Handrail Requirements

The top of handrails shall be placed not less than 34 inches nor more than 38 inches above the nosing of treads. The handrails shall be continuous the full length of the stairs, and except for private stairways at least one handrail shall extend not less than 12 inches beyond the top and bottom risers. Ends shall be returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals.

The handgrip portion of handrails shall be not less than 1¼ inches nor more than 2 inches in cross-sectional dimension or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface. The handgrip portion of handrails shall have a smooth surface with no sharp corners.

Stairways shall have handrails on each side, and every stairway required to be more than 88 inches in width shall be provided with not less than one intermediate handrail for each 88 inches of required width. Intermediate handrails shall be spaced approximately equally across the entire width of the stairway.

Handrails may project into the required width a distance of 3½ inches from each side of a stairway. Stringers and other projections such as turn and similar decorative features may project into the required width 1½ inches on each side.