Timber Handrails and Balusters – Tips to Select Durable and Elegant Stair Parts

timber handrails

Timber handrail is popularly known as handrail, stool or porch rail. It is also known as vertical wood railings. There are different types of timber handrails for stairs available in the market. You can choose from several different options to suit your home interior and outdoor settings. The wood handrail has an aesthetic appearance and adds to the beauty of your staircase. Here are few tips on how to make timber handrails for stairs.

Basic Tips

Use timber handrails for staircases that run along the exterior wall. The choice of timber depends upon your purpose. For interior decoration look for rich dark stains or lighter coloured, broad grain. They provide warmth underfoot and create an elegant appearance. For exterior applications, timber handrails give the best look and natural material.

A variety of designs of timber handrails for stairs are available in the market today. Several handrail varieties are available with elegant features. Various manufacturers produce wooden stair railings of varying styles to suit individual needs. There are ready-to-assemble (RTA) stair railings, which are much simpler than the ready-to-use (RTC) varieties. The advantage of RTA stair railings is that they save a lot of your time and money.


How to make a timber handrail is another important question. Usually, a single piece of timber is cut according to our specifications. The width of the staircase is measured from the middle of the tread to the outside edge. A timber handrail can be made from different materials like wood, steel and wrought iron. The most suitable material option will depend on your budget and preference.

Timber handrail options also depend on code requirements. If you want to install a handrail within the home then you should check out with the local authorities. Most often the local building codes govern the installation of handrails. You should discuss with the local officials before taking any decision. After getting adequate advice to decide to buy handrails from a reputable retailer. When making the purchase, you must go through the retailer’s reputation, ask for proof of insurance and check if the manufacturer is a registered firm with the local regulatory authority.

Nowadays many companies manufacture handrails from a variety of materials. You can either choose a traditional timber handrail or a modern aluminium handrail depending on your needs and the design of your staircase. Besides choosing a material option you also have the option to choose a colour and finish for the handrail. In case of a wooden handrail, you can opt for oak, pine, teak, mahogany or rosewood while in case of aluminium handrail you can opt for aluminium, zinc, brass or chrome-plated.

Styles and Design

It is often seen that people prefer curved timber handrails over straight ones as they make stairs look more graceful and lovely. But if you are not satisfied with the appearance of the curved handrail then you can also opt for straight timber handrails. You may make mistakes at the time of making the selection… get it covered!

timber handrails

Finally, for the proper look and feel of your staircase, you can add some decorative elements like hand railing sconces, lanterns and lighting. If you are looking forward to installing the hand railing in your house then you should keep the following points in mind… find a suitable and high-quality piece of wood. Ideally, the wood used for the railing should be dark in colour as the darker colour shows dirt and grime more easily. Moreover, you should avoid moisture or direct sunlight for long periods.

In case of an outdoor staircase, mostly dark coloured woods like oak, cedar, pine, etc. are used. But if you have already selected the right type of wood for your staircase then go for a lighter coloured wood. For example, if you have selected teak wood for your stairs then go for oak wood instead. Similarly, you can use softwoods like pine or cedar if you are looking for an elegant and traditional look to your staircase.

More Tips

Besides this, there are other things to keep in mind… do not install any kind of wooden railing in an area where there is a risk of electrocution. This is the main reason why manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the stair parts. Also, make sure to buy the right size of the wood so that it can properly fit the existing wooden railing already present on the staircase. Moreover, select a colour of the wood that matches with the surrounding environment and with the interiors of your home. The main problem with vinyl or stainless steel stair parts is that they need to be painted occasionally because the paint is chipping away due to weathering may result in damage to the surface of the stairs.

On the other hand, stainless steel balusters and balustrade fittings are very convenient to install since they are available in different sizes. You can easily pick a size according to the length of the staircase so that you don’t have to pay extra to install the balusters or handrails in the wrong way. For external stair parts, stainless steel balusters and handrails are ideal to match with the existing furniture and decor. Moreover, most quality stair parts come with installation instructions so if you are not very well versed with home building or don’t have much knowledge about how to install wood stair handrails then you should consider hiring a professional to make this job.

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