How to Install a Wall-Mounted Handrail?

How to Install a Wall-Mounted Handrail?

Did you know that stairs are the most dangerous place in your home for accidents?

This statistic is not surprising if you have ever lived in a home that did not have a stairway or a wobbly or uneven one. Handrails are an important safety feature in any home, whether two-story or split-level. It’s therefore imperative to have one installed as soon as you can. Not only for your safety but also for the benefit of any elderly or young relatives with whom you may live.

Handrail Fittings in NZ is an inexpensive DIY project. It doesn’t take any special tools or experience. All you need is common sense and some elbow grease.

We will guide you through the whole process, from start to finish. This will ensure that your handrail looks great and lasts for many years.

Before you begin

It is a good idea to double-check your local building code before altering your staircase, especially in commercial settings. The handrail codes are constantly changing, so the guidelines outlined here may not be applicable in your particular area or when you read them.

What do you need?

  • Handrail
  • Handrail Brackets
  • Tape Measure
  • Niveau
  • Stud Finder
  • Timber/Wood Screws, if not included with the brackets
  • Painters Tape
  • Pencil
  • Drill & Bits


Find Your Studs

Your stud finder should be used to locate the wall where you want to place your handrail. When measuring from centre to centre, you will find that studs are generally spaced about 450mm apart. Once you have located your first stud, it should be easy to locate the rest.

Once you’ve located a stud, use a level, painter’s tape, or a pencil to draw a vertical line down the middle. This will allow you to determine the best place for your wall brackets.

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Mark Your Bracket Positions

Choose which studs to place your brackets. We recommend spacing between 900mm and 1000mm.

Use the same tools to mark a faint line along with your guideline, between 865mm – 125mm above the noses of the treads. These marks are for the location of your handrail’s top edge. They should be used as a guide, not to determine the bracket’s final location. We recommend 1m for most situations.

Line up the top of your handrail with the pencil marks. Mark the studs’ intersection and the handrail’s bottom edge with new reference lines.¬†This is the place where you should put your handrail brackets.

Measure and cut your handrail to length

Measure and cut the handrail to the length you prefer. Handrails can extend between 250 and 300mm beyond the top and bottom steps. This is a common occurrence. This is the time to attach fittings or end caps and paint/stain your rail.

Attach brackets to the wall

Place the top of the brackets for your handrails at the points marked along with the studs. From here, you should be able to mark your holes and pre-drill them.

Line your bracket for the handrail bracket at the right angle. As a guide, you should be able to use the marks at both the top and bottom.

Attach the Handrail to Your Brackets

After attaching your brackets to the wall, it’s time to hang the handrail.

Place your timber rail on top of the brackets and attach it with timber screws. Pre-drill pilot holes to prevent splitting. This is especially important if you’re using hardwood rails.