How to Install a Handrail on Concrete Steps

Lead Image
  • 4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-250
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Drill with hammer drill setting
3/8-inch metal drill bit
3/8-inch masonry drill bit
3/8 x 4-inch concrete wedge anchor bolts

Adding a handrail to your concrete steps can seem overwhelming if you’re not sure what to do. This article will give you step-by-step information on how to install a metal handrail. If you follow these easy instructions, you should have a new handrail installed in a short period of time.

Pick Handrail Height

Your handrail should be no taller than 36 inches from the top of the tread and it shouldn’t be lower than 30 inches.

Measure from Top Down

Measure your desired height from the top of the concrete step handrail going down and mark it with your pencil on the post. Do this for each post and the mark should line up with the top of the treads after you’ve installed your railing.

Measure from Bottom Up

You should now measure about 3 inches from the bottom up on each post. Make a mark on both posts, as this will be where the hole for the first mounting goes.

Measure from the First Mounting

Measure about 6 inches up from the markings you just made on the bottom post. Mark it, because this will be where the next hole is made for the second mounting. If you don’t have enough room, just remember to leave two inches between the first and second holes.

Measure from the Back Post

Locate the first hole on the back post and measure 6 inches up and make a mark. Again, if you have no room, make sure the first and second holes on this post are no closer than 6 inches apart.


You should now have four marks in the posts. Drill each mark using the metal drill bit. Holes should go completely through and should be straight.

Line up the Rail

A second person is needed to help you hold the rail in place on the concrete steps. The top of the treads should be lined up with the height marks you made earlier.

Mark the Concrete

You should be able to easily put your pencil inside the holes to mark the concrete. These marks will indicate where you will be drilling in order to mount the railing.

Drill the Concrete

With your drill on the hammer drill setting, drill where you placed all the marks on the concrete, using the masonry bit. If your steps are hollow, the holes can go all the way through. If your steps are solid, the holes need to be at least 1½ inches deep.

Use Anchor Bolts

Hammer the anchor bolts into the mounting holes. The nut should be left on to avoid the anchor going in further than needed.

Remove Washers and Nuts

After installation of the anchor, remove the washers and nuts.

Place the Handrail

You can now put your handrail onto the mounting anchors. Put on the nuts and washers and tighten them securely in place.

Trim the Excess

Any extra bolts showing can be cut off with your hacksaw.