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Q: We are installing new handrails and I assumed they would extend a couple of inches from the wall for gripping purposes. However, my maintenance man ordered the flush mount type and while they look awesome, I was wondering if this will pose a problem per regulations? They are about 5 inches wide and extend about one inch from the wall. Is this okay? We are a skilled nursing facility located in North Carolina.
A: It depends where they are located: in a stairwell? On a ramp? In the corridor?
If it is a required handrail (such as for stairs or ramp) then section 188.8.131.52.4.5 of the 2012 LSC requires the handrails to have a clearance of at least 2¼ inches from the wall. Sounds like you need to add some spacers to extend the handrail out away from the wall.