How much does it cost to install stair railings and balusters?
How much does it cost to install stair railings and balusters?
$20 – $60 cost per linear foot installed (wood)
$50 – $250 cost per linear foot installed (metal)
$500 – $6,300 average total installed cost (25 LF)
Average cost to replace stair railing
New stair railings cost $20 to $60 per linear foot for wood or $50 to $250 per linear foot for metal, including labor and materials. Wood is the most affordable and traditional railing material. Modern glass and cable stair railings are the most dramatic and expensive to install.
|Railing length (linear feet)||Wood||Metal||Cable||Glass|
|5||$100 – $300||$250 – $1,250||$300 – $2,500||$500 – $3,000|
|10||$200 – $600||$500 – $2,500||$600 – $5,000||$1,000 – $6,000|
|20||$400 – $1,200||$1,000 – $5,000||$1,200 – $10,000||$2,000 – $12,000|
|25||$500 – $1,500||$1,250 – $6,250||$1,500 – $12,500||$2,500 – $15,000|
|30||$600 – $1,800||$1,500 – $7,500||$1,800 – $15,000||$3,000 – $18,000|
Stair railing cost by material
Stair railing material prices vary wildly from $20 to $600 per linear foot installed, with wood being the cheapest and glass being the most expensive.
|Material||Average cost installed (per linear foot)|
|Aluminum||$50 – $200|
|Cable||$60 – $500|
|Glass||$100 – $600|
|Stainless steel||$50 – $250|
|Wood||$20 – $60|
|Wrought iron||$65 – $135|
Wood is the most affordable and commonly used railing material, costing $20 to $60 per linear foot installed. Wood railings are typically used indoors since rain and pests easily damage them. Wood offers endless options for customizations, including painting, staining, and even carving.
Stainless steel railings cost $50 to $250 per linear foot installed. Stainless steel is a popular material, especially for outdoor railings, since it is durable and requires less maintenance than wood railings.
Cable railing prices vary widely from $60 to $500 per linear foot installed because there are so many different materials to choose from. Cable railings are popular for both indoor and outdoor use and work well in modern, industrial, and farmhouse designs.
Glass railings cost $100 to $600 per linear foot installed and are most expensive railing systems on the market today. Glass offers a contemporary and uncluttered look for both interior and exterior staircases and won't obstruct your view.
Wrought iron railings cost $65 to $135 per linear foot installed—a mid-range price compared to other materials. Wrought iron is a long-lasting and timeless material that won't go out of style. When properly coated, wrought iron is durable enough for outdoor use.
Stair railing and baluster installation costs
Installing a stair railing costs $500 to $6,300 on average, depending on the size and style. Wall-mounted stair railings fall on the low end of prices since they are easier and cheaper to install. Railings that are attached by balusters have the highest labor and material prices.
|Installation labor||$300 – $1,000|
|Materials and supplies||$200 – $5,300|
|Total cost installed||$500 – $6,300|
Factors that impact the installation costs include:
Size – Railing size impacts the material price, with longer or thicker railings costing more.
Design – Railing design impacts the material and labor costs, with simple, premade railings being cheaper than intricate designs.
Wall-mounted vs. integrated – Integrated handrails that form part of the staircase have higher installation labor costs than wall-mounted handrails.
Replacement vs. new installation – Replacement railings require added labor to remove the old railing and adapt the new railing to match up with the previous placement.
Labor cost to install stair railings
The labor cost to install stair railings ranges from $300 to $1,000 for an average 25 linear-foot railing project. Some staircase installers charge by the hour instead, with rates of $60 to $100 per hour to install a railing, which takes around 5 to 10 hours. Alternative labor options include:
A general contractor charges $50 to $100 per hour and is usually hired when the railing installation is part of a larger remodel project.
A handyman charges $50 to $80 per hour and is usually hired for simple remodel projects.
Cost to install balusters
The average cost to install balusters is $1,200 to $1,500. Balusters are the vertical posts or spindles that support the handrail and close the gaps between the posts for safety.
Cost to refinish or paint stair railings
A simple way to update the look of an outdated staircase is to paint the railing. Hiring a painter costs $20 to $70 per hour. The total project takes 3 to 5 hours and even with professional labor is much cheaper than replacing the entire railing.
Stair railing FAQs
How much does it cost to replace a stair railing?
Replacing a stair railing costs anywhere from $500 for a simple wooden railing to $15,000 or more for a modern cable or glass railing.
Where can I buy a stair railing?
Prefabricated stair railings are available at online retailers and home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe's.
Custom-made railings may be found at local lumberyards, handrail manufacturers, or stair builders.
Who installs stair railings?
Professional installation is recommended to ensure the railing is installed safely. Seek help from one of the following professionals:
How high should a stair railing be?
The top railing of the handrail should be 34 to 38 inches above the floor. For staircases primarily used by children, a 28-inch height is acceptable.
Do all staircases need a handrail?
Any staircase with four or more risers needs a handrail for safety.
Getting estimates from stair railing installers
When getting estimates from stair railing installers near you, make sure to:
Compare at least 3 estimates featuring the same railing materials.
Hire a licensed, bonded, and insured railing installer with several years of experience.
Read the installer's online reviews from past clients on HomeGuide and Google.
Request a written estimate, contract, and warranty information before paying any deposits.
Negotiate a payment plan instead, rather than paying before the project is done.
Questions to ask
When making your final decision on the best stair railing company for your project, it helps to ask these important questions:
How long have you been installing stair railings?
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
Will you complete the project yourself or hire a subcontractor?
What material do you recommend for my exterior stair railing, and why?
Does the estimate include removing and disposing of the old railing?
How long will the railing replacement take?
How long is your warranty on the materials and labor?
How will you protect the rest of my home from damage during the staircase project?