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How to Calculate Rise and Run for Stairs

One of the first steps you must take when preparing to build a set of indoor or outdoor stairs is to calculate the rise and run for the stairs, so you will know exactly what length of stringer you will need to get started. Once you know the stringer, you can count the number of […]

Box Newel Posts vs. Turned Newel Posts

Sometimes a simple feature can change the entire look of a home element like wood stairs. Considering box newel posts vs. turned newel posts can help you find the look and aesthetic you’d like for your wood stairs renovation project. Even a small difference like a solid structured box newel post vs. a sleek-looking turned […]

Stair Makeover – Changing Newel Posts

Newel posts are the largest component of a staircase.  Because of the size and complexity of newel posts, they are also often one of the most expensive parts in the balustrade.  It is for this reason that the newel post doesn’t always match the scope and style of the railing system.  Simply put, while you […]

How to Stop a Baluster from Rattling

We receive calls on a fairly regular basis from customers who want to know how to fix loose balusters or stop a baluster from rattling. It is a common occurrence for both dowel top, or pin top wood balusters and wrought iron balusters, and there is an amazingly simple solution, but I’ll get to that […]

Do I Need a Professional Railing Installer?

One of the most common questions our customers ask is, “Do I need a professional railing installer?”  This is a loaded question based upon the complexity of your stair and railing system, your understanding of the simple mathematics and your carpentry skills.  A full balustrade installation can be compared to piecing together a gargantuan jigsaw […]

How to Add Wood Handrail to An Iron Balustrade

Job: Capping your iron railing with a wood handrail Difficulty: Medium to Easy depending on skill level Tools: Chop Saw, Tape Measure, Hammer, Drill, Screws, Titebond Glue Adding wood handrail to a full wrought iron balustrade can dramatically increase the look of your railing system without the expense of replacing the entire banister.  Wood handrails […]

How to Install Iron Balusters: Part 3

There are basically three methods to install iron balusters, we highly recommend the IronPro method for many of our customers.  IronPro is a patented system that was developed by one of our suppliers, LJ Smith.  It is an innovative and patented iron baluster shoe system that can be used in virtually any iron baluster installation […]

How to Install Iron Balusters: Part 2

In this article, we will discuss how to install wrought iron balusters using what I will call the Up-And-Down stair installation method.  If you’ve read Part 1 of How to Install Iron Balusters, you already know that the Up-And-Down installation method is not my favorite stair installation method.  We recommend either the “Secure” or the “IronPro” […]

How to Install Iron Balusters: Part 1

Want to learn how to install iron balusters? Installing wrought iron balusters into a wood handrail and wood tread or landing shoe is a relatively simple process that almost anyone with a little woodworking skill can accomplish.  I will address each of these stair installation methods in separate articles.  I do not know of any […]

Newel Post Height

There are several methods of how to install a newel post but the first step is cutting the stair newel post to the correct height.  This height depends on the standard handrail height for your balustrade which is based on the building codes for your area.  Typically floor level balustrades must be at least 36” […]

Remodeling Your Stairs on a Budget

Purchasing stair parts doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many ways to remodel your stairs on a budget.  While some options are more cost-effective than others they depend on the conditions of your situation and what if any concessions you are willing to make.  Perhaps you want to use your stairs to help […]

Stair Parts List

Here is a simple list of the stair parts you  will need to create your new or remodeled banister.  Balustrades can be broken down into two types that are in turn reduced into several components.  In order to determine the stair parts you will need for your specific balustrade you will need to consider each […]

Replacing wood balusters with wrought iron balusters

Many customers ask if it is possible to replace wood balusters with wrought iron balusters without replacing the handrail, tread caps, etc.  While this has always been possible the process was a little tricky to ensure that the previous holes were covered and that the result looked clean and professional.  Now, however, one of’s […]

How to prevent Squeaky Stairs

Many of our customers want to know how to fix their squeaky stair treads.  While there are a couple of ways to address this issue, the best thing you can do is prevent squeaky stairs in the first place.  Today, I will try and help you with both possibilities. Stair treads can squeak whenever there […]

Stair Angles and Miters

Balustrade installation requires knowing the degree of the stair and how to use this angle to determine the other stair angles and miters you will need to cut balusters, handrails, and moldings.  There is basically one number that is a constant that is very simply used to determine all of the other angles on a […]

Spiral Staircases – Design, Ordering & Assembling

Spiral staircases are a beautiful addition to any home especially  those with small space requirements.  They are elegant pieces of fine furniture in themselves and add they character to any structure. Because of the helical design, many people think that building or installing one is very hard.  While they are difficult to manufacture from scratch, […]

Installing Plowed Handrail with Fillet and Square Top Balusters

Square top wood balusters are generally installed using a plowed handrail with fillet system.  Plowed handrail installation with fillet and square top wood balusters is a relatively easy method that makes assembly simple with a little skill and the right stair installation tools.     Shop for Stair Fillet and Shoe Rail at the Best Prices!  Many […]

Attaching Handrail to a Newel Post

Attaching handrail to a newel post is a relatively simple procedure that requires only a couple of stair installation tools and hardware and very little skill.  If you are installing your stair balustrade we are assuming that you have a tape measure, level, saw, etc.  You may also have the majority of the additional tools […]

How to Bend a Wood Handrail

Want to learn how to bend a wood handrail? While bending a wood handrail is one of the more difficult aspects of stair and balustrade installation, with the right tools, planning and an understanding of the process it shouldn’t dissuade anyone from giving it a try.  The most important things to consider in this process […]

Using the Bore Buster to Drill Handrails

Drilling a stair handrail to accept dowel top wood or wrought iron balusters is a relatively simple concept that can be easily done by a skilled craftsman or using the correct tool.  Each baluster requires a hole drilled plumb into the handrail centered over the baluster itself.  The hole must be centered in the rail, […]

How To Install a Floor Level Newel Post

Installing a solid newel post on a floor level can be done several ways with several types of stair installation hardware.  Each makes the process relatively simple and easy for the do-it-yourselfer so don’t be intimidated.  I’m going to assume that the posts have been cut to length, that their location has already been determined […]

Staircase Design

Staircase design is a relatively simple concept especially if you don’t really put a lot of thought into it.  If do want to truly maximize the potential of this wonder architectural design space then you  will quickly realize that it may not be as simple as it seems.  As you dig a little deeper into […]

Stair Installation Tools

There are a wide variety of stair installation tools, hardware and supplies that help to make the installation process more simple and efficient while yielding a higher quality final product.  While some of these tools are essentially required, many are used in specific situations or for a one time project may be worked around.  The […]

Stair Installation of Tapered Wood Plugs

Installing a tapered plug is a simple procedure.  As is the case with most stair hardware a few trade secrets will help ensure that your installation is flawless.  There are only a couple of ways to incorrectly install a wood stair plug; first, you can have poorly selected color or grain that does not match the […]

How to Layout Stair Balusters & Spacing Guide

The following are instructions for laying out stair balusters and determining baluster spacing.  This is a relatively simple process that can often seem difficult if you haven’t done it before.  This post deals with the layout only of rising staircases not level baluster runs (ie. balcony’s), or the installation methods of the differing types of […]

Stair Balusters: Calculations and Layout atop Knee Wall

There are basically 4 steps to finding your stair calculations. Step 1:  Typically the balusters at each end, nearest the posts and or walls, are in 3”.  You may want to adjust this later to make the spaces more even but this is a good starting point.  So you begin by measuring your knee wall […]

Stair Balusters: Calculation and Layout

Determining the number of balusters your stairway requires and their spacing is a simple process that requires only a couple of steps.  Yes, that rather weak pun was intended. 🙂 First, you need to know the tread run.  This is the length of the stair tread from riser to riser.  This is often confusing because […]

Attaching a floor level handrail between walls WITHOUT rosettes

We recently wrote a post describing the process of attaching a level banister handrail between walls with rosettes.  The alternative to that process is to use rail bolts.  This post is not intended to explain how to use rail bolts but instead to describe a simple trick for using them when the rail will be […]

Attaching a Floor Level Balustrade with Rosettes

Attaching a level banister handrail between walls with one or two rosettes is a relatively simple process.  First, make certain that there is backing in the wall where the rail terminates prior to installing it, typically this can be done using a stud finder.  Next, before attaching the rosettes to the handrail predrill the face […]

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