Graspable Handrail Requirements

When you install the handrails in a residential or commercial building, you need to observe certain graspable handrail requirements.

Width

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These requirements are nationwide, however, you should check with your city or town hall to see if there are further requirements.

The width of the handrail needs to be a certain width to be considered graspable. OSHA requires that the handrail be 1 1/4 to 2 inches in diameter for a round handrail. If the handrail is not round, then the handrail's perimeter should be 4 to 6 1/4 inches.

Finger Groove

If the handrail is not round, then the handrail needs to have a finger groove that is 3/4 inch down from the tallest point of the handrail. The handrail groove needs to be 1 1/4 to 2 3/4 inches wide.

Spacing from the Wall

The graspable handrail needs to be 1 1/2 inches from the wall so you can grasp it easily without scraping your knuckles against the wall. If the handrail is too close, it's not considered a graspable handrail.

About the Author

Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author. An avid researcher, Gilbert has created an Empire gown (circa 1795 to 1805) from scratch, including drafting the gown's patterns by hand.