Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Replace Round Wooden Balusters With Iron Balusters

Replace your wooden balusters with iron for a new staircase appearance.

Update your traditional wooden staircases by replacing the round wooden balusters with iron. Iron balusters can change the entire look of the stairway without lessening its strength. With a large range of design types, you can even mix and match the iron replacements, allowing you to customize the look of your staircase so that it not only goes well with your decor, but also serves as a conversation piece. Removal of the old wooden balusters is destructive, but much of the work of the new installation is already completed by the original wooden baluster installers. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Cut the wooden baluster in half using a jigsaw. Pull both halves from their placement in the railing and the stair tread using your hands. Remove any nails that secured the baluster in place using the claw end of a claw hammer or a small pry bar if the baluster halves fail to move easily. Fill the nail holes with wood putty the same color as the wood surrounding the holes.

2. Measure the height between the stair tread and the bottom of the stair rail and add 1 3/8 inch to the measurement as the length needed for the iron baluster.

3. Cut the iron baluster to the measured length with the jigsaw, making the cut at the bottom of the baluster. The top of many iron balusters contain a turned section that enables you to install the baluster into the railing without a shoe, and as such should remain untouched. The shoe is a decorative metal piece that surrounds the end of the baluster to conceal the point of connection between the baluster and the rail or stair tread.

4. Modify the holes in the railing and the stair tread to fit the iron baluster. Drill in the holes used for the wooden baluster with a 5/8-inch drill bit, creating a depth of 11/16 inch in the tread and 1 ½ inches in the railing.

5. Fit the cut baluster in place by sliding the bar into the rail to the full depth of the hole and then lowering the baluster down into the tread hole. Make any adjustments to the holes necessary to ensure proper fit and then remove the baluster.

6. Slip the baluster shoe onto the baluster. The shoe will sit around the base of the baluster and covers the hole and the epoxy holding the baluster in place.

7. Mix the two-part epoxy until it forms a putty. Place enough epoxy into the railing and tread holes to hold the baluster steady, and then place the baluster into the holes. Wipe any excess epoxy from the stair tread, railing or iron baluster with a cloth. Place masking tape around the top of the baluster to prevent epoxy from dripping down the length of the iron. Allow the epoxy to set for the time suggested by the epoxy manufacturer.

8. Remove the masking tape and place the shoe at the base of the baluster against the tread. Secure the base into place by using the drill to place two 1 5/8-inch wood screws through the holes to either side of the base into the tread. If the shoe is not made to be screwed into the floor, secure it to the floor using epoxy.

Tags: stair tread, iron baluster, baluster place, wooden baluster, wooden balusters, baluster into