I occasionally have customers that request a staircase with large balusters. The challenge with creating a staircase with extra large balusters is two fold:

  • The handrail size required by codes restrictions will not accommodate a large baluster top. As such, most manufactured handrails are designed for 1 1/4″ or 1 3/4″ balusters.
  • It may be difficult to accommodate the four inch rule spacing between balusters if the balusters are attached directly to the stair treads.

The solution to using larger balusters is also two fold:

  • Use a custom handrail with a larger base that also accommodates the “grasping” requirement of the stair code.
  • Use a closed stringer system that will eliminate the need to attach the balusters directly to the stair treads. The images below clearly demonstrate both design features.
    The baluster size in the drawings below is 3 1/2″ at the squares – a much larger baluster than the more common 1 3/4″ balusters.

    closed_stringer_detail

    closed_stringer_detail_2

    The image below is a cross section showing the handrail with the large base which enables it to “receive” the large 3 1/2″ baluster.

    closed_stringer_detail_31

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