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51 post(s) First 1 2 3 4 > Last
Stairs - handrail height landing
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Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  Barlovian

Posts: 0

7/9/2009 1:02:00 PM


I am having a tough time visualizing this.

3. handrail follows a slope while turning directly in proportion from bottom tread nosing of upper stair to top <stair> tread nosing of bottom stair.

I think that you meant to say tread instead of stair.

I think that I agree with you, except at the edge of a landing when the landing is not just a landing?when it?s a nosing as well. In that case, I would say that the handrail would have to be 34 to 38 above the nosing of the landing.

In plan, the railing works best when there is an offset of one tread when you transition between flights (ie, the landing is not a perfect rectangle because the edges of the flights do not align) and this prevents the requirement to make a big vertical jog in the handrail to keep it continuous to meet the accessibility requirements.


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  wilson-reed

Posts: 0

7/9/2009 1:10:00 PM

The way I read it handrails should return/ terminate OR be continuous to next flight.

Big emphasis on the OR.
You could just terminate to the wall and pick back up at next stair.

If you had handrails on the landing common sense would tell me to measure from the walking surface to keep the rail height and your hand position consistent throughout the run. If the rail remained at the last tread height it would be high, awkward, and ineffective. IMHO


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  ArtisticRail

Posts: 0

7/9/2009 1:26:00 PM

Barlovian and others,

Here is a picture of the area I am talking about.

question 3 is just asking a continues slope from point a to b.




Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  mikejesse

Posts: 0

7/9/2009 1:30:00 PM


I am not real clear on your numbered descriptions.

I feel most comfortable if the rail is continuous, WITHOUT any sort of verticle transition. Like Barlo. says, if you continue level around the corner 34-38 above the landing directly into the next lower rail, I''m happy.

I think that makes my choice #3 (or #1) definitly not 2.

Now, If there is no wall, and we add in the need for guards on the landing...different story.

Sometimes goosenecks or verticle drops are necesssary.

Am I on track?



Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  mikejesse

Posts: 0

7/9/2009 1:34:00 PM

Your photo illustrates perfectly what I was envisioning. Looks absolutly acceptable to me.

Is the question "what if the rail ends up 40" above the landing?"

If that''s case, I have now problem with it.


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  Glenn Roy Denman

Posts: 0

7/9/2009 2:03:00 PM

So, it apprears that you are concerned with the portion that is wrapping and is directly above the landing in between the two stair flights.

Per the reading in the code, I would go with either #1, or #3 (even #2 is not directly prohibited). There is nothing dictating the height above the landing. If the height is correct at the nosing of the upper stair bottom riser nosing, wraps above the landing, then is correct again at the first nosing of the next flight (landing nosing), then I think that what''s happening in between the two nosings is not regulated.

However, I think that it could be construed that if the handrail (not in your case) were to need extensions, then the slope at the bottom is a slope that is "above the landing", and would then be at the same slope as the rest of the nosings and in that case it would end up being between 34 and 38 in above a point that is 11 in from the bottom riser face.

But, the code says "''or'' shall be continuous". The in between portion there that you speak of is not regulated beyond the part about being "continuous" (IMHO). -Glenn


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  Vmack

Posts: 0

7/9/2009 2:41:00 PM

Tom - if you are considering point A to be the point at which the upper handrail crosses the face of the lowest riser, and point B to be the point at which the handrail crosses the face of the uppermost riser of the lower flight of stairs, i would say teh code is somewhat silent on the height of the small portion of handrail between the two.

The wording in the code simply states that the handrail be contiuous between runs.


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  dna

Posts: 0

7/9/2009 5:31:00 PM

commercial projects require handrails on both sides of the stairway (a few exceptions). The interior railing is typically continuous. there are also requirements for handrail extensions at the top and bott. of the flight of stairs.
Typically, I will run the handrail beyond the landing to an elevation equal to the required height of the railing (36" works pretty good)and level off for the remainder of the extension and turning the corner. this keeps the railing parallel with the direction of travel.
Pretty much like what is shown in the diagram.


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  peach!!

Posts: 0

7/9/2009 5:35:00 PM

The really big issue with both IBC and IRC structures is when you have an open side.. maybe not this stairway pictured.. but if you have to traverse an open side TO the next stairway that the guard needs to be higher..


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  Barlovian

Posts: 0

7/10/2009 6:06:00 AM

Is there an easy fix that would let me see pictures posted with this group?


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  Builder bob

Posts: 0

7/10/2009 6:23:00 AM

Do not confuse the handrail requirements with a guard requirement. They are two completely different requirements.

Handrails approx. 38 inches

Guards 42"

In the illustration above, the open area (between the return flights), if larger than a 4" sphere, would require the installation of a guard of 42" above the landing finish grade.

The handrail could transition between the elevation differences of the handrails as they changed direction.


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  brat

Posts: 0

7/10/2009 6:41:00 AM

I just went and looked at the stairs in our building, which are pretty much like the picture shown. The handrail angles up on our landings like described in option #3. It "feels" right. There is''t a specific requirement for the landing, so I agree that #1 or #3 could work.

I also agree with Builder Bob, the way you''ve drawn it, it appears that a guard would also be required at the landing.


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  ArtisticRail

Posts: 0

7/10/2009 7:21:00 AM

Ok good start,

I thank all of you for your responses, please keep them coming.

Please, need to focus on the handrails only. Forget any guard requirements, not asking about the guards height or requirements, this could be a wall were the guard is pictured....

In the picture, continuous handrails between stair flights.

As I see it, choices 1 & 3 are the better design practice, as they provide the user with a comfortable transition.

Choice 2, I see as meeting the code requirements, but functions more like the old split in the handrail in residential homes of the past when the first part of the handrail coming down was on the wall, then were the wall stopped and the guard began, the hand needed to make a shift because they weren?t connected, therefore breaking the users flow.

But all 3 are acceptable (YES/NO)

DNA: We will get to the other side of the stairs soon, and thanks for the note on extensions, but I ended the code quotes to try to stay on focus with the CONTINUOUS handrails.

Before I move on, the height of the middle of the handrail over the landing measured from the top of the handrail to the landing is 39.1875" +/- 1/8".

Extending out to a point were the handrail breaks the 38" height would exceed the 4.5" projection in the code if you determine that the edge of the wall or guard meets that requirement and if you went full extension in to the landing at a turn like this, the landing would need to be 1 tread depth deeper IMO, not happening.

[b]NEW QUESTION:::::::::::::::::::::::::[/b]

Now let?s take what PEACH sort of mentioned, let?s say that the lower stairs top nosing is 3ft from the turn.

Hence you are now making the turn, then travel approximately 3ft and then begin the descent down the next flight, the handrail is staying continuous between stair flights.

Again, stay on point with what the code says....

Over the LANDING how would you enforce the handrail height requirements?

Again, I thank you all for your input here.

Tom :confused:

Barlovian: if you send me a private e-mail with your e-mail address I will forward the picture, that goes for anyone that can''t see it.


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  Vmack

Posts: 0

7/10/2009 7:33:00 AM

Again - I am unaware of any code specified handrail height at landings. In the last scenario presented, it sounds as though one could get by with providing handrail extensions for the upper handrail where the handrail for the upper stairs meets the landing and then starting a separate and completely new handrail at the top of the lower run of stairs.

If you choose to use a continuous handrail, it would seem the most likely, obvious and user-freindly thing would be to keep the handrail at a height as close as possible to the height of the handrail on the stairway. The code simply says "continuous". I think the typical user would expect it to be as level as possible.


Re: Stairs - handrail height landing By  genebko

Posts: 0

7/10/2009 9:19:00 AM

Vmac, I disagree with your assertion that there is nothing about handrail height and landings. By definition (1002.1) a stairway includes the "necessary landings" so the requirement in 1012 as it relates to stairways also includes the landings.

As long as the handrail height stays within the range of 34-38 inches AFF keep it going around that landing and then descending the next flight - or discontinue and provide the extensions.


51 post(s) First 1 2 3 4 > Last
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