Loading

How to Install Deck Stair Railings

Guardrails must be provided on the open side of a stair where it is more than 30" above the floor or grade. Stair rails must be at least 34" high, measured from the nosing of the stair treads. No opening shall allow a 4 3/8" sphere to pass through with the exception that you are allowed a larger opening provided for the triangle formed between the stair riser, stair tread and bottom edge of the bottom rail. This open space may not allow a 6” sphere to pass through it.

Be sure to lay out the position of your rail posts before installation. This is usually the trickiest part. If the top rail post is set at the rear of the tread, you will want to align the bottom post similarly. Landings and stairs that change directions will often require the thoughtful situating of rail posts to allow for a system that looks and performs well. Grippable handrails are required and must meet specific requirements. 

Stair Railings
PinterestSave
Stair Railings

Guard rails are required on the sides of stairs with a total rise of more than 30" above the floor or grade below.

Attaching the bottom rail post.
PinterestSave
Attaching the bottom rail post.

Secure bottom stair rail post to stair framing with (2) 1/2" bolts or equivalent. In this case, we bolted the rail post to the riser board. You may also attach the post to the stair stringer. Make sure the rail post is long enough for a 34" minimum rail plus additional room for post cap mounting.

Find the stair angle.
PinterestSave
Find the stair angle.

Verify that both your top and bottom stair rail posts are plumb. Lay the bottom rail on top of the stairs to determine the correct angle. Mark the intersection of the rail posts with the bottom rail. Cut your top and bottom rails to the same length.

We sell deckorators rail connectors.
PinterestSave
We sell deckorators rail connectors.

Attach the rail connector to the ends of the top and bottom rail with screws.

Stair Baluster Connectors.
PinterestSave
Stair Baluster Connectors.

Install the bottom rail centered between posts. Install your stair baluster connectors so that each baluster will have less than a 4" opening between balusters.

Install your balusters vertical.
PinterestSave
Install your balusters vertical.

Align the top and bottom rail sections to mark the corresponding connector locations with a level.

Snap in the stair balusters.
PinterestSave
Snap in the stair balusters.

Guardrails on stairs must be at least 34" high, measured from the nosing of the treads. Measure and cut your aluminum balusters to fit your stair railing assembly. Next, slide the balusters over the bottom stair rail connectors. Then, slide the top rail connectors into the balusters from the bottom up.

A strong connection.
PinterestSave
A strong connection.

Attach the top rail to the 4x4 rail post using rail connector screws.

The top cap at finished height.
PinterestSave
The top cap at finished height.

Notice that the top cap terminates into the rail post at the same height as the deck guardrail. Install the 2x4 or 2x6 rail cap over the top rail. Pre-drill and screw the ends of the top cap into the rail posts and secure the center with additional screws. Secure the top cap through the bottom of the 2x4 or 2x6 into the side of the bottom stair rail post.

The finishing touch.
PinterestSave
The finishing touch.

Secure the top cap to the bottom stair rail post. 


Popular Railings Articles
Glass Railing

Glass Deck Railing Ideas and DIY Installation Tips

All glass panels used for deck railings must be safety-tempered and shatter-resistant. Learn how to install glass railing panels and get ideas for your deck.

Deck Railing Types

Cocktail Railing Considerations & Ideas

A cocktail rail is the ideal enhancement for a deck railing. Explore what to consider when introducing a drink rail to your deck.

Deck Railing Types

5 Cable Railing Ideas to Inspire Your Deck or Porch Railing

Cable railing adds a modern touch for those looking to add a unique twist to their deck or porch. These top ideas offer inspiration and guidance on cable railing for your deck.

Next Step: Features Articles
Benches, Planters & Skirting

Deck Skirting and Fascia

Skirting can be an attractive feature that can be added to any low-level deck.

Fencing

Composite Fencing: Reviews & DIY Installation Overview

Are you considering installing a composite fence? Learn more about composite fencing, as well as how to install a composite fence yourself, at Decks.com.

Outdoor Ideas

Eco-Friendly Backyard: Tips and Ideas to Green Up Your Space

Living a more sustainable lifestyle can start with a few simple changes in your backyard. Learn how to create a more sustainable backyard with Decks.com.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

Popular Railings Articles
Deck Railing Types

5 Cable Railing Ideas to Inspire Your Deck or Porch Railing

Cable railing adds a modern touch for those looking to add a unique twist to their deck or porch. These top ideas offer inspiration and guidance on cable railing for your deck.

Deck Railing Types

Steps To Build & Secure A Deck Railing Planter

Railing planters are an easy way to add some color to your deck without taking up space. Follow these simple steps and get started on your railing planters today.

Deck Railing Types

Cable Railing Ideas & Alternatives For Decks

Cable rails are a modern looking rail system that preserves views. Learn how to install cable rails to meet building codes.

Next Step: Features Articles
Benches, Planters & Skirting

Deck Skirting Ideas

Deck skirting offers more than aesthetics. From added storage to critter deterrence and concealing structures, explore our top ideas for your backyard's transformation.

Lighting

The Top 10 Outdoor Fireplaces for 2024

Outdoor fireplaces can make your deck or patio cozy year round. Get our recommendations for how to choose the best outdoor fireplace.

Outdoor Ideas

The 8 Best Deck Paints for 2024

Painting your deck is a great way to refresh your outdoor space. Get our recommendations for how to choose the best deck paint today.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic