Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: corvallis, Oregon
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?