For most of us, handrails are a convenience only. When we’re tired after a long day, we might grab a metal handrail to haul ourselves up the stairs. Or when the stairs are slick after a snowstorm, we’ll grip the handrail with white knuckles to keep from falling. Most of the time though, it’s unnecessary. We might let our hand hover over the handrail or glide along it, but we wouldn’t be upset if it suddenly disappeared. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. When children, the elderly, and people with physical disabilities use stairs, they sometimes rely on a secure handrail in order to make it up or down the stairs safely.
That’s where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes into play. The ADA has created a set of compliance standards, or a list of features that will make products accessible to people with disabilities. Products that meet these regulations are said to be “ADA compliant.” To gain this honor, a metal handrail must contain the following features:
- The railing must be a continuous and smooth surface and there must be a railing on both sides of the stairs or ramp.
- The railing must be 34-36 inches in height.
- There must be a curb or curb rail at the point where the stairs or ramp drop off (sometimes a mid-rail will work). This protects wheelchairs from slipping out from under the railing.
- The ramp must be 36 inches or wider.
- The ends of the handrail must be rounded or return smoothly into the floor, a wall, or a post.
- The railing should extend the width of one stair tread and then level out for 12 inches. Ramps must extend parallel to the walking surface for 12 inches past the top and bottom of the ramp.
- Posts must not be more than 8 feet apart from the center of one post to the center of the next.
- Posts and handrail pipes must be 1.25-1.5 inches.
- The space between the inside of the handrail and the wall or any other obstruction must be at least 1.5 inches.
- Handrails cannot rotate within their fittings.
If you’re looking for a metal handrail that is ADA compliant, check out our aluminum continuous handrail. Available in a variety of powder coating colors and featuring a lifetime-limited warranty, this metal handrail meets all ADA code requirements. It was designed to assist anyone who needs a little extra help, so you can feel confident that no one will come to harm using your stairs or ramp. Durable and reliable, an aluminum continuous handrail might be just what you’re looking for.
We also offer aluminum handrails that, while not ADA compliant, will still help children and the elderly make it down a flight of stairs more safely. Although this product was designed for outdoor use, it is attractive and functional indoors as well. The metal handrail is comfortable and available in a variety of finishes including satin, textured, and multi-color. It also features a lifetime-limited warranty.
To learn about porch railing, click here.