We get a lot of questions from customers about how to connect handrails that meet at a change of direction. Also, what is the “Curly Q”, at the beginning of the stair? These are just a few of the many questions we get about modern handrail fittings in nz. Handrail fittings are stair parts precisely manufactured to match the handrail to allow for a change in direction or termination of the rail. They can be used in many different situations and there are many options. There are two basic types of fittings: Level and Eased. There are two types of fittings in each category: transition fittings or termination fittings. To make complex transitions or transition to terminations, fittings can be used in series. The diagram below shows the various types of fittings.

There are many options for level fittings including Quarter Turns in a variety of angles, S-Turn Fittings and Level Volutes. These are flat fittings, not three-dimensional ones. These allow for a handrail’s direction to be changed in the same plane. These are just a few examples to help you understand. Quarter turns can be used to join two handrails at an angle of 90 degrees or 135 degree or to return a rail to a post or wall.

S-Turn Fittings enable a handrail that goes around a wall, such as in the case where a balustrade is transitioning to a wall-mounted rail.

S Turn Handrail Fitting

You can also choose from capped fittings like tandem caps or quarter turns with caps. This fitting can be used in over-the-post systems that accept Turned Post at the corner or in the middle.

Quarter Turn Cap Handrail Fitting

The final level termination fittings include volutes and start caps as well as turnouts. These fittings can be used to decorate the balustrade. These fittings can be used in conjunction with the eased fittings, as shown below, to make the transition from the stairrail to the volute. These fittings add a gracious, welcoming touch to an entryway to a stairway.

Flat Volute Fitting with Up Easing Handrail

Let’s take a closer look at the eased fittings. I have briefly discussed them and shown them in combination. There are three types of these fittings: Over Easings (Up Easings), Goose Necks (Over Easings) and Three Easings (Over Easings). These fittings allow the handrail’s pitch to be changed, as opposed to the ones described above that only change the angle.

To make the transition between two handrails, or a fitting and handrail at an angle, called up easings (e.g. transition between a flat volute rail and a staircase rail), these are used.

Up Easing Handrail Fitting

For the opposite situation, Overhand and Over Easings can be used. The transition is made at the angle between the handrails and the fitting. As an example, a handrail can be placed at the top of a staircase and connects to the rail below.

Handrail Fitting

Goosenecks, which are a combination between an Up Easing and a Rail Drop, allow for the sometimes dramatic transitions that can take place between a lower stair rail or an upper balcony.

Last but not least, one fitting deserves special mention. The compound climbing volute is another fitting worth mentioning. These fittings are also known as ascending or declining volutes. These fittings are placed at the beginning of the staircase and create a graceful spiral. This is one of the most elegant and welcoming handrail fittings.

These examples show that there are many types of Stair Fittings to suit all situations. They are commonly used in a series, if more than one, to create more complicated transitions or transition to termination. You can buy sets of many of the most popular combinations.