Handrails are found within both homes and public premises where there are flights of stairs – but how vital are they really?
Throughout this article, our stair part experts explain the significance of handrails and why you need them in your house.
What are handrails?
A handrail is a safety rail that is installed alongside your stairs, primarily to provide support as you ascend and descend your staircase.
These essential stair parts are either installed to the wall or make up part of your balustrade – an upright rail structure that runs alongside your stairs.
Why are handrails installed in homes?
Handrails offer both practical and decorative advantages in your house, both of which are important for different reasons. So, let us explore this in more depth.
1. Handrails provide stability on your stairs
The most significant reason handrails are fitted in homes is to provide support to those using the stairs.
The rail provides a solid fixed support for you to grasp, helping to prevent tumbles if you misstep or trip – without a handrail, it’s much more difficult to maintain composure and your chances of falling are increased.
In fact, it’s actually a legal requirement to include a handrail on your stairs! The installation must be placed between 90cm and 100cm above the highest point of the steps.
Handrails are especially needed if a child, elderly, or people with disabilities live on the property with you, as they may struggle to hold themselves up on the stairs without one.
How do you ensure your handrail is safe?
There are several ways to ensure your handrail is reliable enough to keep you and others safe on the staircase.
Firstly, ensure the rails are fitted correctly and aren’t loose. You can do this by tightening the screw fixings for both wall-mounted and bannister handrails.
Then, be sure to select a durable handrail material such as sturdy oak or stainless steel to ensure it won’t snap or wear excessively over time.
Whilst glass panels are incredibly stunning, we don’t recommend glass handrails as they may damage more easily than other materials and are harder to grip, reducing their usefulness when slips or trips occur.
2. Handrails can be made into a stunning style feature
Safety aside, handrails also make for an eye-catching decorative aspect, drawing attention to your staircase and sprucing up your balustrade.
Choose between curved and sleek classic handrails or contemporary cubed styles for a more modern aesthetic.
Additionally, you could even explore varnishing or painting options to really boost the appearance of your wooden handrail. Simply varnish your oak to maintain its natural grain for a more rustic look or paint it white for a cleaner, bolder feel.
3. Balustrades can act as a clothes maiden if needed
Another brilliant use of landing handrails is that they can be used as a space to hang linen if the weather is stopping the washing line from being used.
This isn’t recommended for wall-mounted handrails as this would prevent the rail from being gripped firmly.
Bed sheets, duvet covers and towels can all be hung from the balustrade, however, be sure to twist out any excess water beforehand to stop water from pooling on the stairs below and making them slippery.
So, not only is your handrail a legal requirement, but it’s practical and decorative too!
Get in touch with us today
From delicately crafted classic oak handrails to modern rectangular designs, Stair Crazy have a style to suit your aesthetic.
We provide a selection of designs, including pigs ear wall handrails, tapered, and round styles that are superb for improving the look and safety of your stairs.