Always make sure to check with your local building department before attempting to build or modify your home.
Depending on how wide your stairway is, your residential and/or commercial’s building code may require a guardrail or wall-mounted handrail in order to maximize safety for your staircase. Please check with your local building code; usually if the stairway is over 4 feet long, you will need a guardrail on at-least one side of the stairs going up for maximum safety. Most commercial and residential building code will want wall mounted handrails to terminate into the wall for various safety reasons like preventing children from bumping their heads on the rail or clothing getting stuck on the rail. See how dangerous it looks when the guardrail not being terminated into the wall and is free in space:
For these reasons, your local building code will most likely state that handrails must be closed off into the wall. You could do this in a variety of ways: splicing two pieces of rail at the correct angle for the guardrail to finish into the wall – or use two level quarter-turns to terminate into the wall on either ends. Please check with your local building department for specifications on how to terminate the handrail into the wall.
However, simply attaching the handrail/guardrail into drywall will not suffice; handrail must be installed into the building’s frame work (usually into wall studs) to prevent the rail from loosening out over time. Please check with your building department. Using a level quarter turn or splicing two pieces of handrail can work if done correctly.
A Rosette can increase surface area for where the rail touches the wall, giving your drywall an extra layer of protection – while simultaneously adding an elegant finishing touch and giving your rail a home to rest on.
Please feel free to ask your local experienced stair builder for advice on how to terminate either ends of the guardrail into the wall.
Wall Rail Brackets must be used in between to further support the structural integrity of the wall-mounted handrail. Please check with your local building department; they will most likely state that your handrail will need Wall Rail Brackets to strengthen your guardrail and so it does not loosen over time. Using a Stud Finder device can be helpful. Most commercial and residential building code state to use at least one Wall Rail Bracket in between the length of the guardrail if the total rail length exceeds 8 feet. For example, if your guardrail is 12 feet long, an example layout of Wall Rail Brackets can be perhaps be at the 3 foot, 6 foot, and 9 foot mark. Either ends of the 12 foot rail need to be terminated into the wall. Even if your handrail is 8 foot, 1 inch – you will need at least one Wall Rail Bracket for support. Building code varies by state and city.
Stair Parts Depot supplies Wall Rail Brackets in 6 finishes: Black, Antique Bronze, Brass, Brushed Nickel, Chrome Plated, and Oil Rubbed Bronze.