When considering indoor or outdoor railings, most choose the materials, mounts, and other characteristics based on design and how it will impact the premises’ overall decor. But when you put in the safety considerations in mind, more thought should be put into picking the ideal railing for your space.
Exploring The Importance Of Railings
All railings are built to keep people from falling over high heights. It’s easy to overlook, but it refers to all vertical displacement run continuously along any stairway, ramp, adjoining floors, hallway, balcony, verandah, mezzanine, or any area where the ground floor is meeting an elevated level.
While most think it’s a simple barrier, there are key differences in its configurations with unique properties that fulfill distinct purposes, one that guarantees varying degrees of security in both residential and commercial settings. One of the perennial favorite railings used to contribute to the public and industrial workplace safety are handrails and stair railings.
It’s easy to use the two terms interchangeably, but these are two products with distinguishable properties that meet different building codes. Understanding the nuances is crucial if you want to purchase the right product that meets Australian standards and needs.
Defining Handrails And Stair Railing
Handrails refer to a structure designed to keep people from falling off platforms, stairways, landings, balconies, walkways, and more. As it is a protective addition, handrails will only meet the building codes if it can withstand a load force of at least 200 pounds.
Handrails should also have a smooth surface to make it easy for people to grip. When sliding one’s hand, there should be no risk of getting injuries like cuts, punctures, or the possibility of catching clothing on the railing.
Moving forward, handrails are created to keep up with stringent safety and stability demands. While barriers play a role in enhancing the property’s overall aesthetic appeal, it should provide protection, crowd control, and attractively meet building code standards above all else.
What Are The Requirements For Handrails?
- Handrails should have a minimum clearance of three inches between the fence and the wall;
- Stairways that rise more than 30 inches in height should have at least one handrail on its side;
- Handrails should be easy to keep a steady handhold;
- Handrails should not go beyond 37 inches from its surface to the treads. Likewise, it should also not go below 30 inches;
- Winding or spiral stairways should have handrails;
- If there is a wire spacing, it should not be more than 100 mm;
- All solid handrails that meet Australia’s standards should be made with steel tubing. For its measurements, the tube should be no less than 40 mm.
As for stair railings, these are made with a simple task of keeping people from tumbling off the side of the stairs.
Unveiling The Crucial Differences Between Handrails And Stair Railing
Handrails vs. Stair Railings: The Grip
The grip is a critical function that sets handrails apart from stair railings. The difference should be night and day, wherein handrails should encourage people to keep a firm girl easily to promote their security and stability.
Handrails make it possible to wrap your hands fully around the surface, resulting in what people call the “power grip.” With the ability to grip all fingers on the handrail, a person’s stability can skyrocket by up to a significant margin.
Stair railings don’t necessarily focus on providing a graspable surface since its primary focus is to guide and keep people from toppling down the stairs. Many stair railings have a thick, rectangular-shaped body that makes it difficult to grip.
Holding stair railings involves using the thumb tip and the index fingertip, but the lack of forceful exertion makes it considerably weak compared to the power grip. This means that while you can easily glide your hands along the railing, having a solid grip would be virtually impossible.
Handrails vs. Stair Railings: Continuous Contact
Seeing as handrails are designed to support and protect people at all times, it makes sense that it runs along every angle, outline, and direction of the staircase. This allows you to have a continuous grip on the handrail no matter where you are at the point of your climb or descent, allowing you to stay stable until you reach point A to point B.
Meanwhile, stair railings are often disrupted by posts between corners, which means the contact is cut off until the stairs move past the awkward angles. While it poses no problem at home, it’s not the best choice if you’re aiming for uninterrupted security in commercial places.
Handrails vs. Stair Railings: Strength
Stair railings can be made from any material, be it from wood to steel, as its primary purpose is to act as a barrier that keeps people walking along the stairway from tumbling down the sides. Handrails, on the other hand, are made with steel and must withstand 500 pounds of force exerted from any direction in both residential and commercial properties.
The Bottom Line: Exploring The Differences Between Handrails And Stair Railings
Handrails and stair railing are rarely given a second thought, but it plays a pivotal role in maintaining a person’s stability and security when walking a flight of stairs or any elevated landing.
Choosing the right railings can significantly impact users’ experience, and comfortability, primarily since handrails are meant to follow the entire length of a walkway. In contrast, stair railings are used as a guide along stairways.
We Can Install The Right Railing That Suits Your Needs
Here at Aussie Balustrading and Stairs, we offer a premium selection of BCA commercial handrails in Perth, Western Australia. Our wide range of safety handrails in Perth can cater to your style and unique needs, but rest assured that we also comply fully with all Australian standards.
From stainless steel glass to wire railing, you can have peace of mind knowing that our railings will enhance your property’s appearance and safety. Get in touch with us to view our handrails and see what else we can do to help!