The guidance that follows is based on consideration of Amendment 1:2005 to BS 8300:2001 (see BS 8300:2001). A handrail should be:
1. of an oval or circular profile;
2. finished so as to provide visual contrast with the surroundings against which it is seen;
3. easy and comfortable to grip with no sharp edges, smooth and not cold to the touch.

A circular handrail should have a diameter of at least 40 mm but not greater than 50 mm.

A handrail with an oval profile should have dimensions of 50 mm wide and 38 mm deep. The profile should have rounded edges with a radius of at least 15 mm.

There should be a clearance of between 50 mm and 60 mm between a handrail and any adjacent wall surface and any handrail support should meet the handrail, centrally, on its underside. The clearance between the bottom of the rail and any cranked support, or continuous balustrade should be at least 50 mm to minimize the risk of the handrail supports interrupting the smooth running of a person’s hand along the rail.