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Baluster Measuring and Spacing Diagram

This guide will show you how to space your iron balusters and how to calculate how many balusters you should buy. Keep in mind that standard building codes state you can not have any gaps in your stair railing system greater than 4 inches!

Tools Required

  • Measuring Tape & Pen

Measuring Balcony - Measure the balcony distance. This distance is from wall to wall or newel post to newel post (or newel post to wall). Take your total feet and multiply by 3. Example, 20 feet of balcony would require 60 balusters. 20 x 3 = 60 Total Feet x 3 = Total Balusters

Measuring Steps - Calculate the amount of balusters you need on each step by counting the number of steps and multiplying by 3. You need 3 baluster per step. (Note: some steep staircases might use 2 per step, and sometimes 2 one one step and 3 on the next. It all depends on making sure you don't have any gaps greater than 4 inches!) Also don't forget some staircases are open on both sides, so you need balusters for both sides of the step!

Baluster Spacing - The general rule of thumb is to have 3 baluster per foot so you do not have any gaps greater than four inches. If you put one baluster every 4 inches on center, then you will typically always be fine. See diagram below.

Now a few things could happen when trying to space your baluster.

  • You have an uneven measurement. If this happens, cheat the design over until you can have an even space on both ends of the run .So you might not have a 4 inch gap on both ends, you might only have 3 inch for example.
  • Your stair treads are small or has a larger overhand than normal. In this case you need to evenly space out the baluster on each tread. Find the center of your usable tread space, work your way out until you can fit the balusters on that tread without going over or hitting the tread on the upper step. Play around and see what works.

Baluster Measuring and Spacing Diagram