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  Changing the stairway to allow greater natural light in the hallway

 

Some stairways are covered in hardboard, which gives a different look to the hallway. By removing the hardboard, more light can be added to the hallway be using banisters instead. You could uncover a set of attractive spindles, which just require rubbing down and re-painting. There are many spindle designs available from traditional twists to modern designs in wood and some are available in metal. There are many designs on the market and if you have a stairway where some of the spindles need replacing, it should not be a problem matching it.


 
  Choosing the spindles

 

If you decide to start again and build the stair rail, there are regulations that govern the spacing of the spindles. The space between two adjacent spindles should be less than 100mm at any point. The step on the stairs, known as the tread should accommodate two spindles, while at the foot of the stairs, the first tread should allow for one spindle and the cut out for a newel post.


 
  Choosing the newel post

 

If you are replacing the existing newel post, the new one must be fixed in the same position. Depending on the newel post you buy, the fixings should be chosen to suit your post. Newel posts must be absolutely vertical and totally rigid.


 
  Fitting the baserail

 

Once the newel post is in position, fit the baserail. It is always wise to make a template giving the angle of the stairs or use a sliding bevel to measure the slope of the stairs, before cutting the baserail. Measure the length required and cut both ends. Mark the positions for the screws to coincide with the wood on the side of the steps. Use a drill to countersink the holes and then glue and screw the baserail into position.


 
  Fitting the handrail

 

Cut the handrail using the same angles as the baserail. The newel post selected will probably have fixings to connect the handrail to it. Make sure the handrail is parallel to the base rail before fixing the top end. Check the measurements between the handrail and baserail at the top and bottom of the stairs to check the spindles distance is equal and that the two lengths are indeed parallel, before fitting spindles.


 
  Fitting the spindles

 

The spindles need to be cut at an angle to fit vertically between the base and handrails. Cut the excess off both ends of the spindle, instead of just one end, to keep the detailed pattern on the spindle central. Take time measuring the first spindle accurately as that one can then be used as a template when cutting all the other spindles. Always check the spindle measurement in its position on the stairs before cutting further spindles.


 
  Fitting the spacers

 

Spacers or fillets are used to fill the spaces between each spindle under the handrail and above the baserail. Cut the spacers to fit between the spindles and pin or glue them into position. If your measurements are correct, you should be able to fit a spindle followed by a spacer, then the next spindle followed by a spacer and continue along the run.


 
  Quarter turns and landings

 

There are fittings available to allow for turning in the base and handrails when required, use matching newel and half newel posts (fix to the wall) to complete the run along the landing.


 
  Finishing

 

Use a fine glasspaper to smooth the surfaces. Take a damp cloth and wipe all sections to remove all traces of dust. You need to decide whether the stairs are going to be painted or stained and varnished. Consider the decoration of the wood surrounding the stair location. Is the skirting board painted or stained and vanished? Are the doors painted or stained and varnished. Try to visualise different finishes in relation to other furnishings before deciding on the best course of action.


 
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  Comments
SubjectPosted by Replies Posted at
Forum Topic Anti Slip products Storm414 9 05 Sep 07 at 12:42
Forum Topic stairs laceys 5 24 Jun 07 at 14:24
Forum Topic staircase amsim 2 23 Jun 07 at 10:41
Forum Topic Stair covering again - please help Endalaus 4 28 May 07 at 1:21
Forum Topic Move Staircase sideways joe91 0 13 May 07 at 15:37
Forum Topic Spindle repair SarahMc 1 18 Apr 07 at 13:59
Forum Topic Replacing handrail (Pictures now added) PaulMcG 5 11 Feb 07 at 10:59
Forum Topic Newel Posts RayW 0 16 Jan 07 at 11:59
Forum Topic Stair Fixings Shoutingman 14 03 Jan 07 at 17:06
Forum Topic painting stairs seanoge 0 08 Dec 06 at 21:42
Forum Topic squeaky stairs PASCHA 1 29 Nov 06 at 0:06
Forum Topic Painting new spindles Hwillsy 2 15 Nov 06 at 11:53
Forum Topic Removing Existing Banister/Handrail/Spindles vince365 1 30 Oct 06 at 12:43
Forum Topic removing old handrail martin3129 3 24 Oct 06 at 8:34
Forum Topic Removing Stair Spindles selrahc10 1 17 Oct 06 at 18:40
Forum Topic Newel post questions...HELP! angelboy 6 11 Oct 06 at 8:43
Forum Topic Nonslip basement stair covering Welpton 4 19 Sep 06 at 16:42
Forum Topic new stairs podkat 1 30 Aug 06 at 18:07
Forum Topic spindles deirdrewaite 1 28 Aug 06 at 14:18
Forum Topic Fitting A New Staircase - DIY MrGorsky 5 24 Jul 06 at 22:32
Forum Topic Stair carpet patches nikaye 0 05 Jul 06 at 9:17
Forum Topic Finish on new staircase sharonc 0 24 Jun 06 at 15:22
Forum Topic Under stair angled door? Godders46 2 04 May 06 at 17:38
Forum Topic quick and cheap please! supernanny1 0 01 May 06 at 9:32
Forum Topic Pinning spindles Fliss 4 09 Apr 06 at 10:22
Forum Topic stairs woodchip 1 28 Jan 06 at 0:11
Forum Topic Staircase Car 3 08 Jan 06 at 11:19
Forum Topic Opening up under the stairs diy79 8 17 Nov 05 at 13:04
Forum Topic New Stair Cost ljwazza 10 07 Sep 05 at 10:47
Forum Topic Steep stairs Penny L 1 04 Aug 05 at 15:31
Forum Topic Stairs - Covering Scotia 6 27 Jun 05 at 15:33
Forum Topic help on stairs chrisintx 0 28 Mar 05 at 0:41
Forum Topic painting stairwell doitmeself 3 04 Mar 05 at 10:57
Forum Topic Spiral Stairway booster 3 27 Feb 05 at 23:16
Forum Topic Broken Treads MEPEK 12 07 Dec 04 at 13:28
Forum Topic Understairs covering Pompey Pete 9 03 Nov 04 at 21:02
Forum Topic steep staircase kenlen 1 23 Oct 04 at 18:56
Forum Topic finishing walterv 2 19 Oct 04 at 3:45
Forum Topic stairs invisable 1 24 Sep 04 at 21:36
Forum Topic Wall Mounted Handrail Chris! 2 17 Sep 04 at 22:45
Forum Topic removing paint from staircase newtothis 3 03 Sep 04 at 14:35
Forum Topic Newel posts worthago 2 06 Jun 04 at 0:29
Forum Topic Staircase Smasher 2 23 Apr 04 at 16:39
Forum Topic stairs thebeginner 4 19 Apr 04 at 17:04
Forum Topic cmb CMB 2 15 Mar 04 at 23:11
Forum Topic Wooden staircase Lan 2 26 Feb 04 at 9:34
Forum Topic Stairs aaaaaa 1 22 Feb 04 at 16:46
Forum Topic stairs Dave123 3 12 Jan 04 at 9:53
Forum Topic Stairs (Tile) Oakley 1 03 Jan 04 at 17:45
Forum Topic change newel post richardren 1 23 Sep 03 at 16:33
Forum Topic Stairs Jo Hynes 4 26 Jun 03 at 16:02
Forum Topic Help! Stair tiles adriennedifalli 1 27 May 03 at 10:34
Forum Topic STAIRS SAMBRUTON 1 13 Jul 02 at 15:14
Forum Topic loose spindles Anonymous 1 20 Jun 02 at 20:49
Forum Topic Newel Posts Anonymous 2 28 Mar 02 at 13:07
Forum Topic Replacing stair carpet with hard covering Anonymous 7 18 Feb 02 at 13:33
Forum Topic stairway spindles Anonymous 3 14 Jan 02 at 1:33


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