How to Install Swimming Pool Hand Rails

By Greg Jarvis | Last Updated: September 8, 2022

There are many ways to add a handrail to your pool deck. These methods range from very time-consuming and expensive to very simple and cheap.

Anchors are put into the deck of a new pool to make sure the handrail or ladder is safe. This way, the handrail or ladder can stay in place. These pre-installed anchors make it easy to remove the handrail and also to keep it in place. It’s possible to get a handrail even if it wasn’t there when the pool was built.

Ways to Install Swimming Pool Hand Rails

There are three ways to install swimming pool handrails. You can apply the one you think is the best for your swimming pool.

Method #1

The first option is to cut a small part of the deck between the edge of the wall and the ladder cup placement. By doing this, the cups can be placed in and attached to the bonding wire to the pool.

Then, put the handrail anchor cups in the cut area, attach bonding wire (#8 copper) to the anchor cups, and connect them to the bonding wire that you can see around the perimeter of your pool, at its grid or edge. Then, re-pour that part of the deck.

Most other options are faster, but this takes a long time because you have to re-pour concrete in the cut area. It may not be as smooth as you would like. Then, when you cut the deck, you’ll want to make sure you cut enough space for the anchor, but not so much that the pool structure or the deck cracks.

As long as this can be done by the person living in the house, a licensed electrician must do this job to make sure the handrail is connected to the pool structure in the right way.

Method #2

Another method is to rent a “core drill.” This is a tool that can drill holes in your deck where you can put screws. When you choose to use a core drill, you need to make sure that your handrail is properly marked, then start drilling. In this area, people say, “Measure twice, cut once.”

The drill should not get too hot, and debris should not get into the pool while you are drilling. After the holes are drilled, and the core is removed, you can choose from a number of different ways to build the handrail.

In the first place, you could fill the hole with pea gravel. This would keep the handrail from going too far down and would help keep it in place.

You could also put a PVC sleeve in the hole with the pea gravel. Choose a piece of PVC that’s just big enough for the handrail to slide into. You’ll also need to drill a bigger hole in the deck to make room for the PVC sleeve, so choose one that’s just big enough.

It’s possible to use quickcrete to fill in the hole you’ve drilled in the bottom of a wall. This will make a place for the handrail to stop.

As a rule of thumb: Only put in enough quickcrete for the base. If you put too much in, the handrail won’t fit. Allow the quickcrete to harden completely before placing the handrail in. This isn’t necessary if you don’t want the handrail to stay in place. As long as this can be done by the person living in the house, a licensed electrician must do this job to make sure the handrail is connected to the pool structure in the right way.

Method #3

The last option is very simple and doesn’t look bad on your deck. This option is called “On-Deck Mounted Anchor.” The same rules apply to this option as to the other options. You must first make sure that your handrail is where you want it to be, then drill.

To use this option, all you’ll need is an electric drill and some masonry drill bits, like this one from Harbor Freight. Make sure both deck-mount anchors are where you want them. Then drill the holes for the screws that will hold them in place.

Most deck-mounted anchor sets come with the hardware you need to put them in. There are now anchors that you can put on the deck. Then, you can put the handrail on top of them. Whether you have a concrete or wood deck, this option can be used with it. Make sure that you use the right drill bit and anchors for your deck’s type of wood.

Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQ)

How high does a pool deck railing need to be?

All decks that are more than 30″ above the ground must have a guardrail. If you want to put up a guardrail on a deck that is less than 30 inches wide, you still need to meet the code. Rules for decks that are part of single-family detached homes are set by the International Residential Code (IRC). The IRC says that guardrails must be at least 36″ tall from the deck surface to the top of the rail.
There are rules for commercial decks that are attached to multi-family buildings like apartment buildings or businesses. These rules are called the International Building Code (IBC).
The IBC says that guardrails must be 42″ high. In either case, you can build guardrails taller than the usual and as long as they meet all of the other rules in the code.
How much does it cost to install a pool railing?
On average, it costs $2,600 to put up wrought iron railings. There are a lot of people who pay $700 to $4,600 for materials and work. It will cost you $50 to $120 per linear foot for materials and $300 to $1,000 per project for labor for a banister between 10 and 30 feet in length.


Installing swimming pool handrails is not easy to do as it requires a knowledgeable individual to do it. The three options discussed above are the most common way of installing the handrails. As mentioned at the beginning of this guide, safety is the primary concern when installing the handrails. You can choose from the three methods which will suit your pool best. Also, take note of the cost before you buy and install the handrails. Make sure you have enough budget to complete the job and find the right product to prevent any issue that would come your way. If you want to know more about the topic, feel free to ask questions by commenting below.

You May Also Know:

How to add a handrail to an existing swimming pool

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