This deserves writing about though many will know of this already. Handrails are typically available “plowed” and “un-plowed” or “flat bottomed”. A plowed handrail has its bottom grooved or “plowed” to receive a square topped baluster to simplify the installation process. Smaller plowed handrails (such as the 6010 profile) can receive only the smaller 1 1/4″ square top balusters. The larger handrail, such as the 6310 below, will receive an 1 3/4″ square top baluster. A “fillit” is then cut and fitted between the balusters to “fill” the groove.

plowed handrail

plowed handrail

flat bottom handrail - un-plowed

flat bottom handrail - un-plowed

So what are the flat bottomed handrails used for? “Pin top” balusters are used with the un-plowed handrails. The installer will drill the bottom of this handrail for the tops of the baluster “pins”.

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