Stair Railing Parts: How to Fix a Rattling Baluster

A common problem with stair railing parts, like wooden and wrought iron balusters, is an irritating rattle every time someone walks up or down the stairs. It is not unusual with balusters, especially if they have a dowel top connecting to the handrail. Even the best installation from a stair railing parts company may leave you with loose, rattling balusters, so don’t fret about a couple rattling ones, especially if the overall job is secure.

However, if you do want to solve this harmless but annoying problem, there are a few simple do-it-yourself solutions you can use:

Determine How Your Baluster was installed

First, recognize how balusters are installed (the layout from the stair to handrail). Balusters are installed into holes on the floor (or a “shoe plate”), or the stair itself, and then connected to the handrail. Focusing on wooden balusters, they are usually secured in place with wood glue in the holes of the handrail and floor, and then nailed into place. Depending on how the nail was placed, it may have curved into the hole during installation, causing rattling. This is a natural occurrence — not to be blamed on the installation company. Even an accidental bump to the baluster (especially a hard bump) can cause rattling, as it breaks the delicate connection between the baluster, glue, and handrail.

From here, the best and most common option is to simply repair your rattling stair railing parts by using a simple item that can be found around your home. All you will need are toothpicks (for best results, use flat toothpicks), wood glue, and a utility knife.

Easy Remedy: Gluing Your Balusters

First, add a small amount of wood glue to the side of the toothpick that will be facing the wood rail. Then, push the side without glue against the baluster to move it into the space between the baluster and handrail. Use your fingers at the bottom of the toothpick to gently push it, and get the toothpick wedged in as far as possible. Stop when it won’t move any further with your fingers, or you feel you can’t move it anymore.

Don’t stop there! Using the utility knife, place it as if you were to cut the toothpick (but don’t cut it yet), move the blade a bit below the handrail and use the utility knife to push the toothpick up father into the space between baluster and handrail. The blade should help slide it into the hole, but use caution so the baluster, toothpick, or your fingers won’t be cut. When you feel resistance and feel you have to force the toothpick further, this is the best place to stop. Always use caution when using the utility knife.

Once the toothpick is deep enough, and the baluster feels or sounds secure (don’t worry if it takes more than one toothpicks, it may in some cases), carefully trim the toothpick with the utility knife. Next, wipe off excess wood glue that may be left on the handrail, baluster, or have dripped down the baluster to the stair.

This method will also work with wrought iron balusters. You can gently shake the balusters, or have someone (or yourself) walk near it to make sure the balusters don’t rattle. Again, don’t worry if you need more than one toothpick, and be sure to place the next toothpick on the opposite side to avoid using too many toothpicks.

Advanced Repair: Nail Gun and Finish Nails

If this method doesn’t work, the next method uses a nail gun and finish nails.

Using the nail gun, shoot a finish nail into the top of the baluster. Place it so the nail goes through the top of the baluster and into the space where it meets the handrail. This method can also be used with the toothpick method after it, to insure maximum security and no rattling.

Do not use this method if you have wrought iron balusters; instead use the toothpick method. If you haven’t used a nail gun before, this method is also not recommended.

These are very simple ways to fix rattling balusters. The problem may seem frustrating, but the solutions are very easy. Remember to be careful in placement, and if using the toothpick method, don’t worry if you are using a few toothpicks in between the baluster and handrail.

If all else fails, or you’re afraid you may ruin your balusters and handrail, call iStairs Sacramento Stairs and Stair Railing Parts Company for help! Our experienced stair repair team will get the job done swiftly!

Installing a Wood Stair Railing Kit from iStairs

Excited to work on your wood stair railing kit? Here’s a nifty guide on how you can start installing your stair railing kit from iStairs:

[Read more…]

Custom Stair Builder Tips: Wooden Stair Parts Guide

Are you interested in building your own custom staircase? As a custom stair builder, iStairs know that customers often wonder about the terminologies involving custom stairs. Over the years, stair parts haven’t changed at all, so being familiar with these terminologies will aid you to understand your custom stair better.

Baluster:

These are the vertical spindles that hold up the handrails of a stair. These are found along the staircase. Balusters are often confused with newels.

Balustrade:

It includes the entire elements a stair that makes up and supports the railing. The balustrade includes the handrails, balusters, and newels.

Baserail:

A rail found along the bottom of the balustrade.

Cove Mould:

A decorative mould that provides a smooth progression to the riser. It is installed underneath the nosing of the tread.

Gooseneck:

Often used as a progression to a balcony or landing, a gooseneck is a handrail fitting with a vertical ‘goose neck’ shape.

Handrail:

A rail at the side of a staircase, serving as a support or a guide.

Landing:

A platform or wider step, connecting two flights of stairs or at the end of the stairway.

Mortise:

A deep recess, notch, hole, lot, or groove cut into wood that you insert another piece into. Mortises hold treads, often cut into stringers on closed staircases.

Newel:

Another important custom stair builder part, as this supports the balustrade system. Newels are larger than balusters. Usually, it is placed at the top and the bottom of the staircase, or at a turn in the handrail.

Nosing:

Protruding beyond the edge of the vertical riser beneath it, a nosing is the front edge of a stair’s tread.

Open/closed staircase:

Differences between an open and closed staircase are obvious. If you see the steps from the sides, including the nosing of the tread, and riser, it is an open staircase. If you see that the steps are enclosed, it is a closed staircase.

Over-the-post:

This is another style a custom stair builder can do for your staircase. This staircase has its handrail run over the top of newels or posts. This is complicated to install.

Post-to-post:

A variation of custom staircase where the railings connect to the side of the posts or newels. Custom stair builders use this because it’s the simplest and most inexpensive way to join railings.

Rake:

The pitch or angle of the staircase and handrail.

Riser:

The vertical part of a step.

Rosette:

A decorative piece of wood attached at the end of the handrail where it meets the wall.

Run:

The horizontal dimension of a step, from one riser to the next, excluding the tread nose. The length of all treads combined is called the total run.

Shoe rail:

Found above the steps, it’s a rail that is parallel to the handrail at the foot level. Balusters are anchored in the shoe rail, instead of the usual tread.

Skirt board:

It provides the trim. A skirt board runs along the wall at foot level on the stairs.

Stringer:

Open and close staircases have different stringers. An open staircase has its stringer cut, while a closed staircase has its treads routed to the side. A stringer is found on the sides of the steps, supporting the treads and risers.

Tread:

The horizontal part of a stair, or step.

Turnout:

Turnouts are used at the start of an over-the-post staircase. A turnout is a handrail that sits on top of a newel that turns away from the stair.

Volute:

Volutes are used at the start of an over-the-post staircase. A volute is a handrail sits on top of a newel and spirals in on itself.

The Role of Stair Railing Parts in Home Design

A stair railing system is not only considered a safety feature in homes, but also a decorative feature. From architects to homeowners, more and more people are showing much appreciation on the overall design impact stair railings can contribute to a home. iStairs understands that railing design can ultimately bring a sense of stylishness to any home. For any interior motif, iStairs can provide the perfect stair railing to match.

Whether building a new stair railing, replacing an old one, or simply making repairs to your trusted hand rails, it is important to know what the different stair railing parts and their functions are so that the next time you are thinking about changing your handrails you will be ready. Whatever staircase style- from the traditional to the unusual, stair-railing parts have the same name everywhere in the world.

Handrail
This is the most recognizable of all stair railing parts. Its strong aesthetic value matches its importance when it comes to safety. It simply prevents you from falling and provides support when going up and down a flight of stairs. Metal and wood are the standard types but more people are now using glass handrails too. Handrails are usually built in one piece, and this makes up the biggest section in the system.

Baluster
This provides support for the handrail as it holds it in place. It runs from the top of the stairs to the bottom of the handrail. The design for this spoke-looking part varies from the simple, functional ones to the more elaborate, twisted ones. Some balusters are carved or molded with design.

Newel Post
This is the sturdy, thick post located at the bottom of the stairs. Typically coming in round or square, there is a wide range of styles and designs to choose from. Providing a strong visual quality, newel posts usually become the accent piece in the railing system.

Finial
The ornamental topper on the newel post is the finial. This is screwed on top of the newel. Usually round or square but there are also other options for more elaborate ones. A wood worker can also craft a custom, one-of-a-kind finial for you.

Tread
The edge of thread is where the stair railings rest. This is the flat part you step on to go through the flight of stairs. Durability is one of its main qualities.

iStairs can assist you in all your stair railing needs. You can find the piece to accentuate your home. Custom stair parts are also available. Whether you want to go for the rustic charm of wood or the flair that can only come from metal, stair railing parts will elevate the typical, functional element of the staircase to a work of art. A great architectural tip is to combine materials like glass and metal. It is also a good idea to assess the surroundings of where it will be installed and to work with the design elements around it.

Just like any other feature of your home, every element can be a reflection of your style.

 

Turned Wood Balusters

Balusters, spindle, columns, or stair sticks – whatever you like to call them – can make your staircases look more elegant. Sure, most balusters nowadays are made from metal or stone with eccentric patterns, but nothing can beat the exquisiteness of expertly-crafted turned wooden balusters!

Balusters add more grandeur to staircases. In Sacramento, iStairs provide custom stairs and parts that can top off the staircase you already have at home! As a stair company that has been on business for years in Sacramento, we can provide just about any baluster profile, including the famous turned wood baluster!

Wooden Balusters, unlike steel and ceramic ones, can be easily fashioned which means that it is easier for artists to craft wonders for the surroundings of your staircase.

Wooden balusters come in different designs like rope twist, barley twist, hollow twist, fluted, reeded, tapered, octagonal, square, straight tapered, round, and many more. If the style you aspire is in our gallery, then we will twist, turn, and carve to your satisfaction. The iStairs Sacramento Stair Company will work with you to make your wooden baluster design a reality.

As a Sacramento stairs provider, we know the importance of supplying quality staircases and parts; you can trust us with all your staircase needs – baluster, threads, and all. But if you already have a staircase, and you just want to make it more attractive, then we will make certain to compliment your already beautifully made staircase with a striking balustrade, resulting in a beautiful set of steps that will make your house a visual delight!

We will also make sure that your turned wooden balusters will last for a long time with little maintenance. If you want to make sure that your entire staircase project is in the right hands, contact the best Sacramento stair company, iStairs, for all your staircase needs!

About Spiral Stairs

Spiral stairs were made famous during medieval times, and were great additions to castles in the Middle Ages. Nowadays, you can spot these medieval relics on homes and public buildings, but what is a spiral staircase anyway?

Spiral stairs are a type of stairway that winds around a newel, or commonly known as a central pole. Spiral stairways do not take up much space due to its form, and are mostly used in homes with limited spaces. They are also visually appealing due to the innovations brought about by technology—making it possible to have your own spiral staircase with the material of your choosing.

In medieval times, spiral stairs were made out of stone, and were rounded up in a clockwise direction in the viewpoint of the ascender. Nowadays, spiral staircases are made with wood and metal balusters. Here at iStairs, we offer custom built wood spiral stair kits and a wide range of baluster materials to select from.

iStairs is a Sacramento stair company that’s dedicated to providing the county of Sacramento stairs, rails, balusters, and even rail remodeling. We are experts in dealing with custom staircases and spiral stairs.

Your satisfaction is our goal, and we strive to create custom staircases that meets your needs and specifications. We cannot deny the benefits of having a spiral staircase in your home. Not only does it save space, but it’s elegance will spark interest that can even add value to your home!

Let the number one Sacramento stair company build the spiral stairs of your dreams! Check out our Bid Request or contact us through this page!