How to install a handrail with spindles

Updated February 21, 2017

The installation of a handrail is a very important safety process. The handrail prevents slips and falls by having the railing to hold onto. Installing a handrail can also update your home by adding style and an updated look to your staircase. Installing a handrail takes some hard work and determination but once finished you will have a beautiful new handrail and a safer staircase.

Use a saw to cut the new handrail to the appropriate length and angle of your staircase. You may not need to cut your handrail if you ordered it to fit the staircase using exact measurements.

Use a pencil to make a mark on the underside of the handrail to match up with each spindle. This will give you the precise spot to drill for the spindle.

Drill a small hole, using a hand drill, where you previously marked the underside of the railing. Each hole should be about 1/2 inch deep.

Apply some wood glue to the top of the stair spindles where the handrail will meet the spindle. Apply some wood glue in the newly drilled hole as well.

Place the handrail in place on the spindles and wipe away any excess glue. When putting the handrail in place, it's best to start at the top and work your way down the staircase. It's also helpful to use vice grips to hold the handrail in place as you work your way down the staircase to avoid the handrail from slipping off the spindles.

Secure the handrail in place at the wall fitting and on the newel post at the bottom of the staircase. Drill wood screws on the underside of the handrail into the wall and the newel post.

Allow the handrail to set and the glue to dry for 24 to 48 hours before applying any pressure to the handrail.

Things You'll Need

  • Saw
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws
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About the Author

Johnathan Cronk is a freelance writer and began writing at the age of 18. Throughout his career he has specialized in sports, how-to and advice articles. He has also written sales pitches in the corporate setting since 2001. He studied business at Hudson Valley Community College before transferring to the State University of New York, Albany.