The height of handrails is measured from the stair tread nosing, or the finished surface of a ramp slope and shall be uniform, not less than 34 inches and not more than 38 inches.
The handgrip portion of a handrail when circular in shape shall have an outside dimension not less than 1¼ inches and not greater than 2 inches or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface. If the handrail is not circular, it shall have a perimeter dimension of at least 4 inches and not greater than 6 1/4 inches with a maximum cross section dimension of 2 1/4 inches. Edges shall have a minimum radius of 0.01 inch. The handgrip portion of handrails shall have a smooth surface with no sharp corners.
- Handrails shall be continuous for the full length of stairways and ramps unless specifically exempted by one or more of the following exceptions.
- Handrails within dwelling units are permitted to be interrupted by a newel post at a stair or ramp landing.
- Within a dwelling unit, the use of a volute, turnout or starting easing is allowed on the lowest tread.
- Handrail brackets or balusters attached to the bottom surface of the hand rail that do not project horizontally beyond the side of the handrail within 1 1/2 inches of the bottom of the handrail shall not be considered obstructions.
Handrails shall return to a wall, guard or the walking surface or shall be continuous to the handrail of and adjacent stair flight or ramp run. At ramps where handrails are not continuous between runs, the handrails shall extend horizontally above the landing 12 inches minimum beyond the top and bottom of ramp runs. The following is an exception to these requirements.
- Handrails within a dwelling unit that is not required to be accessible need extend only from the top riser to the bottom riser.
- There shall be a clear space of 1 1/2 inches between a handrail and a wall or other surface. Any wall or other surface adjacent to a handrail shall be free of any sharp or abrasive elements.
- On ramps, the clear space between handrails shall be 36 inches minimum.
- Projections into the required width of stairways and ramps at each handrail shall not exceed 4.5 inches at or below the handrail height.
- Stairways shall have intermediate handrails located so that all portions of the stairway width required for egress capacity are within 30 inches of a handrail.