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A Guide to Choosing The Right Stair Handrail

Stair handrails are an important element in any home, offering safety and stability when using the stairs. But how do you know which stair rail is the right one for your home?

At Richard Burbidge we stock a selection of stairparts systems, but also a range of wall mounted handrail kits, which this guide is all about. We’ll help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the best stair rail for your needs. We will discuss everything from types of stair rails, to how to choose handrails for stairs, to choosing the right materials for your vision.

No matter what type of staircase you have in your home, these tips and tricks can help you choose the perfect handrail for your space. Here, we will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when selecting the right stair handrail or staircase handrail for your space.

So if you’re searching for the best stair rail for your home, look no further. Let’s start at the beginning and find out exactly how to choose handrails for stairs.

Factors to consider when choosing stair handrail designs

When it comes to making your home safe and secure, it's always important to ensure that your staircases are structurally built and reliably sound. That's why it's important to choose a stair handrail that suits your home – and your personal style.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing the perfect stair handrail for your home.


The first thing to consider is how practical the handrail needs to be. Do you need a stair rail that is strong and durable, with a long lifespan? If so, you'll need to choose one that is made of sturdy, high-quality materials that won't rust or warp over time. Consider things like handrail height, the types of handrails that will work for your purpose, and how much maintenance will be required.


Modern handrails come in a huge range of designs, so you can mix and match the materials and colours to suit your décor. Think about what look you're trying to create – are you after a modern staircase design, a contemporary minimal look, or a classic stairparts style?

Our range of stairparts includes modern designs like our Fusion Collection, staircases with a twist on the classic look like in the Elements Collection, and plenty more.


Safety should always be your number one priority when choosing staircase handrails. You'll need to make sure that it's the right height and the right size for your stairs, and that it's easy to grip. You should also look for handrails that have been tested to ensure that they meet safety standards.

All Richard Burbidge stairparts and fittings are tested for quality, durability and reliability. Made from the strongest wood and designed by our experienced experts, we're trusted by installers and regulators across the UK.


You'll also need to think about how the handrail will be used. If you're looking for a safety rail for the elderly or disabled, then you might want to consider a wall-mounted rail. However, if you're looking for a rail for decorative purposes, you could opt for one that is more of a statement piece.

No matter what type of stair handrail you choose for your home, keep in mind all the factors listed above. The right stair railing can be a great addition to your home, so take the time to choose one that is both stylish and safe.

Different Types of Stair Handrails

Popular Styles

The stair handrail is one of the most important components of any staircase. The handrail you choose for your staircase must meet both the safety regulations and aesthetic requirements of the design. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the popular styles of stair handrails available:

To start with, timber is generally the most popular choice for stair handrails. Not only does it look good, but it also provides a nice warm feel to the staircase. Wooden handrails can be tailored and personalised to fit any design, and are renowned for their affordability and reliable nature. It’s important to note that wood handrails require regular maintenance and need to be treated correctly to ensure they don’t crack or splinter. However, once properly finished, a wooden handrail for a staircase will stand the test of time.

Another popular choice for a stairway handrail is metal. Stainless steel is commonly used for indoor handrails as it has a very modern look and feel. Adding metal elements (such as newel caps) to a wooden handrail is often a popular choice for those on a tight budget or those looking for a more minimalist design.

Whichever type of material you choose for your stair handrail, it’s important to ensure that it complies with local UK regulations and the overall design. With so many choices now available across the Richard Burbidge range, you’re sure to find the perfect stair handrail that meets both requirements.

How to measure for a handrail

If you're looking to give your staircase a facelift, fitting a stair handrail is a great place to start. A well-measured and installed stair handrail can bring a classic, polished look to any home.

However, if you're unfamiliar with the process, you may be wondering how to measure for a stair handrail. Fortunately, the process doesn't have to be complicated. With a few simple steps, you'll be prepared to measure and install a stair handrail with ease. We always recommend contacting a trusted installer to fit your handrail to ensure maximum comfort, reliability and durability.

Before you get started, here's what you'll need to measure a handrail:

  • A measuring tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Notepad
  • Stair rail or spacer

Now, let's take a look at how to measure for a stair handrail.

Step 1: Measure Your Stairs

The first step in measuring for a stair rail is measuring the length and width of your stairs. Pay special attention to any stair risers or drops. You'll want this measurement to be as accurate as possible.

Step 2: Measure the Handrail

Once you've determined the length and width of your stairs, the next step is to measure the stair handrail. If you're using a metal or wooden stair rail that's pre-cut, take measurements from the rail's middle portion. This will help ensure that your handrail fits snugly against your stairs.

Step 3: Mark the Install Points

Using the measurements you've taken, mark the points where the stair rail should be installed. This will give you a guide for where each end of the stair rail should be placed.

Step 4: Install the Handrail

Now that you've marked the install points, it's time to install the handrail. Depending on the type of stair rail you have, the installation process may vary. For metal and wood handrails screwed into the wall, use the marked install points as a guide. For plastic handrails, use the marked install points as a guide and carefully install the rail by bending it to fit snugly against the stairs.

So, when it comes to choosing a stair handrail, there are a few key factors to consider. The material of the handrail needs to be chosen depending on the look desired, the budget, and how much traffic the stairs will receive.

Any handrail should also be installed to meet UK building code, as of course ensuring safety is paramount. The style of the handrail should match the design of the stairs, as well as complement the styling of the room or home. Fortunately, the Richard Burbidge range offers unbeatable variety and flexibility to build the style that suits your project.

Finally, the length of the handrail should be taken into account to determine how many posts and fittings will be needed for a successful installation. By considering all of these factors, you should be able to choose a stair handrail that looks great, is safe, and fits into your budget.

To start creating the ideal staircase for your home, request a copy of our latest brochure or book a Design Consultation to speak to one of our experts.

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