Graspable Handrail Requirements

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


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.