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Handrail Calculator: Gap Distance

Calculates the length, rod gauge, distances and number of rods and gaps of a handrail. For security reasons, a gap a between two rods of not more than 12 centimeters is recommended. Where small children frequently spend time, the gaps between the bars should be even smaller so that neither the children's heads nor knees can fit through. The length l is the flat inner measure of the handrail without the frame. Please enter three of the four values (m or n), l, a and d, the missing value will be calculated. If no number m or n is given, it is possible that the gap size a will be diminished to get an integer number of rods.

Number of gaps m:
Number of rods n:
Length l:
Gap a:
Rod gauge d:


n = m − 1
l = ma + nd
m = ceil[ ( l + d ) / ( a + d ) ]

Example with l=300, a=12 d=2:
A 300 centimeters (3 meters) long handrail with 2 centimeters thick rods should have 12 centimeters large gaps between the rods. Therefore 21 rods and 22 gaps are needed, the gaps then have a size of 11.7 centimeters.

Stair railings are generally 90 centimeters to 1.30 meters high; the greater the risk of falling, the higher and, of course, more stable the railing should be. A railing is there for safety. It protects against falls and is an orientation aid in the dark or for people with poor eyesight. Railings are not only found on stairs, but also on balconies, bridges and viewing platforms. Outdoor railings are usually made of steel, whereas stair railings in buildings are often made of hard wood with a steel mount. Due to the high safety risk posed by faulty and damaged railings, these should only be installed by specialists and checked regularly at least at relevant heights and heavy usage.

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See also Slope Calculator, Roof Calculator