How to Hang a Hand Rail


Handrails are required for every staircase with four or more stairs. It is very important that the handrail be fastened securely to the wall on a stud and that it is at the proper height of 34 inches. A handrail should be approximately 2 inches wide so that it may be easily gripped. A proper handrail, bracketed tightly to the wall could save someone's life.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Handrail brackets
  • Hand drill or screwdriver
  • Hand saw
  • Use a stud finder to locate the studs on the upper and lower portion of the staircase on the right-hand side. Follow the manufacturer's directions to find out how to use your particular stud finder. Mark the studs with a pencil.

  • Use a tape measure and measure up 32 inches from each stair a stud intersects. Mark this on the wall with a pencil.

  • Center your staircase brackets over the marks you just made on the studs. You will need two brackets, one close to the top of the staircase and one close to the bottom.

  • Use a hand drill or a screwdriver to screw in one screw in both the top and bottom brackets. Use the screws that came with the brackets. The bracket should be angled so that the part where the railing rests is pointing slightly up, following the slope of the stairs.

  • Lay your railing on the brackets and make any adjustments necessary so it sits flatly on the brackets. Once you have the brackets angled correctly, finish screwing them to the wall.

  • Measure the length of your staircase and mark this distance on the railing. If necessary, cut along this mark using a hand saw.

  • Position the railing on the brackets. Use your hand drill or screwdriver and screw it into place.

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  • Photo Credit stairwell image by Larry Roberg from
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