There are several factors to consider when selecting an appropriate Straight handrail for a balustrade. There is no correct order to this decision but each issue must be addressed in order to insure that the appropriate type, style and system are used. These factors include straight, curved or both, post-to-post or continuous, profile, plow and of course wood species. For more information on each of these factors continue reading below.
STRAIGHT, CURVED OR BOTH
Straight Handrails are typically 2-3 layers of hardwood laminated to insure they remain straight and to allow for longer lengths and larger profiles than might be possible otherwise.
Curved railing systems require bending handrails. These are handrails that are shaped from multiple individual splices that can be glued and bent to match virtually any curved stairway or floor level balustrade. Due to the inherent properties of hardwoods, bending handrails can typically be used only on stairways with radius’ 36” or greater and level bends of 48” or greater. It is also important to note that laminating a curved handrail requires approximately 18” of waist to insure a proper bend, therefore make sure account for this when figuring lengths. Finally, in order to prevent damage to the profile by the clamps, it is necessary to use two pieces of appropriate bender moulding for each rail being bent.
POST-TO-POST OR CONTINUOUS
A Post to Post system in one in which the handrail begins and ends at a post. This type of fitting requires no transition fittings to flow over the post; however fittings may be required in other circumstances in this type of system.
A continuous handrail system is one in which the handrail flows smoothly over the top of any posts. The handrail begins with a starting fitting such as a volute or start cap and continues over the top of intermediate posts using transition fittings like tandem caps or quarter turn newel caps.
PROFILE, PLOW & WOOD SPECIES
The next factor to consider is the handrail profile. This involves several decisions such as aesthetics, comfort, and appropriate dimensions to accommodate the desired balusters.
Aesthetics is a simple matter of selecting a design that complements the over all style of the balustrade and the home itself.
While all of our handrails are designed for comfort some are larger than others and if this is of particular concern perhaps a mid to small dimension profile would best suit your needs.
Finally it is important to insure that the bottom dimension of the handrail will accommodate the top of the baluster to which it is attached. Our most popular is the 6010 handrail. If you are using square top traditional or craftsman balusters you will also need to decide whether you will be using a plowed system or surface mounted system.