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How To Choose The Perfect Handrails for Concrete Steps So You Don’t Fall

Do you know how important it is o have handrails for concrete steps? Handrails are all about offering safety on sloped areas and stairways. When dealing with concrete, however, there are certain types of railing that works.

handrails for concrete steps

Today, we’re going to talk about the best handrails for concrete steps and determine how to distinguish the top-notch ones from the bad apples. 

Top 3 Picks

Editor’s Choice: Happybuy Handrail Picket

This handrail is made of true wrought iron which is a highly-durable option, so we feel like it deserves a lot more exposure for people who are interested in long-term investment.

Easiest to Install: HOMEPLUS007 Handrails

This rail is made from 304-grade stainless steel and consists of a grip pole and a vertical post, delivering all the tools and hardware needed for the simple five-step installation process.

Budget Option: Happybuy Outdoor Railing Handrails

Available at a really good price, this Happybuy railing option is still made with durable iron to make sure it withstands the test of time.

Do You Need Railing for Concrete Steps?

Stairways are a popular location where people trip and fall. Consider the fact that over one million injuries occur each year as a result of falling down stairwells. They are the second most common source of accidental injury, after only motor vehicle accidents in terms of frequency.

Do You Need Railing for Concrete Steps?

Naturally, the lack of railing isn’t the only reason why people fall down the stairs. It’s also a matter of tread depth, dangerous risers, lack of proper stair illumination, and others. However, it is safe to say that if you have railing installed, you are less likely to be injured even if there are other risk factors around you.

Now, even if you might not feel the need to have railing for your concrete steps, the building codes in your area might require you to install them. Stair safety rules have evolved over time in order to reduce the likelihood of a person falling down a flight of stairs. Securing the stairway with handrails is critical to maintaining stair safety.

The number of “steps” is not specified in the construction code. However, a railing is required whenever there are two or more “risers”. For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, a “riser” is the vertical component of a stairway. The term “tread” refers to the top of a step. A two-step minimum would be achieved by using two risers.

The majority of the time, building codes are required for new construction or large renovations. If the job you are conducting doesn’t require an inspection, you are under no need to comply with any regulations.

How High Should I Install My Railing for Concrete Steps?

In order to determine which railings will work best with your arrangement, you need to begin by measuring the concrete steps themselves, starting at their highest point. The handrail should be approximately 36 inches tall, and it should be at least 30 inches tall at this location.

You may need to write down the measurements if you can’t remember them. You’ll need to know the dimensions of the stairs so that you may order the proper type of railings for the staircase. Make a note of how many steps there are. You will need to take into consideration the height and length of the stairwell, as well as the number of steps.

To determine the length of your handrailing, take a measurement from the bottom step to the top step. Next, take a straight up measurement from the bottom of the tread height to the top of the tread height to get the overall height of the handrailing.

You should be able to determine which handrails will work best for your stairs based on this information, and you will know exactly what to get. Make sure you complete your homework before placing your order to avoid making any blunders during the process.

Railing Materials to Consider

You will find a variety of railing materials accessible if you take a look around you. From wood, glass, and steel to PVC and concrete, there is a material for every need. Some of these materials are more suitable for certain purposes than others, and aluminum and vinyl are strongly suggested for the majority of them.

Railings made of copper, chrome, and brass are also available. These elaborate railings have a one-of-a-kind aesthetic charm. Wrought iron railings are frequently painted, and you might want to explore powder coating your handrails as an alternative to painting. Separate glass, fiberglass, and resin panels create the illusion of more space in a room. Similarly, stainless steel with a chrome finish gives a sense of antiseptic crispness to the dish. Railings made of granite, marble, or stone are very attractive.

Best Materials for Concrete Handrails

1: Aluminum

Aluminum stairs handrail

Aluminum and steel are frequently compared as siblings who are striving for acceptance, although the reality is quite different. It is important to note that these are two quite distinct metals, and that working with one does not necessarily prepare you to deal with the other.

In other words, when should you make the leap and install aluminum railings? When it comes to cost and performance, steel railings that are well protected from the elements are usually the most cost-effective option. However, when factors such as extreme temperature variations are taken into consideration, the additional expense of aluminum railings becomes justifiable.

The use of aluminum for a railing might also be a smart option when you’re looking for a material that won’t rust in a rainy or humid location. Generally speaking, deciding whether or not to use aluminum is a matter of weighing out the many variables. No matter the system you choose, you’ll want to make sure it’s been thoughtfully designed from the start.

2: Wrought iron

Wrought iron handrail

In truth, wrought iron is an exceptionally durable material, far more so than the majority of other materials that are regularly employed. This type of railing can last for a very long period if it is properly maintained.

Another fantastic feature of wrought iron railings is that they can be made to practically any size or shape that you desire. Due to the fact that this material is extremely malleable, it has been given the moniker “wrought” iron. It is literally capable of being fashioned into a plethora of different styles and shapes. When ordering a railing, you will have the option of selecting from a huge number of designs or even designing your own custom railing from scratch.

Welded iron railings are excellent for all types of structures due to the fact that you have endless possibilities when it comes to design.

3: Wood

Handrails can be made out of a variety of different types of woods, according to your preferences. The type of wood you choose, as well as the color scheme you choose, are determined by the interior design of your home. Handrails made of wood may offer a sense of elegance to any property.

As a result, if you want to give your home a contemporary feel while also adding a contemporary aspect, you might consider using timber railings for staircases. Balustrading and handrails are two applications for which the wood is particularly well suited. As a matter of fact, a timber railing is both durable and aesthetically attractive to the touch.

Wooden railings are a robust and sturdy alternative to other materials. They are stronger than other types of materials, such as steel. The design of the handrail can be customized to match the decor of the room. Timber can withstand greater weight.

4: Steel

Steel handrail

The most popular types of steel for railings are 304 and 316-grade stainless steel, as well as carbon steel.

In addition to being known as “304 stainless,” 18-8 stainless refers to the fact that it is composed of 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel.  In the construction industry, 304-grade stainless steel is frequently employed in indoor applications. Even though steel of this grade is readily painted or powder-coated if a certain color is desired, you don’t have to add any protective coating. Instead, a variety of finishes are available, ranging from satin to finer finishes, such as a mirror finish.

Furthermore, in outdoor situations where conditions are not too severe or where the railing system is sheltered from the elements, 304-grade stainless steel performs admirably, in addition to interior uses.

316-grade stainless steel is designed to withstand hostile environments because it has a little greater nickel content and a little bit of molybdenum, which helps to further increase its corrosion resistance in these settings. Therefore, because of the additional alloys, 316-grade stainless steel is an excellent choice for outdoor applications or when harsh environmental conditions necessitate a more robust material. As with 304-grade stainless, there is no need for a protective coating, and a range of finishes are available to ensure that the proper look is achieved for any application.

Due to its proven performance in severe environments, 316-grade steel is the most preferred steel grade for industrial or outdoor applications, particularly in construction. While no material is fully resistant to corrosion, 316-grade stainless steel may withstand years of misuse if it is kept in excellent working order.

Carbon steel includes up to two percent carbon, which results in a steel that is tougher. When compared to the two previous steel types, carbon steel is the least expensive. It is also the greatest choice for inside applications where exposure to environmental contaminants is minimal.

A protective coating is required when using carbon steel, which is not the case with stainless steel due to its low corrosion resistance. Powder coating is the most widely used form of corrosion prevention because it is resistant to corrosion and is available in a wide range of colors.

Top 5 Handrails for Concrete Steps

Brushed Stainless Steel Handrail Railing

Brushed Stainless Steel Handrail RailingView in gallery

When you want a piece of railing for one to three concrete steps, this is a product that’s bound to feel like a solid investment. It’s made from 304-grade stainless steel and consists of a grip pole and a vertical post. Probably one of the biggest benefits of choosing this particular rail over others is the fact that you can install it with ease. The five-step process implies pre-assembling the parts, positioning them above the stairs and onto the wall, using the drill bits to drill the required holes, using masonry bolts to mount them, and the wrench to tighten them. All the hardware pieces needed as well as the assembly tools are included with the purchase.

Pros:

  • Very easy to install.
  • Hardware components and tools included.
  • Adjustable grip pole angle.
Cons:

  • No installation instructions are provided in the package.

Black Wrought Iron Step Railing Handrails

Black Wrought Iron Step Railing HandrailsView in gallery

This HappyBuy railing is truly one of the best options out there. The stair handrail is made up of a steel pipe pillar and an upper railing bracket.  The outer railing is tubular, which makes it easy for you to grip onto it. You will enjoy taking your first step down the handrail because of its attractive matte black finish that complements the comfort and elegance of the iron handrail. The wrought iron handrail is designed to accommodate two steps. It can be used to assist the elderly, toddlers, and pregnant women in safely stepping up and down. Simply use a mounting spanner and M10 bolts to quickly and easily put together the railing for your stairwell.

Pros:

  • Made with quality wrought iron and steel.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Assembly hardware included.
Cons:

  • Return process is complicated.

Simple 1 or 2 Steps Handrail Picket

Simple 1 or 2 Steps Handrail PicketView in gallery

This railing is made of true wrought iron which is a highly durable option, as opposed to other materials. It is more durable and trustworthy than aluminum, and it will not break or bend like other materials. Furthermore, stainless steel post mounts are durable and rust-resistant under normal conditions. This handrail has been powder coated using modern technologies. It is rust-proof, which ensures long-term durability, and it is simple to clean. It’s suitable for one or two steps and comes with a full installation kit which eliminates the need for other tools and materials.

Pros:

  • Assembly hardware included.
  • Made with sturdy wrought iron.
  • Powder-coated surface for extra durability.
Cons:

  • Complaints about incomplete kits.

SPACEUP Handrail 1-2 Steps Porch HandrailView in gallery

Next up, we wanted to talk about the stylish SPACEUP handrail. The strong iron material used for this outdoor handrail is durable and long-lasting. Additionally, the stair railing has a total weight capacity of 50 lbs, which allows it to support individuals as they ascend and descend the steps. It is risk-free and dependable. Processed in black powder coating, the outdoor stair railing is a stylish addition to any home. This not only improves the comfort of the surface, but it also has an anti-corrosion surface. It comes with two pre-drilled holes, two screws, one a six-angled screwdriver.

Pros:

  • Fashionable design.
  • Easy to install.
  • Hardware and screwdriver included.
Cons:

  • Only works if steps are close to a wall.

HOMEPLUS007  Adjustable Handrail

HOMEPLUS007  Adjustable HandrailView in gallery

HOMEPLUS007 is back at it again, this time with a very useful adjustable handrail that works for your concrete steps perfectly. It’s made from wrought iron and can cover two or three steps at a time. It is super easy to install because it’s mostly about drilling some holes and fixing the pole using the wrench and masonry bolts that are included in the package.

Pros:

  • Assembly hardware and tools included.
  • Very easy to install.
  • Multiple finish options.
Cons:

  • Poor packaging.

How to Build a Simple Handrail for Concrete Steps

View in gallery

What if we told you it was possible to build handrails for concrete steps for less than $100? If this sounds like something you might want to try, you’re going to need:

  • Decking screws, about 2-inch long
  • 5 x concrete wedge anchors (½-inch x 7-inch)
  • Construction adhesive/caulking
  • Sheet metal flashing (aluminum)
  • 1 x pressure treated lumber (2″ x 4″ x 10′)
  • 3 x pressure treated lumber (4″x 4″ x 8′)
  • Sheet metal shears
  • Crescent wrench
  • Hammer
  • Sheet metal punch
  • ½” masonry bit
  • hammer drill
  • 1/2″ and 5/8″ spade drill
  • Power drill
  • Chop/miter saw
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Square

This list of items might sound intimidating, but the project itself isn’t all that complicated if you have a little bit of patience and know your way around the tools. Plus, if you already own the tools or can borrow them from a friend/neighbor, your investment in the materials needed for this railing is minimal:

Step One

First of all, you’re going to need to have everything ready for this project, and that includes the measurements and planning out where everything is going to go.

Step Two

The next step is processing the lumber. When each of the posts has marking for the desired length, you are going to have to cut everything to size.

Step Three

When it comes to anchors, things can be a little complicated. The hole is bored to the appropriate depth, and the anchor is inserted into the hole until it reaches the requisite embedded depth, at which point it is removed. After that, the bolt can be tightened. As the bolt is tightened, an expansion ring allows the anchor’s end to expand and wedge itself against the hole’s walls, preventing the anchor from falling out.

Step Four

You are going to need a sharp masonry bit and a hammer drill for drilling the hole when the time comes. The diameter of the hole should be the same as the diameter of the anchor being utilized. Also important is that the hole be straight, since an angled hole will prevent the bolt from passing through the post while still reaching the required depth into the concrete.

Step Five 

Installing the posts is pretty easy if you hold onto the idea that the anchors need to line up with the holes in the posts. Also, don’t do this when it’s raining because the wood is prone to rot if the posts soak in moisture.

Step Six

Cut the aluminum flashing to the width and length of the posts that directly touch the cement, if necessary.

Step Seven

After that, punch holes in the flashing where the anchors would go and slide the flashing into position.

Step Eight

Next, in order to create a watertight seal between the flashing and the wood, apply construction glue around the perimeter of the flashing. Once the glue has dried, it will prevent water from reaching the wood, and the flashing will divert the moisture to the cement instead of the wood.

Step Nine

So far, two of the three posts have been installed, and you now have to connect the handrail to these two posts. In order to make a 2×4 that would fit the railing on the other side of the stairs, it’s time to cut and measure the other 2×4.

Step Ten

Insert the decking screws into the bottom and middle posts to secure it in place.

Step Eleven

With the help of the handrail, determine the location of the top post, trim it to the exact length, and then repeat the drilling, putting the anchors, and mounting the post processes that you have previously completed for the prior posts in the same manner. In the end, everything came together beautifully.

The Verdict on Handrails for Concrete Steps

Despite the fact that many of us utilize railings on a daily basis, we don’t frequently pause to think how important railings are for our protection. Railings appear to complete the architecture of our decks and porches, and they provide a convenient location to put our lights and flower beds. It’s natural for us to lean on our handrails, yet we often take for granted the fact that they are robust, solid, and appropriately sized.