Handrails can be metal or wood, and can be for commercial use as well as residential use. These distinctions are important, and the key terms listed below can help determine the best choices. Commercial handrails have specific regulations regarding the manner in which they are installed, so review the various possibilities for materials and style.
Rails, handrailsRails provide safety when using a staircase. The handrail sits alongside the staircase at a height convenient for your hand to grab. A rail can help you maintain your balance as you travel up and down the stairs.
Aluminum handrailsAluminum handrails are a popular replacement for wood handrails that are vulnerable to rot and decay. Aluminum handrails are a popular option in new construction.
BracketsBrackets are the hardware that help secure the handrail to the wall. They must be installed the proper distance apart as specified by the manufacturer of the handrails. The fasteners for the handrail brackets must also be able to support 250 pounds according to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines.
BalustradeBalusters provide support to the handrail or to an elevated platform. It becomes a balustrade when there is a row of repeating balusters.
International Code CouncilThe International Code Council develops the codes that builders and contractors use when constructing both commercial and residential buildings. Handrail safety guidelines must comply with international standards set by the International Code Council during all building and remodeling projects.
Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and FacilitiesWhen installing handrails in a commercial building, the Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines will have to be observed. Whether the handrails are metal or wood, these guidelines define standards that every builder and contractor should follow to ensure that all people can gain access to the facility.
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines on its website.