An open landing on the second story or higher in your home can pose a serious falling danger to adults, children and pets. The easiest and most visually appealing way to remedy an open landing is to install a banister running the perimeter of the area. Choosing a banister wood that matches the decor of your home ensures that the aesthetic flow of the house is uninterrupted, while protecting the safety of everyone living there.
Locate the newel post in the banister kit. Use a centre-finder tool to locate the centre point at the base of the newel post and mark it with a pencil. Drill a small hole through the centre mark to serve as a guide for later, when the screw for the mounting bracket is installed.
Place the wooden bracket on the floor running from the wall to which the banister will connect to the intended area for the newel post. Place the newel post on the bracket at the desired installation spot and make sure that it is square, meaning that the side of the post that the banister will attach to is parallel with the wall the banister will connect to. Slightly tilt the newel post and mark the newel post's centre point on the floor bracket. Drill a small hole at this point to serve as a guide for the mounting bracket.
Use a level to determine the centre point on the wall for the rosette to be installed. Push a toggle bolt through the rosette and tap it slightly to mark the spot on the wall. Drill a hole large enough in the wall to accept the toggle bolt and push the toggle bolt into the wall. Tighten the bolt slowly to avoid damage to the rosette or the wall.
Measure the distance from the newel post to the rosette and use a mitre saw to cut the handrail and toe rail to the correct lengths. Place the toe rail over the floor bracket and secure it by using a nail gun equipped with finishing nails.
Determine the length of space between the balusters that is ideal for the home, bearing in mind that the width between each should be no further than four inches. Apply a strip of painter's tape along the centre length of the toe rail and measure the distance of each baluster, marking the lengths on the painters tape.
Select a drill bit the same size as the pin on the bottom of the balusters. Drill holes in the toe rail along the previous markings. Remove the painters tape once all of the holes are drilled. Mark the location of the handrail onto the newel post and use a drill press or jig to drill a hole perfectly perpendicular into the newel post to serve as a guide for the hanger bolt.
Use a vice grip to install the hangar bolt into the newel post. Use a drill press or jig to drill a matching perpendicular hole in the end of the handrail, and a subsequent one-inch hole up through the bottom of the handrail.
Slide the handrail onto the hanger bolt attached to the newel post and place a convex washer onto the bolt through the one-inch opening at the bottom of the handrail. Place the nut on top of the washer and tighten with a wrench.
Place the base of the newel post above the hole in the wooden bracket. Slide the opposite end of the handrail over the hanger bolt in the rosette. Secure the connection by placing a washer over the bolt and tightening a nut over the washer.
Install the balusters by placing the pins on the bottom of the balusters into the holes in the toe rail and tip the rails sideways into an upright position underneath the hand rail. Install small spacers, called fillets, underneath the hand rail on each side of each baluster and secure with finishing nails.
Things you need
- Banister kit
- Centre-finder tool
- Toggle bolt
- Mitre saw
- Nail gun
- Finish nails
- Painters tape
- Drill press or jig