Baluster Measuring and Spacing Diagram Guide

This guide will help you accurately space your iron balusters and determine the number of balusters you need to purchase. Remember, standard building codes require that gaps in your stair railing system not exceed 4 inches.

Tools Required

  • Measuring Tape
  • Pen

Measuring Balcony:

  1. Measure the balcony distance from wall to wall or between newel posts (or newel post to wall).
  2. Multiply the total feet by 3 to calculate the number of balusters needed. For example, a 20-foot balcony would require 60 balusters (20 x 3 = 60).

Measuring Steps:

  1. Calculate the number of balusters needed for each step by counting the steps and multiplying by 3. Each step typically requires 3 balusters. Note: Some steep staircases might use 2 balusters per step, alternating with 3 on the next step, depending on ensuring no gaps exceed 4 inches.
  2. If the staircase is open on both sides, remember to include balusters for both sides of the steps.

Baluster Spacing:

  1. The general rule of thumb is to use 3 balusters per foot to avoid gaps greater than 4 inches.
  2. Placing one baluster every 4 inches on center should suffice. Refer to the diagram below for clarification.

Considerations for Baluster Spacing:

  1. Uneven measurements: If you encounter uneven measurements, adjust the design to ensure even spacing on both ends of the run. For instance, you might have a 3-inch gap on both ends instead of a 4-inch gap.
  2. Small stair treads or larger than normal overhangs: Evenly space out the balusters on each tread. Find the center of the usable tread space and work your way out, fitting the balusters without exceeding the 4-inch gap or hitting the upper step tread. Adjust as necessary to find the best fit.