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plowed handrail

Plowed Handrail – What is it?

A plowed handrail is a critical element in staircase design, serving both practical and aesthetic purposes. It ensures a secure connection between the balusters and the handrail while enhancing the overall appearance of the staircase.

The handrail features a distinctive groove or channel on its underside, appropriately named the ‘plow.’ This groove is strategically designed to accommodate the top portion of square-top wood balusters. These are the important things that you need to keep in mind:

1.  Baluster Connection

  • The plowed groove allows for a seamless connection between the handrail and the balusters.
  • Square-top wood balusters fit snugly into this groove, ensuring stability, and preventing any wobbling or movement.

2.  Concealed Mounting

  • When installing balusters, the plowed area conceals the mounting materials.
  • The result is a clean, professional finish without visible screws or nails.

Plowed Shoerail

Similar to the plowed handrail, the shoerail also plays a crucial role, the shoerail secures the bottom of square-based wood balusters to the floor or stair rake. Just like the handrail, it may feature a plow to accommodate balusters.

Fillet for Plowed Handrail and Shoerail

Let’s now explore the role of a fillet in plowed handrails and shoerails:

1.  Fillet for Plowed Handrail:

Fillet is a trim piece specifically designed to fit into the plow of a plowed handrail.

When installing square-top or mission wood balusters, fillet serves several essential functions:

  • Gap Filling: Fillet pieces are cut to fit precisely between the balusters within the plowed groove.
  • Stability: Fillet ensures that the balusters are evenly spaced and securely held in place.
  • Aesthetic Finish: It blends seamlessly with the handrail, creating a smooth, finished look for your stairway.

2.  Fillet for Shoerail:

In situations where wood balusters are used, a plowed shoerail may also be employed.

The shoerail is ordered to match the width of the wood baluster at the bottom block.

Fillet is used similarly to cover nail holes made during baluster installation and fill the plow between the balusters in both the handrail and shoerail.

Fillet plays a crucial role in achieving both functionality and aesthetics in your staircase design.

Plowed handrails are more than functional—they are design elements that elevate staircases. Their grooves accommodate balusters, fillet provides continuity, and customization ensures a cohesive look. Whether you’re a homeowner or a professional, understanding plowed handrails is essential for creating beautiful, secure staircases.

Remember, the next time you ascend a staircase, appreciate the craftsmanship behind the plowed handrail—it’s more than meets the eye.