Should I install my hardwood right against stairway or leave an expansion gap?

Q: I’m currently installing 3/4′ hardwood in our living room. I understand that we require an expansion joint around the perimeter of the room. My question is: We have a wood stairway railing in this room, on an oak trimmed base. Can I butt my hardwood right against this structure? Or should I leave a expansion joint? This would require moulding and wouldn’t look as good.

A: I would butt up to the rail but leave an expansion gap on the other side of the room or hallway.