What are the rules for ADA Compliant Outdoor Handrailing under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
Handrails are covered by section 4.8.5, 4.9.4, and 4.26 of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities. Below is a short summary of the relevant guidelines, but we recommend reading the entire section at the ADAAG website for further understanding.
Handrails are required on all stairs and ramps
- Stairs must have continuous handrails on both sides of the stairs that comply with section 4.26 of the ADAAG
- If handrails are not continuous, they should extend at least 12in. beyond the top riser and at least 12in. + the width of one tread beyond the bottom riser.
- The space between the handrail and the wall should be 1 1/2in.
- No posts or other structures should interrupt the handrail.
- The top of the handrail gripping surface should be between 34-38in. above the stair nosings.
- The ends of handrails should be rounded or should return smoothly to the floor, wall, or post.
- The handrail should not rotate within its mounts or fittings.
- All Handrails must have a diameter of 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface.
- Handrails can be located in a recess which is a maximum of 3in. deep and extends 18in. above the top of the rail.
- Handrails should be free of any sharp or abrasive elements and their edges should have a minimum radius of 1/8in.
*For structural strength requirments, please see the official ADA documentation.