Phone: 510.602.0399

Handrails for your Staircase

Handrails for your Staircase

Handrail selection:
The handrail selection process is one that involves determining what shape, size, and species of wood you want in your house or commercial building. Whether you want to match existing woods in your home, or go with a completely new look to accent a particular style you have in mind, Stair Parts Depot can help you reach your dream of having the perfect staircase.

Stair Parts Depot offers handrails in Red Oak, Maple, American Cherry, Brazilian Cherry, Beech, Poplar, White Oak, Alder, Mahogany, Walnut, and Hickory. The most common type of handrail sold in North America is the Colonial 6010 and 6310, which are the industry standards. Below you can see pictures of the complete selection of handrails offered at Stair Parts Depot:


Prior to making a purchase, make sure your handrail profile is allowed in your city. Not every single handrail offered may meet your city’s building code. Some handrails may be too wide – others too tall. Before buying your handrail, research your city’s building codes, so that your staircase is within the allowed size.

Plowed Handrails:
Now that you’ve selected which profile of handrail you want to go with, you should decide if you need to “plow” your handrail – which depends entirely on which kind of baluster you want for your stairs. If your baluster is square-top, you will need to have the underside of your handrail plowed in order to create space for the handrail to rest on top of the balusters.“Plowing” your handrail indicates that a small rectangular portion of the bottom of the handrail is cut off in order to create space for square-top balusters.

Your wooden baluster’s width must match the plow exactly so that the handrail is rigid, safe, and immovable. After the square-top balusters have been inserted underneath your plowed handrail, there will be some extra space there. This is where “fillet” is used. The “fillet” is a portion of wood that is cut to precisely match the width of the square-top balusters. Once the balusters, handrail, and fillet have been installed, the space under the handrail will no longer be shown, and the end result will showcase a professionally-built, beautiful stairway. Here is an exampled of a plowed 6210 handrail:

plowed 6210

Shoe Rails:
Just as the handrail is meant to rest on top of your balusters, the shoe rail is designed for the bottom of your balusters. Any square balusters in your stair system will require your shoe rail to be plowed. Plowed shoe rails serve the same purpose as plowed handrails: to secure your square baluster in place. And just as fillet is used to fill in the spacing underneath the plowed handrails, it is also used to fill in the space left behind by the balusters on top of the shoe rail.

shoe rail

Bending Handrails:
Bending handrails are for curved or spiral staircases. These special handrails are cut into narrow slits of wood (glue to be applied in between) so that the wood can be molded into the desired curved shape.

See pictures of bending handrails below:


Our handrails at Stair Parts Depot are all made of the highest quality woods, and are offered at reasonable pricing. Whether you need a straight, plowed, or bending handrail, Stair Parts Depot can help you finish that staircase you’ve always dreamed of.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding handrails or any kind of wood products, feel free to call Stair Parts Depot: (510)-602-0399. Our distributor’s store hours are Monday – Friday, from 8 AM – 4 PM (Pacific Standard Time). You could pick up handrails from either of our distributor’s store locations in California or Maryland.