By Ted Vinci
3/4″ speed bore drill bits – approximately 1 for every 20 balusters.
Angle Grinder or Metal Saw to cut iron balusters
1-5/8″ drywall screws
Jig Saw or circular saw.
Iron balusters of your choice and color
Epoxy adhesive or polyurethane adhesive
LAYOUT GUIDE AND DESIGN – Before ordering your balusters, make a detailed drawing of your stairway, layout in a straight line or circular line (depending on the stairway design) each of the steps and the number of balusters on each step, and the landing areas (flat areas) with the number of balusters in the landings. Assign a circle to each of the space. In other words, if your steps have 3 balusters per step, you would assign 3 circles to each step in your layout as shown below in diagram #2. Please make note that the layout has been determined and a number has been assigned to each baluster and then totaled to place the proper number for your order.
Step #1 Baluster Removal – Remove the wood baluster by cutting them with either a circular saw or a jig saw half way between the treads and the handrail. Pull out the lower portion and the upper portion and then remove any remaining nails left in the holes with pliers.
After the baluster has been removed, you will have either a hole in the tread like pictured above, or the area will be flat with no hole, depending on the installation of the old wood balusters.
Step #2 Drill Holes for Iron Balusters – You will now drill a 3/4″ hole in the center of this space vacated by the wood baluster, drill as deep as the drill will go, preferably 3-4″ deep.
Step #3 Measure the Baluster Length – Set the new iron balusters in this new 3/4″ hole UPSIDE DOWN and mark the other end (actually the bottom) of the balusters against the bottom of the handrail near the corresponding top hole. Be careful to align the top and bottom in a plumb (level) line as it is easy to move from one side to the other giving you an improper length. This mark is where you will cut the new iron baluster baluster. NOTE: By placing the baluster upside down in the hole and marking the other end, you are actually marking the bottom of the baluster. YOU ALWAYS CUT THE BOTTOM OF THE BALUSTER. When you are drilling holes, you will occassionally encounter nails in the lower framing. Do not worry if your drill penetrates the wood framing completely, sometimes this will happen.
Step #4 Baluster Cutting – Cut the baluster approximately 1/2″ shorter than the mark, this will allow for you to slide the baluster into the hole, and up inside the top hole of the handrail.
Always test your baluster fit before gluing. Slide your shoe onto the baluster. The baluster should slide down into the lower hole first, and then into the upper hole. If you drilled the hole deep enough and cut it properly, your baluster should fit in this space by filling the upper hole and still have 2″ into the lower hole.
Step # 5 – Adhesive in the TOP hole – Apply adhesive (epoxy or polyurethane) to the upper hole.
Step #6 Fastening the Baluster in the LOWER hole – Place a 1-5/8″ drywall screw into the lower hole on the side of the baluster at a 45 degree angle, wedging it into place. Repeat this process on the adjacent side if necessary. These two screws will wedge the baluster firmly into place holding it permanently.
Adhesive can also be applied.
Wipe off any adhesive left in the top hole.
Slide the shoe down over the baluster for a finished look.
Align the baluster so it is properly aligned.
Enjoy your new stairway.
Always wear safety glasses when operating power tools and use tools in the manner they were designed.
Neither Stairway Creations Supply or any of its employees assumes any liability for the installation of products purchased from our company. Installation instructions are general because each and every job will be different and certain conditions will have to be adapted to the individual situation. We assum no liability for use or misuse of any equipment or products.
Please make sure you comply with all building codes.