The stair railing height

It is not always easy to decide whether a banister is mandatory at all. If this situation is clear, the railing must meet some requirements. However, no general answer can be given here, since the regulations governing stairs, stair railings and handrails are regulated in the applicable state building regulations. Below is general information about the banister height, which may vary.

Exceptions for staircase heights and handrails

Already in the article "Duty of stair railings" we point out that it is not entirely conclusive, whether a railing is really needed, because the following conditions lead to deviations:

  • Building with no more than two residential units
  • Stairs within apartments (between floors and levels)
  • Stairs with a maximum of four to five steps (depending on the LBO)
  • Depth of fall maximum 1 m

The regulations that you must observe

In principle, building regulations are regulated by the Federal Building Code (BauGB). However, each of the German federal states has its own state building code (LBO). The necessity arises already from the size of Germany. For example, there is a lot of snow in Southern Germany, but more rain and storm in northern Germany. So that the building laws are to be adapted to these peculiarities, is understandable.

Even with stairs, there are differences depending on the LBO

But why laws on stairs, stair railings and handrails are not uniformly regulated, does not really open up, especially when it comes to internal stairs. But it is a fact that we have to live with the numerous, sometimes significantly different details depending on the state building code. but we can only provide limited information regarding the height of the banister, since the obligation of handrail and handrail must be clarified, especially for private houses.

Anyway - we strongly recommend banisters and handrails

Because - if there is no obligation for railing and handrail, the builder can ultimately implement what he wants. The stair rail heights that we specify here, therefore always refer to the requirement that stair railing and / or handrail must be present. However, it is contrary to that accident statistics speak a clear language. Accidents on stairs are among the main causes of accidents in the private sphere.

The sticking point is probably for many people that modern stairs or railing and outer handrail look modern and special. If it is a one-sided in the wall cantilevered steps, they seem to float in space. Of course this has a very special effect. Nevertheless, we would like to point out that you considerably increase the risk of accidents. So you have to weigh whether it really is worth the risk.

Requirements for the stair railing height

But if you have decided then for a stair railing, its height is important. There are different values ​​that influence each other. The minimum required banister height is therefore 90 cm. This applies to stairs up to a maximum height of 12 m. From a fall height of 12 m, the stair railing height must then be 110 cm. For conventional single- and two-family houses 90 cm staircase height are sufficient.

The handrail (inside, outside, both sides)

Then there is the handrail. Again, there are many peculiarities when and if a handrail is needed. It is clear that inside (on the cantilever side) a handrail is mandatory. However, on the other hand, it also depends, among other things, on what type of building it is (as previously defined, for example, buildings with a maximum of two residential units). In addition, the width of the stairs is crucial.

Double-sided handrail mandatory for accessibility

However, the double-sided handrail is mandatory if you want to build your staircase barrier-free. Only then can the maximum traffic safety of a staircase be guaranteed. So whether your staircase needs a railing or a handrail depends on many factors. In the end, they also determine the height of the stair railing.

Tips & Tricks

If you want to learn more about the regulations, rules and standards of stairs or stair railings, we recommend the following article: Standards and safety of stair railings.

Video Board: Basic Home Improvements: International Building Code for Handrails & Steps