How Much Space Between Stair Spindles?

Installing spindles or balusters need extra care, precision, and a lot of preparatory work. Consider the equal distance between spindles for visuals. Compute the proper distance before starting the installation.

Are you looking for a complete guide on installing stair spindles? You have come to the right page! We have done the research and collected all the information you may need.

The standard space between spindles is 10cm or 4 inches, just to keep in mind that some townships have regulations regarding maximum acceptable spaces between stair spindles. Check the standard requirements in your area before the installation.

Do you still have questions about stair spindles? Are you looking for tips on how to install spindles? We have listed the possible questions and answers for you. Continue reading!

Yellow tulips on a round table beside heritage staircase, How Much Space Between Stair Spindles?

What Is The Maximum Space For Spindles?

The maximum requirement for vertical balusters spaces is 4 inches, and a 6-inch sphere should be the maximum space at the baluster's triangular area at the bottom rail.

Note that these requirements are subject to the interpretation of the local building authorities in your area. This is for the safety and security of your family members.

Baluster Spacing And Building Codes

US Building codes require a maximum of 4 inches of space to ensure that no children can slip or get stuck through the balusters.

They should also be able to hold out against up to 50 pounds over a square foot area. There could be a local building code in your town dictating smaller spaces, so check them with the local authority.

How To Calculate Spindles For A Staircase

Image of wooden stair bannisters / spindles, staircase, green-carpet, metal-nosing

Listed below are the steps on how to manually calculate baluster spaces:

Measure The Depth

Measure starting from the back to the front of a single thread. Use as many balusters as possible to ensure you follow the building code.

Count The Total Number Of Treads

This step is necessary to measure the baluster and spaces you need.

Multiply The Number

Multiply the number of treads by the number of balusters you need per tread.

Double The Number

This is needed if you need balusters for both sides of the stairs.

Tips For Your Spindle Installation

Sunlit stairway, descending

We have listed some best ways to produce optimal results in installing spindles and the things to avoid faulty installation.

Do Ensure The Proper Spacing

Having equal spaces of spindles looks visually appealing. It is necessary to compute the proper distance between spindles before installation. You can use an online spindle space calculator to ease your job.

Also, the "block spacer" method helps in consistent spacing. Cut a piece of wood with the proper measurement and use it as an instrument during installation.

Take Your Time

Rush work is never a good option. Work through the step-by-step procedures to have a good result. It will cost you time and money if you cut corners in measuring, cutting, and drilling to finish faster.

Hire A Professional If Necessary

If you are not confident enough to start the project, hire a professional.

Installing spindles is crucial because your family's safety relies on it. Unstable spindles or wide spaces could cause accidents in the long run.

Protect The Railing

Installing spindles isn't the end of the work. Painting them will help protect the balusters from rot and stain.

Avoid Using Substandard Materials

Using cheap materials will risk your family's safety, not only from chemicals but also from weak products. Spindles and handrails should be sturdy enough to lean on to avoid accidents.

Don't Wing It

Experienced or not, it is essential to start any project with enough preparation to avoid errors and redo your job.

Don't Use Wrong Tools And Hardware.

Familiarizing yourself with the necessary tools and materials is better for efficient results.

Researching the tools you need before starting the project and ensuring you have everything down to the smallest pieces will save time and money.

What Are The Types Of Spindles?

Several spindles in different designs and materials are available to choose from.

The common spindles are wood, metal, vinyl, stone, and concrete.


Wood balusters are classic, traditional, and elegant.


  • You can choose from varieties of classic wood species: oak, red oak, pine, mahogany, cherry, and maple.
  • Wood balusters have various shapes and styles, such as twisted, fluted, braided square, carved, and many more.
  • The classic style gives warmth and a homey feeling to the staircase.


  • Wood degrades over time if not protected and maintained.
  • Wood is prone to termites and pests.
  • Wood is less sturdy than metal.


Metal spindles have a wide range of materials, styles, and sizes. These spindles are made from iron, aluminum, or steel.


  • Metal is solid and sturdy. It can hold out against natural elements and could last a long time.
  • Metal can be shaped in different styles and designs.
  • Metal requires less maintenance.

See this wood spindle on Amazon.


  • Most metals rust easily if not protected and treated against corrosion.
  • Metal balusters are more expensive than those other types of materials.

Click here to check aluminum spindles on Amazon.


Natural and precast stones are still popular globally because of their beauty and elegant style.


  • The stone material is long-lasting, resistant, and sturdy.
  • Stone only requires low to no maintenance.
  • The stone's natural beauty is aesthetic and visually satisfying.


  • Because stones are heavy, it may require special equipment to install them.
  • Natural stones are more expensive than precast.
  • Precast stones tend to chip and crack if exposed outdoors.

A stone staircase with white balustrade


Concretes are primarily found in commercial buildings or outside the home, usually for stair entrances or porches and part of a balustrade system.


  • Concretes are sturdy and durable that can last for years.
  • Precast concretes are fireproof and temperature resistant.
  • Concrete is easy to assemble and install.
  • Concrete is more affordable than natural stones like marble.


  • You need to apply sealer regularly to keep concrete mold-free and waterproof.
  • Concrete cracks eventually, so it needs maintenance to prevent worsening its condition.
  • Concrete needs regular cleaning.

White cement balusters elements closeup at black background. Painted granite balustrade ta staircase, architectural detail.


Vinyl is a new, lightweight and sturdy technology often used for railings and spindles.


  • Vinyl is easy to clean and requires less maintenance.
  • Vinyl is affordable and relatively cheaper than other types of material.
  • There are a lot of stylish vinyl designs to choose from.
  • Vinyl has a smooth surface.


  • Vinyl may not blend well in old homes.
  • Some homeowners love the discoloration of wood or metal over time, and vinyl does not have a natural patina. It won't fade or change its color.

Check out this vinyl baluster on Amazon.

7 Stair Spindle Ideas To Elevate Your Home

Listed below are some stair spindle suggestions for your home:

Old Wood

These carved old wood balusters give your home a classic, traditional ambiance.

Wooden railing with balusters

Wood And Iron

This wooden staircase and iron spindle combination look simple yet stylish.

New residential home interior stairwell constructed of wood and iron with carpet steps.

Metal Spindles

This spiral metal staircase and spindles match compact spaces.

Spiral Stairway

Wood And Horizontal Metal Spindles

Combining wood handles and horizontal metal spindles adds a modern statement to your home.

Wood staircase inside contemporary white modern house

Metal Spindles And Wood Handles

This modern staircase gives elegant, aesthetic appeal.

This Luxury Stairway Entry

Oak Staircase And White Spindles

The spiral design, white spindles, and oak staircase complement each other. This style gives a sophisticated look and pops off the white walls.

Grand Foyer Down Beautiful Winding Hardwood Staircase in Showcase Home

White Spindles And Brown Staircase

The luxurious style of the brown staircase and white spindles matched the white walls and the dining table.

Main floor interior with stairs to second floor of Open concept entry area and dinning room in newly built North American private home.

Can You Create And Design Your Stone Spindles?

The answer is yes, you can. There are available molders with different designs that you can purchase. Just buy the molding materials and follow the packaging instructions on how to make spindles.

Stones and concretes are mainly used for outdoor railings.

View this concrete molder on Amazon.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Existing Banisters And Spindles?

Replacing banisters and spindles would cost from $1,200 to $1,600, depending on the materials you use and the labor cost. This estimation doesn't include the handrails and other parts of the staircase.

You may seek advice from professionals if you prefer DIY before starting your project.

To Wrap Things Up

Installing spindles needs preparation and planning before starting your project. Ensuring correct installation is for an aesthetic look, not repeating your work and your family's safety.

Following the building code requirements gives you less stress and worry-free. Consider asking professionals or gathering more information before installation.

Made it to the end? Check out these posts below!

How To Paint Spindles Without Removing Them?

5 Best Materials For Porch Railings And Banisters

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