Stair Spindle Spacing – A Quick Guide

Oct 12 2021
A picture of the Plain Square range of stair parts we stock here at Blueprint Joinery in someones living room.

Calculating the amount of stair spindles you need has never been so easy.

Spacing stair spindles can be difficult task when planning a new stair renovation. It is important that the spacing is correct in order to ensure, 1) a secure balustrade, and 2) a safe journey up and down the stairs, and 3) that your balustrade adheres to the latest building regulations. Building regulations state that a 100mm sphere cannot pass through any opening on the stairs including spaces between the spindles. This means that the maximum space between the spindles can be 99mm or less. Fixing spindles too far apart can also reduce stability, and fixing spindles too close may result in an aesthetically displeasing staircase. With all the above in mind, there is a simple set of calculations that you can use to ensure that your stair spindle spacing is even, aesthetically pleasing and well installed:

Stair Spindle Spacing – The Calculation

There are two simple calculations that we will use depending on whether you are renovating the rake (main section of the stairs) or the landing:

Stair Spindle Spacing – The Rake

Number of spindles required = ((number of steps) * 2) - 2

It is as simple as that. To calculate the number of stair spindles required, count the number of treads (steps) on the single flight, making sure not include the landing area, multiply by two, and then subtract two (as you will only require one spindle on the top and bottom steps to make room for the newel posts).

For example, a balustrade I am looking to renovate has 16 steps:

(16 * 2 = 32) - 2 = 30

Using the above calculation, I will require 30 spindles for my new stair renovation project.

Stair Spindle Spacing – The Landing

If you also have a landing section, you will need to record its length. You will also need to know the width of your spindles. Most of what we stock here at Blueprint Joinery are 41mm, but we stock a few styles in 32mm also. If you are unsure what width spindles you plan to use, please check the product specification for more information. With both measurements obtained, you can use the following calculation:

Number of spindles required = ((landing length mm) - 80 / 80 + (spindle width))

For example, a landing section I am looking to renovate is 2000mm in length using a 41mm spindle:

2000mm - 80 = 1920

80 + 41mm = 121

1920 / 121 = 15.86776859504132

Using the above calculation, I will require 16 spindles (rounding up to the largest whole number) for my new landing section renovation project.

Using the above simple calculations will result in the perfect stair spindle spacing. If you are unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact us either by email or phone (01691) 671020. A member of our team will be more than happy to help you plan your stair renovation including what products you will need and a quote.

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