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post #1 of 13 Old 05-24-2014, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Weak Newel Posts and Support Posts

My wife and I toured some model homes and I was struck by the weakness of the posts that supported the railings. This was in situations where the railings were on stairs as well as those surrounding open spaces. I imagined there must be a better way of strengthening both the end posts and the mid posts. My first inclination is to find a way to affix the posts to the house framing rather than whatever method is being employed.

Isn't there a foolproof method to make these posts more solid? Thanks!!
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-24-2014, 09:46 PM
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There is framing around any opening such as a stairwell so there is no reason that the posts can't be anchored through the flooring into it.

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-26-2014, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. Of course you are correct...the builders near me use fairly generic pre-made newel and mid posts that from the look of things are merely secured to the floor for the midposts and to the floor and perhaps a few inches of the wall for newels.

Any attachments to underfloor framing would require custom newels and midposts, correct?

I assume the term midpost is not technically correct, but I am using as good as a descriptor as I can think of at the moment. Let's say that across a span of 20 feet of railing there are likely to be 2 or 3 midposts with no real support from lateral movement should a heavy person run into one.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-26-2014, 07:46 AM
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There may be some stair masters that will chime in, but, from my experience, balusters and newels get installed to the floor, treads, or bottom plates. They can be doweled in, or toe screwed to those surfaces. Getting to them from underneath would be difficult if at all possible. Hopefully if the handrail gets installed properly, it ties it all in.






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post #5 of 13 Old 05-26-2014, 09:52 AM
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The majority of the stairs I built, the posts were secured to the framing under the floor. If the flooring couldn't be removed then I used 1 1/2 -2 inch dowels and epoxy, if the framing was offset where the dowels wouldn't hit then I used either threaded rod with a thread insert or a threaded bolt like in the photo below.
Using "J" brackets was a waste of time.
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Last edited by BigJim; 05-26-2014 at 09:56 AM.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-30-2014, 03:46 PM
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They should be secured to the flooring. Try this web site for a good show of attachment mechanisms:
http://crownheritage.com/main.cfm?pagename=install_hardware

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post #7 of 13 Old 06-30-2014, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbergley View Post
They should be secured to the flooring. Try this web site for a good show of attachment mechanisms:
http://crownheritage.com/main.cfm?pagename=install_hardware

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Are you talking about balusters or newels? Newels should go through the floor if possible, I didn't see the hardware in your link.

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post #8 of 13 Old 07-01-2014, 12:13 PM
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the newells i buy have long enough flat area on the bottom to go though a step, floor, and attach to a floor joist (shims and carriage bolts), and still leave 40" above. not as easy to do on old work as it is new construction, if ceiling is finished underneath, but worth the effort. i can usually tell when a newell is not anchored underneath.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-02-2014, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
Are you talking about balusters or newels? Newels should go through the floor if possible, I didn't see the hardware in your link.
My apologies. Here is the web site with hardware for newel posts:
http://www.rockler.com/search/go?p=K...0Hardware&rk=3

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post #10 of 13 Old 07-03-2014, 11:24 PM
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As Ron said, you absolutely want to attach them to the framing wherever possible. I like it best when the layout puts them only partially over the bulkhead (usually where a lone span post resides), in this case I can notch them around the 2x12 and lag them from the side. They are extremely sturdy like that, the post would have to break for it to move. In nearly every case you would attach them to the framing, usually with a lag. I have seen in production homes where they have used key locks or mounting plates to save time but even then it should still be below the subfloor, and in some cases the rails come pre-made with the spindles and base rail all together and installed as a unit, very weak construction.
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-04-2014, 04:03 PM
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The most sturdy newel posts are through the floor and attached to the joist framing. If their location misses the joist, a 2" x 6" can be run between the joists adjacent to the newel and secured with lag screws or carriage bolts. I prefer carriage bolts when possible. IF there is no way to do that, i.e. the stairway is on a concrete slab floor, the next best option that I know of is to bolt the newel post to the side of the bottom step, going through the stringer, and reinforcing with a piece of 2"x between that end stringer and the center stringer to help avoid twisting of the outer stringer as a result of torque. Additionally, you can also secure the newel post to the floor in some fashion such as the hardware ronbergley linked to. HOWEVER, the weakest and cheapest of attachment methods is to secure the newel post solely to the floor. There is then 1 single point of attachment, and the 40" of post above it acts like a lever and the amount of torque exerted upon that attachment point becomes tremendous as someone coming down the stairway quickly holds on to the newel and turns rapidly off the stairway. I have replaced newel posts installed in this method. It only holds up if nobody really USES the rail. And really, what use is that?
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-04-2014, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbergley View Post
My apologies. Here is the web site with hardware for newel posts:
http://www.rockler.com/search/go?p=K...0Hardware&rk=3

Ron
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Ron, I replaced several posts where someone had used the "J" hardware, it just won't hold up to teenagers.

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post #13 of 13 Old 09-13-2014, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Great and very helpful/logical answers. Regarding those model homes I spoke of originally, I realize they take a beating but I'd not wager $1 there was much through the floor bracing done. Too bad.

Thanks all!
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