How to Measure and Install Cable Railing on Stairs

These guidelines will help you install cable railing on stairs. Atlantis Rail customizes the materials and hardware for your stairway.

Cable railing systems are modern, space-enhancing, and highly durable for stairways, both inside and out. With the appropriate accessories and hardware, they can also meet ADA regulations. Whether you are having the railing installed by professionals or doing it yourself, special attention is essential to ensure a safe, long-lasting stairway system. Below are the crucial details you should know before beginning to install cable railing on stairs.

Measuring Your Stairway

Since every stairway is different, it is essential to measure correctly for a proper fit. Accuracy is also crucial for the stability of the railing system. The Atlantis Rail Systems Stair Measuring Guide offers additional detailed instructions. Follow these to ensure your railings will be securely anchored and safe. These guidelines will also help Atlantis Rail customize the materials and hardware for your stairway. Customizing the products ensures a perfect fit for your system. Assuring a smooth install of cable railing on stairs.

It is always advisable to ask someone to help with the measuring process since some distances may be quite long. You should also double-check all measurements before finalizing.

Measuring Process

  1. First, measure the overall height of the staircase. To get the height, you measure the vertical distance from the finished top floor or landing to the bottom landing of the stairway. 
  2. Measure the overall length of the staircase. This is the horizontal distance from the nosing of the top step to the nosing of the bottom step.
  3. Measure the full length of the stairs. This should run along each of the tread nosings. You should run your measuring tape from the front edge of the nosing on the top step to the nosing on the bottom step.
  4. Count the risers beginning from the bottom at the lower landing to the top landing.
  5. Count the number of treads (stair tops), not including the landings at both top and bottom. Since the top landing will not be part of the stairway construction, you should calculate one more riser than steps.

Other Considerations

  • Hand Railing Heights

Calculate the finished height (or vertical distance from the treads) of the hand railings. These are usually available in 36” or 42” depending on your preference. While these are standard, custom-ordered systems can allow for different heights.

  • Choosing the Tread Material

The treads or steps on your cable railing systems may consist of various materials depending on their use, location, and aesthetic preference. Naturally, exterior treading considerations may be different from those for interiors due to weather exposure and location.

Wood, concrete, stone, or composite materials offer differing wearability, maintenance, and cost advantages.

  • Location of Wooden Posts

Measure and mark the proposed vertical post locations on each of the treads.

  • Wooden Post Finished Cross-Section Dimensions 

Standard vertical wooden posts for Atlantis Cable Systems should be 4” x 4” or 5.5” x 5.5”

  • Determine and Measure the horizontal distances between each post for consistency

Always ensure that your posts are placed in the correct position before installing the cables. Between post spacing should not exceed 4’.

Contact an Atlantis Cable Railing Systems Certified Dealer 

Cable railing systems on stairs are sturdy and long-lasting when installed correctly. “Cutting corners” here is unacceptable and can affect the safety of your stairwell. You should consider enlisting the help of proven professionals to make sure your installation is secure.

Atlantis offers their high-quality SunRail™ and RailEasy™ systems to provide you with durable, safe, and attractive options for your cable stairway railing configurations. All metal components consist of Grade 316 Stainless Steel for maximum corrosion resistance and durability.

To learn more about Atlantis Cable Railing Systems’ array of products, visit the Atlantis website

If you wish to contact us with questions about Atlantis Cable Railing Systems, you may complete the simple Contact Us form, and one of our representatives will contact you.