Choosing and Installing Staircase Balusters

What You'll Need
For our purposes, select wood balusters
Tape measure
Stair drill bit
Baluster bolts
Hardwood trim nails
Wood putty
Stain or paint

Choosing and installing the perfect staircase balusters can enhance not only the beauty of your home but can add to its value. Many times little touches that are seemingly unimportant are the deciding factors for the purchase of a home. Occasionally, based on personality and artistic tastes, a homeowner may want to replace staircase balusters to provide more presence within a room. Traditional staircase balusters normally do not attract attention but a creative individual can find ones that will evoke personal style.

Choosing a Baluster
Staircase balusters are available in four types: wood, metal and plastic  and glass. Selection is dictated by personal taste.

Step 1 – Planning
Before replacing your staircase balusters, be sure you measure the length of your staircase, and the width, and spacing, of all balusters to be replaced.

Step 2 – Know Your End
Each baluster will have a peg-like end and a flat end. The peg-like end is the baluster bottom, making the flat end the baluster top.

Step 3 – Measure the Height

The distance between the staircase and the handrail is called the sill late. Measure this distance from the peg hole to the rail carefully to cut your staircase balusters correctly.

Step 4 – Drill the Holes

Obtain a special baluster drill bit that will create a hole and a secondary thread for the bolts you use to secure the balusters to the staircase. Ask your home improvement center representative for advice on what drill bit to select. If there are no holes in your stair treads to fit your balusters, than create them. Use the measurements taken in Step 1 to space the balusters properly on each tread when drilling the peg holes. Be sure to take a few lessons on how to use the drill and protect your eyes at all times.

Step 5 – Bolt It

Make a pilot hole in the bottom of each baluster and then secure the baluster bolt. Once secured, attach the baluster to the staircase in the pre-drilled hole on the stair tread. If you do not want to use bolts, apply a good wood glue to the peg-end and secure the each peg in the stair tread hole.

Create a small hole with a drill in the bottom of each baluster into which you'll place the baluster bolt. After the bolt is secure in the baluster, you can screw it into the predrilled hole in the stair tread. If you'd rather not use baluster bolts you can also use construction glue on the peg-end of the baluster to secure the peg in the stair tread.

Step 6 – Attach the Rail

Attach the handrail to the balusters using wood glue and 2-inch hardwood nails. Use putty and matching stain or paint to cover the nail holes and color the natural wood if desired.