Q:

What are some tips for installing a wooden handrail?

A:

Quick Answer

Extend the length of a wooden handrail by 4 inches on each side to give the user something to grasp when entering and exiting the stairs. Install the wooden handrail by using a carpenter's level to mark the height of the rail and the placement of the brackets before beginning the installation. Predrill holes to avoid splitting the wood.

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Full Answer

Measure the wall, and add 4 inches to this measurement to obtain the proper length for a wooden handrail. Determine the desired height of the wooden handrail, and mark this measurement on a carpenter's level. Hold the level plumb with the steps before transferring the mark to the wall. Move the level up two steps, and use it to make another mark. Connect the marks with a chalk line.

Locate the wall studs using a stud finder. Mark the intersection of each wall stud and the chalk line. Position a bracket over each intersection, using the level to align the top and bottom of the bracket. Drill pilot holes, and screw the bracket in place. Position the handrail in the brackets, and transfer the location of the bracket holes to the underside of the handrail. Remove the rail, and predrill the holes before final installation.

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