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Handrail Installation

Handrail Installation
If you are bugged about the old and ugly handrail the builder put in your house when you had bought it, one can consider replacing it with a new one and making the staircase more attractive. Here is the process of handrail installation in five easy to follow steps.
Scholasticus K
Last Updated: Mar 28, 2019
Many of us confuse between staircase and handrail. Handrail, also called stair rail, is drilled into the wall on one side of the staircase and the other side carries another rail fastened directly to the same. Many presume that installing a handrail is difficult and costly, and is procrastinated.
However, this is not the case as it is one of the cheapest and also the simplest home improvement methods. This is because, it does not require elaborate plans, expensive material, or heavy machinery. Moreover, a simple installation would definitely change the whole look of the stairway.
Before we proceed to the implementation of the actual method, it is important to get acquainted with some terminologies and designs related to the same.
Important Terminology and Concepts
  • Newel Post: This is the bottom-most post or pillar of the stair rail. Many of us tend to hang our coats and jackets on this post when we come into the house. It must be noted that this is the most important support pillar of the stair rail.
  • Spindle: The spindle is the set of rods that supports the handrail and are situated between the staircases.
  • Dowel: The dowel is the round pin that is used to insert the spindle into the stairway.
  • Stair Stringer: The stair stringer is a piece of timber that is used horizontally to support the rails.
How to Install?
The process of installing it, is pretty straight forward if the steps are methodically followed. However, the process is pretty tiring so, it is better to arm yourself with an assistant.
  • Railing system kit or individual pieces of a stair banister like spindle, or a newel post. It is advised to buy the whole kit.
  • You will require a huge variety of tools like drills, bolts, and a set of screws that are of appropriate sizes.
  • Since, a lot of wood work is involved in this process, gorilla glue and carpenters glue would be required.
Step 1
The first step is to remove the existing stairway. For this you can use a chisel and a hammer. Be careful and do not damage the stairway, while removing the spindles and newel post. If it has been screwed on to the wall then be careful while removing it, as there is a possibility that the plaster or paint would get disturbed while removing it.
Step 2
You can also reuse the spindles, if they are in a very good shape. You have to just find an appropriate newel post and the rail post that is of the right size. Before using the same spindles, ensure whether they are in a reliable shape or not. In the same manner, you can also reuse the newel post.
Step 3:
Place the newel post on the first step of the staircase. Secure the post with the help of the gorilla glue, screws, and the dowels. In the same manner, secure the other spindles of the whole stair rail. You might also need to put in some other newel posts on the other floors.
Step 4
After you have finished installing the newel posts and spindles, check if they are secure or not. The first step is extremely crucial as it involves the actual positioning. Place the entire stair rail over the spindles and the newel posts. Screw down the same to the newel posts. Once it is secured to the newel posts, you can fix the spindles.
Step 5:
The best way to secure it to the spindles, is to drill a totally vertical hole through the rail and the spindles. Put in long screws into these holes and seal them up with glue.
Though this process sounds very easy, theoretically, it can be time and energy-consuming. Following the manual and instructions systematically, proves to be very beneficial during the entire process.