Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Handrail Brackets

If you're installing a new handrail or replacing an old one there are two main types of handrail brackets you can buy. The first being what I call a "residential bracket." I only call them this because it is what I typically see in a person's home.

Handrail Bracket
These rest under the bottom of the railing and the piece that looks like a clamp is screwed onto the underside of the railing.

The other type looks a little more like a bracket that's used commercially but I have seen it in modern homes with metal railing. These are the type with a round disc that mounts to the wall and an arm that bends in the shape of an "L" or "C" and a bracket that screws directly onto the railing. Most of these types have a flat bracket to screw onto the rail for use on a rail that has a flat bottom, but if you've got a rail that is completely round you can notch out a rectangle the size of the plate, so it sits flush.
Handrail Bracket

Handrail brackets come in almost any color ranging from a traditional polished brass to a newer finish such as flat black. Most handrail brackets have a projection of either 2-1/2in. or 2-3/4in. to the center of the railing. To meet requirements for codes a handrail should be mounted 32- 38in. off the first and last step, this seems to be the standard but you should always check locally in case your codes are different. Also, there is no specific distance between brackets that we have found that's required, but a few manufacturers as well as quite a few D.I.Y sites recommend as least every 3-4 feet. But as a tip, usually wall studs are spaced every 16in. on center so I would suggest mounting a bracket on every other stud.

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