Stair Railing Kits for Interior Stairs and Balconies

Installing a stair railing kit can provide safety and enhance the aesthetics of interior stairs and balconies in your home. With so many options to choose from, selecting the right stair railing system may seem daunting. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the key factors to consider when choosing, designing, and installing stair railing kits for interior settings.

Types of Stair Railing Kits

There are several main types of railing kits available for interior stairs and balconies:

Wood Railings

Wood is a classic choice that can infuse warmth and elegance into any space. Wood railing kits come in various species like oak, maple, pine etc. The components are pre-cut and pre-drilled for ease of assembly. Wood provides endless customization options with different stains, finishes and infill styles.

Pros: Timeless appeal, wide range of styles, easily customized

Cons: More expensive, requires regular maintenance

Metal Railings

Metal railing systems are strong, durable, and low maintenance. Kits are commonly available in steel, aluminum, wrought iron or stainless steel. The pre-fab sections make installation straightforward. From sleek contemporary to traditional wrought iron looks, metal infuses strength and character.

Pros: Strong, durable, low maintenance, variety of styles

Cons: Can be cold to the touch, prone to scratches

Glass Railings

Frameless or minimalist glass railings impart a lightweight, airy feel. The kits contain metal posts, glass infill panels, mounting hardware and instructions. Tempered glass offers safety and transparency. For stairs, etched glass provides grip while maintaining the see-through aesthetic.

Pros: Contemporary style, brightness, easy to clean

Cons: Expensive, glass is fragile, lacks privacy

Cable Railings

Cable infill kits provide an industrial, streamlined look. The systems have tensioned cables extending between metal posts, making them perfect for open-concept stairs. They offer less obstruction of views and require minimal maintenance.

Pros: Contemporary sleekness, less obstructed views

Cons: Not the safest for kids, pets, lacks privacy

Mesh Railings

Stainless steel mesh railing kits lend a modern flair with their grid-like patterns. The sheer netting reduces visual obstruction. Mesh allows light and air to filter through while providing enough enclosure. Durability and low maintenance are plus points.

Pros: Airy, contemporary aesthetic, durable

Cons: Minimal privacy, less safe for kids/pets

Choosing the Right Stair Railing System

Selecting the ideal stair railing kit involves assessing your needs, space and style. Consider the following factors:


Safety is the prime purpose of any railing. Building codes typically require a height of 36-42 inches for stairs. Opt for sturdy materials like wood, steel or aluminum. Avoid large gaps that could entrap kids’ heads. Glass panels should be made of tempered safety glass.


Determine your budget constraints. Wood and metal kits offer selections across the range. Tempered glass is on the pricier side. Consider longevity and maintenance costs alongside upfront pricing.

Style Needs

Assess your interior design style. Sleek cable, glass or metal suits contemporary aesthetics, while wood project traditional warmth. Wrought iron and mesh portray modern industrial personality.

Space Considerations

Measure the stair dimensions to get appropriately-sized railing sections. Assess the openness of space – glass or cable allow light and visibility, while wood and metal offer more privacy. Mesh and glass work for airy balconies.

Ease of Installation

Prefabricated kits include pre-cut parts for simpler installation. Opt for easy-to-install systems like tensioned cables or glass panels, if DIYing. Complex configurations may need professional assistance.


Opt for resilient, durable materials like metal or wood if the stairway would see high traffic. Powder coated or galvanized steel provides long-lasting strength and withstands outdoor/wet areas.

Maintenance Needs

Low maintenance options like aluminum, stainless steel, powder-coated metal and cable minimize future upkeep. Wood needs periodic refinishing. Glass is easy to clean. painted metal may need touch-ups.

Local Building Codes

Adhere to local zoning laws and building codes regarding stair railing height, spacing between balusters, materials etc. Hiring professionals can ensure proper compliance.

Designing Stair Railings

Proper design is crucial for stair railings to be functional, safe and aesthetically pleasing. Here are some best practices to follow:

Consistent Height

Maintain a consistent top railing height of 36-42 inches throughout the stairway. This provides optimal protection without obstructing views when seated on stairs.

Baluster Spacing

Balusters should be spaced no more than 4 inches apart for safety and to avoid entrapment hazards. Wider gaps may require intermediate rails.

Handrail Size

Handrails ideally should have a graspable circular cross-section of 1-1/4″ – 2″. Provide adequate clearance of at least 1-1/2” between the wall and handrail.

Handrail Continuity

Design for the handrail to be continuous throughout the stair length. Avoid abrupt ends that could lead to falls from missing hand support.

Headroom Clearance

Ensure there is adequate headroom clearance of at least 6 ft – 8 in. above the stair nosings. Tall railings can obstruct headroom if ceiling height is low.


Provide adequate lighting over the stairs. Wall sconces or recessed lighting improve visibility and safety on stairways at night.

Outdoor Railing Considerations

Use weather-resistant materials for outdoor stairs. Provide adequate drainage to prevent buildup of rainwater on treads. Allow for natural wood expansion.

Installing a Stair Railing

Installing a stair railing kit is a major DIY project that requires proper planning, safety precautions and attention to detail. Here are some tips:

Review the Instructions

Thoroughly read and understand the manufacturer’s installation guide before beginning. Some kits have specific assembly sequences to follow.

Have the Right Tools Ready

You’ll need basic tools like a drill, screws, adhesive, tape measure etc. Many kits require special screws or fasteners.

Safety Gear

Use safety goggles, gloves, and dust masks when cutting, drilling and sanding to prevent debris inhalation.

Mount the Posts

The posts which support the railing need to be anchored securely into the stairs using the hardware provided.

Add Brackets

Attach the stair brackets to hold the railing sections in place before inserting the horizontal rails between posts.

Insert the Rails

Measure properly before cutting rails and balusters to appropriate lengths. Insert rails through brackets.

Attach Balusters

Place precut balusters in designated spots on the upper and lower rails and attach them using screws.

Install Handrails

Mount handrails at proper height using brackets. Check continuity and spacing from walls.

Stabilize Sections

Connect railing sections using provided joiners and secure tightly. Check alignments.

Weatherproof (Outdoors)

Seal wood surfaces. Use silicone caulk around posts where they meet walls/floors.

Clean Work Area

Once done, clean up sawdust, metal filings, adhesive etc. Remove protective sheeting.

Inspect Carefully

Visually inspect the completed railing for stability, proper assembly and safety. Make any fixes.

Professional installation is recommended for complex designs or unique site conditions. Always follow local building codes.

Stair Railing Kits – Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about stair railing kits:

How much do stair railing kits cost?

Stair railing kits range widely in price from $100 to $2000+ depending on material, length, design and quality. Simple DIY wood/metal kits could cost $150-500 while custom ornamental metalwork could be $2000+

What is the standard height for a stair railing?

The typical handrail height for stair railings is 36-42 inches measured vertically from the stair tread nosing. Building codes require this for safety.

How far apart should balusters be spaced?

Maximum spacing between balusters should be 3.5 to 4 inches to avoid entrapment hazards. Wider gaps may need intermediate rails for safety.

Should indoor and outdoor stair railings be different?

Outdoor stairs need weather-resistant materials like pressure-treated wood, powder coated metal or composite. Indoor railings focus more on aesthetics and style over weather-resistance.

What is the best wood for stair railings?

Oak, maple, ash and hickory make excellent wood stair railings as they are dense, resistant to dents, and take finishes nicely. Avoid soft woods like pine that dent easily.

Is it cheaper to build or buy stair railings?

Prefabricated stair railing kits are generally more economical than custom-built railings in most cases. But for complex unique designs, custom fabrication may be suitable despite being pricey.

How long does it take to install stair railings?

With a prefabricated stair railing kit, DIY installation may take 2-3 days. Professional installers can complete it in 1-2 days. Complex custom staircases could take weeks of meticulous fabrication and fitting.

Can I install a stair railing on my own?

With good DIY skills, proper tools and patience, standard straight stair railing kits can be self-installed. But get professional help for curved or ornate staircases. Check local permit needs too.

How do I make indoor stair railings child safe?

For child safety, use sturdy materials, install balusters spaced max 4″ apart, and mount handrails at proper stair railing height. Also install safety gates at top and bottom.

Should balusters be vertical or angled?

Balusters are traditionally installed vertically for easier cleaning beneath railings. Angled balusters have a more decorative motif. Building codes often mandate vertical balusters.


The right stair railing kit can make your stairs safer and give your interior space an aesthetic boost. Broadway offers a wide selection of high-quality stair railing systems for every need and budget. Our kits come with easy-to-follow instructions for smooth DIY installation. For additional assistance, our experienced team is also available to measure your site and provide professional installation services as needed. Whether you need a simple indoor railing makeover or a grand ornamental staircase design, we can make your stairway dreams a reality. Contact us today to get started!