or PVC. PVC models are more commonly used, as their price is much lower, and it is easy to make them with your own hands. Heated PVC handrails can be easily mounted on the steel plate.
Requirements for the handrails
There are no specific rules and requirements for the installation of stairs. But to create comfortable and harmonious product, you should take the following advice:
- The width of the handrail must be so that the person can clasp it with his/her arm.
- All ends of handrails should be rounded to protect the human from injuries.
- All joints must be connected very tightly so that the handrails don’t slide off the railings.
Handrails are installed on the glass surfaces without contacting the racks (directly on the glass). They can be wooden or steel.
What are the main requirements for the stairs?
No matter what materials you use to install the stairs, you should follow the main rules of safe operation of the entire product. In any case, its outer side must be protected with the railings. Narrow stairs are usually protected from one side, while those fenced with the walls, must be provided with the wall-mounted railings.
It is easy to fix the wall-mounted railings with your own hands, especially since today you can buy different railings and fasteners at a good price. Moreover, they don’t require special skills for installation.
The height of railings is subject to strict regulations. It must be no lower than 90 cm, while the distance between the balusters must be at least 15 cm. Try to follow these rules for safe and comfortable operation of construction. In the photo, you can see the step-by-step instructions for those who decided to install the structure on their own.
Don’t forget about children! Take care of their safety during the installation of the stairs. Be sure than the children can’t crawl between the racks or climb the railings.
Materials used for building the structures and their features
Before installing the stairs, you will have to learn about the material, used for manufacturing all the components. In the photo, you can see various combinations of different materials, as well as the prices for all types of products. If you decided to install the construction with your own hands, take time to read about all benefits and drawbacks of the material you have chosen.
Wood is the most common material for the railings and handrails. Its popularity lies in the fact that such articles have an accessible price (excluding expensive species), great texture and ecological compatibility. Such approach is very important for the handrails, as a human hand directly contacts them.
The main drawback of wood is its fragility. Wooden railings are mostly used indoors, as they are subject to the changes of temperature and humidity. However, the price of elite wood species is very high. In the photo, you can see of many options of wooden handrails, which can be called masterpieces.
Metal products are very comfortable and safe, and what is important, they have an attractive price. They will easily and naturally fit into any interior. Some people find metal unpleasant, as it is cold. However, if you have the metal railings, it will be easy to mount the handrails from other materials (even with your own hands). Combination of metal and wood will make the interior look completed.
Metal structures also have their disadvantages. Standard metal railings are available to an average customer, while the forged models that also represent the main element of interior, are much more expensive.
Glass balusters are considered exquisite. Using these structures for the decoration of stairs of unusual shapes will give them elegance and originality.
PVC products are used for the articles with a sharp bend. Their main advantage is flexibility. Special devices allow you to bend this material in any direction; moreover, this product is durable and practical. Their price is also relatively accessible.
Installation with your own hands
To install the structures with your own hands, you must strictly follow the instructions and, accordingly, adhere to basic rules of installation:
- it is important to make the right calculations, considering their additional structures;
- you must mark the walls, where the handrails will be installed;
- mark the surfaces, where the railings will be mounted;
- install the racks and fix the handrails.
For a clear perception of information, you should read the step-by-step instructions for the construction of stairs with your own hands and look at their photos.
If you found this article useful or have something to add, write it in the comments.