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Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

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  • Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

    Time to trim out a major addition/renovation job. Customer decides they want to 'open up' the top of the basement stairway. Had to knock out 3' of wall parallel to the opening and remove the door. Now I have to install a newel post with a 3' handrail and balusters. My big question is how to securely anchor the newel post to the floor. Where it is placed, it is directly over the rough framing for the stair opening. I was brought into this when it was time to trim out, and it is evident to me that planning on this and other issues was lacking.

    The post will be sitting flat on the floor, not notched around a stringer or anything. Do I drill a steel rod down into the framing and then run it up into the newel, or is there a better option? The finished floor will be hardwood and the post is painted.
    Contact us for all you mailbox post installation needs!

  • #2
    Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

    Jeremy,
    Look at this site under "Installation Hardware and Tools" http://www.ljsmith.net/products.asp . I have used their hardware before with good results. They have about 3 different ways to mount a newel directly to a finished floor without tearing into the floor.
    Bill
    Bill

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    • #3
      Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

      Jeremy in several posts over the years in the Breaktime forums (http://forums.taunton.com/tp-breakti...es?msg=49466.4) I've often described an alternative method we often use for anchoring newels in many different conditions indoors and out.
      Typically what we would do is:
      1. Take a long lag bolts (or two for extra large newels) and screw it up into the underside of the newel post
      2. Grind off a little off of the perimeter of the bolt heads to make it just a little bit smaller.
      3. Drill a hole down into the the a joist or header in the framing deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the bolt on the bottom of the newel post.
      4. Fill the holes just with epoxy (preferably epoxy that has been thickened with glass beads or silica and drop the bolt on the post down into that hole. It's important to make sure the hole is big enough and the bolt head has been trimmed back enough so that it doesn't act like a plunger and that the hole is secure and doesn't penetrate into any open space because you don't want the epoxy to ooze out of the hole.

      I hate those hardware gadgets like key-locks and the ones that attach to the sides of the newels because I find they often make plumbing the newels difficult. Furthermore they are also mechanical and I feel they can possibly work there way loose over the years. I much prefer our epoxy post hole method. You do have to set up something to hold the post until the epoxy sets but all our installations are always rock solid and perfectly plumb.
      J. Jerrald Hayes
      360Difference.com | ParadigmProjects.com
      Paradigm Building & Remodeling | StairScapes

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      • #4
        Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

        Jerrald's method is the same I use except when there's some possibility the post's got to be disassembled.

        If there's that possibility and I've got to hold the newel down with bolts or some other mechanical connection, I use bondo as a sort of liquid shim, and wax the bottom of the post where it contacts the bondo. Then it's more likely the post will maintain plumb when drawn up tight.
        Last edited by Dan Bloomer; 03-15-2005, 01:49 AM.
        Dan Bloomer
        Bloomer-Cucci, Stairbuilders
        www.handrailing.com

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        • #5
          Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

          Jeremy,
          I use the Sure-Tite Fastener bolt by L.J. Smith (part # 3008-10) on all my stair installations. If, as you stated, you have solid framing where the newel will be located, this is the perfect installation system. It even states on the package that it is used for mounting newel posts on finished floor surfaces.
          "Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

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          • #6
            Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

            I am impressed with the holding strength and stability of LJ 3009 we use a dap of pl under the post just incase.
            The LJ-3009 Newel Post Anchor uses four 16 gage
            metal brackets to fasten a newel post to a balcony floor.
            The brackets are then covered with pre-mitered decorative
            moulding
            Beware of the man whose belly does not shake when he laughs

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            • #7
              Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

              Originally posted by phillip
              ...The brackets are then covered with pre-mitered decorative moulding
              That's actually one of the big problems I have with those connectors. I think that cover-up molding is cheesy. It looks like it's there to cover a mistake. I'm not saying you can't get a good secure connection with them (although I do think they make plumbing the post more difficult than it should be) I just really think they're ugly. There may very well be times where they don't look so bad and are entirely appropriate but I think those times are rare.
              J. Jerrald Hayes
              360Difference.com | ParadigmProjects.com
              Paradigm Building & Remodeling | StairScapes

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              • #8
                Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

                Jerrald,
                I totaly understand...

                but for his application this would be the fastest and strongest method
                Beware of the man whose belly does not shake when he laughs

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                • #9
                  Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

                  Jeremy

                  If you are right above the framing, I'd bolt through the post--the 3008 system. Especially if the post is going to be painted and the plug easily covered.

                  I've never used the epoxy method mention earlier. But the lack of adjustment when fitting and the need to get it dead on while the epoxy sets would make me nervous.

                  tim
                  Nothing simple is ever easy

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                  • #10
                    Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

                    I am interested in the epoxy method but also am concerned about the set time. How long does it take for the expoxy to set so that you may install rails and such?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Attaching newel post to floor, after the fact

                      Originally posted by ShaneG
                      I am interested in the epoxy method but also am concerned about the set time. How long does it take for the expoxy to set so that you may install rails and such?
                      That depends upon what kind of epoxy, how you mix it, and what the ambient temperatures are. While the key reason I suggested adding silica to the mix was to give the epoxy more body another reason is it helps the epoxy "go off" faster.

                      We generally set our posts and then try to give them overnight to set up but we have coaxed our epoxy at times to go off in a hour and installed right away. You can help epoxy catalyze faster by mixing it in a deep cup (as opposed to a shallow tray) and warming it up slightly.

                      I think one of the things you do whenever you have something that needs to set up and or dry is that you plan your work around those kinds of operations.
                      J. Jerrald Hayes
                      360Difference.com | ParadigmProjects.com
                      Paradigm Building & Remodeling | StairScapes

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