Stair Hand Rail on wall

by Jim
(palatine il)


I need to install a stair hand rail on a wall (the staircase has a wall up each side).

The stairs turn to the right 8 steps up,each step rise is 7 1/2" the tread is 10". At the 9th step the turn starts,the rise is 7 1/2".

The left side of the tread is 21 1/2".

The right side is 2". The 10th step rise is 7 1/2", the tread is 15" to the wall, 17" to the next step,and on right side is 2".the 11th is 21" on the left 2" on the right,with 7 1/2" rise.the last step is 10" tread with a 7 1/2" rise to the landing.

The stair case is 39" wide.I plan on putting the hand rail on the left since there's a switch on the right and a newel post at the top with a hand rail and balusters.The rail is to be at 34" high at the top of rail.

I will be putting a 3/4" x 4" oak board on the wall to attach the rail brackets.I need to know at what angle to cut and how many sections .

Also I"m wanting to avoid a compound cut in the corner.


Jim s

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Nov 17, 2016
Stair Hand Rail on Wall
by: Gary

Hi Jim,

It sounds like you are describing a turned staircase with 'Kites & winders', that is treads that when viewed down from the top are a Kite shape?

It also sounds as though you want the handrail to be continuous up the stairs the whole way. One option otherwise would be to stop the hand rail 4-6" back from the corner of the wall instead however it is a much neater job if you continue it instead.

In this instance, the compound miter you are trying to avoid can be a normal miter. So out of the corner your handrail would travel along perfectly horizontally in both directions before having a bisected angle mitered into it, the one on the left would go down and the one on the right would go up.

In terms of setting this out, put a spirit level on the nosing of your treads and mark a 'pitch line' against the stringer. Measure directly up from this line 34" for your hand rail height and then mark that line on the wall too. Then measure up in the corner 34" from the flat tread, and mark out horizontally in each direction. This will mean you have a line going up the wall at the correct angle, then it turns horizontal, hits the corner and returns horizontally, then travels up the rest of the staircase.

The closest image I can find that would resemble it although this has a flat landing instead of the treads I think you have is at this page

I hope that makes sense, in order to bisect your angles there are more tips on this page too

If you need more help to intall the hand rail on the wall you will need to upload some images.


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