How to mount a handrail on brick
Handrails prevent many stair-related injuries every year. Children, adults, and the elderly can benefit from a properly installed handrail. Mounting a handrail is a simple task that can be accomplished in an afternoon.
Installing a handrail on a brick wall is slightly more difficult, but can be done if you have the proper tools.
Using your chalk box as a plumb bob, snap a vertical 4-foot chalk line on the wall from the top of the top step. Measure and mark the line at a point 36 inches above the stair tread. Repeat this process at the bottom tread of the stairs. If you are worried about marking the brick with a marker, place a piece of painter's tape at the location and then mark it with a pencil. The chalk lines will wash off easily.
Snap a chalk line from the mark at the top of the stairs to the mark at the bottom of the stairs. This gives you an installation line that is parallel with the slope of the stairway.
Hold the handrail brackets in place on the wall. Mark the screw holes in the brackets with a pencil or marker. Remove the handrail brackets from the wall.
Drill pilot holes in the marked screw holes for the brackets. Fit a hammer drill with a masonry drill bit. Choose a bit that is 1/16th inch smaller in diameter than the masonry screws you will be using to install the brackets. Drill the holes in the brick. Avoid drilling into the mortar between the bricks.
Install the handrail brackets in place on the brick wall. Hold the brackets in place and screw the brackets to the wall with masonry screws and a screwdriver.
Install the handrail to the brackets. Most hammer drills have a setting for normal drilling. If yours does, set it to normal drilling. If not, use a regular variable speed drill. Drill the holes in the handrail for the bracket screws with a regular drill bit. Screw the handrail into place with the rail mounting screws. Wash the chalk lines from the wall.