Staircase - replacing board with balusters

28 Feb 2020
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United Kingdom

I'm hoping to replace the board on my staircase with balusters. Questions are:

1. Is the handrail, base rail and newel post likely to be original?
2. Can I just insert balusters, fix with no more nails, and not remove the handrail?




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Not no more nails!!

you could just fit new balusters, using screws, but it will look cack.
I can't quite see from the photos but there should be a rebate in the base and in the top of the rails. In between each should be a fillet of wood as a spacer.
you need to look up the regs for spacing, as it's important to have a small gap - smaller than original. This is so a kid can't stick their head in the gap.

There are also options for using metal spindles - even (laminated) glass. Depends on the age of the house.
It might be possible to use a nail gun in place of screws . I would also use PVA glue.
Thanks! Right, I will avoid no more nails!

I was expecting to see some rebate too along the base and hand rail, but there is none (see image here). Makes me wonder if its not the original. Can I (or more likely a carpenter) create a rebate?

Noted about the gaps! Thanks



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Not all stairs have a rebate.
I think what I might do would be find a suitable spindle first.
Then figure out from there.

rather than make a rebate, you could either leave it as is ( possibly use extra nails/screws)
fix the spindles, centring them on the handrail. Then add a moulding on each side to contact the spindles, filling in the gaps between with fillets.

You're probably ok with no rebate/moulding. I think a lot of victorian ones were built that way? just ensure that someone taking a tumble can't burst through the spindles as they do in Wild West films.

Clean up what you have before adding spindles as it will be easier now than after
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Amazing, super helpful - thanks so much!!! I will get sanding!
If you put packers in-between the spindles, top and bottom and end cut at an angle to sit perpendicular to the style, this will also help to prevent them breaking out if someone falls against them. The beading that Tigercub suggested will also add to the stability.
Why not ’no more nails’? I’m about to put new spindles on my landing (builders didn’t meet building regs so I’ve taken out their work to add some more). Mine does have the rebate, so the spindles go in and the fillet spacers will be cut smaller. I was going to use no more nails to glue the fillet spacers…Any reason to use wood glue instead of no more nails? It’s what I’ve got and hoping not to make yet another trip to the hardware shop.

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