Building Iron Railings for Your Stairs

iron rail

Adding a wrought iron railing to any staircase will not only add support for the staircase users, but it will also bring Renaissance, Victorian, or other Old World charms to your decor. Since it will be used for support, proper installation is vital. Whether you are adding the banister to your exterior or interior staircase, it is a task you can tackle yourself. Follow these easy steps to install a wrought iron railing to your staircase.

Select the Right Railing

You will want to select the right style of iron railing for your stairs. It should complement the current decor of the room in which it will be installed. You probably will not want a modern style in an old Victorian-style home.

When you have selected the right style, be sure that the iron is treated to protect it from rusting. The manufacturer should guarantee the railing to be rust-free and last for a minimum of 20 years. You should also confirm a manufacturer's warranty when selecting the iron railings. An iron railing maker that can't stand behind their product is not a company whose product you should buy.

Lay the Railing Out

Lay the railing on the ground to ensure you will be assembling it in proper order. Measure the distance between the balusters (the vertical poles of the railing).

Drill the Baluster Holes

Use your measurements to mark the exact spots where the balusters will need to be placed. A measuring tape is not suited for this task as it has some give to it and mistakes are more likely to ensue. Instead, use a ruler.

Use a drill bit that is .5-inches larger than the post. Doing so will allow easy insertion as well as leave enough room for the adhesive. Drill your holes 2-inches deep. Always wear protective safety glasses when working with power tools.

Keep Your Work Area Clean

Vacuum all of the sawdust or other debris from the area. Failure to do so will result in these loose particles clogging the hole. The baluster will adhere to the loose particles instead of the solid floor. That can cause a weak railing which will be very problematic in the future.

Insert the Balusters

Insert the balusters into the holes to ensure that they fit properly.

Mix the Adhesive

Mix the adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fill the caulk gun with epoxy adhesive.

Putting It All Together

Using the caulking gun, fill the space around the baluster with adhesive. As you proceed upward onto the next section, use the level to make sure the railing is even before applying adhesive to the next baluster. If it is not level, you will either need to drill the hole deeper or apply a circular wedge to the bottom of the hole to reach the correct height. Allow the adhesive to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before placing any weight on the railing.