How to Install a Handrail on Stairs

Help keep family, friends, and guests of all ages safe and steady along your outdoor staircases by learning how to install a handrail along your deck stairs! Secondary handrails, or staircase rails, help ensure that young children, older grandparents, and those with mobility issues can easily enjoy your outdoor living space and feel relaxed moving

Additionally, metal handrails can increase your deck aesthetic and deliver an extra detail of design to your outdoor space's style! Rich powder-coated aluminum and steel stair handrails boast a modern take on a standard deck accessory.

How to Install a Handrail

Choose between the strong, stately look of a square handrail such as the Fortress FE26 Square Handrail or the simple, timeless look of the Westbury Aluminum Handrail or the Fortress AL13 Pro Handrail.

Learning how to install a secondary handrail on stairs can increase the security of your space for family and friends

How to Install a Handrail on Stairs

The quick and easy way to add both security and style to your home's outdoor living space in just an afternoon. Read how to mount a handrail to your deck stair posts below!

Adding a metal handrail to your staircase can add an extra detail of design to your outdoor living space

How to Attach a Staircase Handrail

Always check local building codes before purchasing and installing your staircase handrail to meet ADA requirements. Wearing protective glasses or goggles are encourage for DIY building safety.

1. Position wall mount on post or wall

Generally handrails run alongside the top rail of your deck railing system. Deck railings in the United States typically measure 36 inches tall in height which is the most graspable level for both children and adults to reach.

2. Attach the first wall mount bracket in place.

Wall mount brackets will feature three screw openings on the base for easy connection points to the post or wall. Drive in your chosen fasteners fully into place. Depending upon the material the bracket is secured to, you may use wood deck screws, structural screws, or concrete masonry screws.

3. Cut handrail(s) to desired length

Use a tape measure to find the desired length of your stair rail application. Apply that distance to your metal handrail, mark, and trim to fit. For clean, easy cutting, we recommend using a fine-tooth metal carbide saw blade.

4. Connect 2 rails together with connectors

If your exterior staircase is longer than one single metal handrail, connect two sections together using internal splices or collars. These pieces will secure two handrails together internally for a concealed look.

5. Position the rail

With one end of the metal handrail attached, find your ideal staircase rail angle. If you need to pivot the mount, you can put (1) fastener in the bottom hole and pivot to the position you need.

6. Attach handrail to wall mounts with stainless steel screws provided

It is recommended that wall mounts only be spaced out a maximum of 6 feet apart. If your exterior stairway is longer than 6 feet, please install more deck rail supports along your handrail.

Get a peek at a couple of cool metal handrail looks in the video on Westbury Aluminum Handrail below:

Learn more about the basics of deck framing and building in the Deck Framing Guide and learn the specific deck part names in the Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.

Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide. The quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a strong, composite railing line.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new start or a summertime deck renovation; give our deck designers a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at Our deck experts will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for a gorgeous deck that you created and designed!