News & Educational Resources

ADA 101 – Handrail Height

Graphic with ADAS 505.4 text and two pictures, one picture of a non-compliant handrail and one of complaint handrails. 2010 ADAS 505.4 –  Handrail Height

Top of gripping surfaces of handrails shall be 34 inches minimum and 38 inches maximum vertically above walking surfaces, stair nosings, and ramp surfaces. Handrails shall be at a consistent height above walking surfaces, stair nosings, and ramp surfaces.

Advisory 505.4 Handrail Height. The requirements for stair and ramp handrails in this document are for adults. When children are the principal users in a building or facility (e.g., elementary schools), a second set of handrails at an appropriate height can assist them and aid in preventing accidents. A maximum height of 28 inches measured to the top of the gripping surface from the ramp surface or stair nosing is recommended for handrails designed for children. Sufficient vertical clearance between upper and lower handrails, 9 inches minimum, should be provided to help prevent entrapment.

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.