Anchoring a New Railing?
Issue: Issue 270
Posted Date: 3/8/2011
son has a split-level home and the upper living room has a wrought
iron railing along the stairs. I want to replace it with a
walnut railing, but I’m not sure how best to anchor it so it will
provide proper support and safety. Any suggestions? - John Blessing
railing made of solid wood needs to be anchored strongly to the wall
at the upper end, and have a solid newel post at the bottom. On the
top end, significant threaded fasteners driven into a stud are what I
recommend. If you have to plug the holes to hide the fastener, so be
it. At the bottom of the rail, I like newel posts that are mounted to
blocking that is already firmly attached to the floor.
Inman: There are
some very well designed commercial anchoring systems available.
Rockler is one source I have used personally.You are right to want a
well-anchored installation. The balustrade must be more than an
ornament. It is a functional safety system which should be supported
by the framing members (joists, headers, stringers, etc.) of the
building whenever possible, not the facia or mop boards!
also want to check with the building codes in your area to see what
the current railing heights, load requirements and fastening
specifications are. It would be shame to go to the effort of
installing your new walnut railing, only to discover at some point
that it isn't code compliant anyway and would have to be modified.