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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Question Installing Box Newel Posts on pre-fab stairs

    We are building a new house and have installed pre-fabricated stairs. We are ready to prep for the box newel installation before the wood flooring/stairs are finished and have hit a snag. We have been advised to use a "box newel mounting kit" to install 6-1/4" newel posts on the starter step and 5-1/2" newel posts on the landing. Using this system would keep us from having to cut a square into the step/landing area.

    When we looked at this system in detail, glue, pin nails and one lag bolt make up the strength and we aren't confident of sustained strength over time with daily use. Are these systems strong enough? If not, what is the best way to install a hollow centered box newels? We can't find any solid wood newel posts and were advised that they will warp/twist anyway since lumber isn't kiln dried like it used to be. We feel the newel post should be set down into the step for strength, but we don't know if our thinking is correct. We have access to the sub-floor from the crawl space on the start step, but not on the landing.

    Any advice you can offer will be helpful. Thank you.

    Note: The starter step shown on the attached photo link of our stairs was made too narrow. The pre-fab company is coming to correct the width so we can mount the newel posts off to the side as shown in the second photo link.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Northern Virginia

    Default Re: Installing Box Newel Posts on pre-fab stairs

    The way to do this "for the ages" is with threaded rod that is set into framing/blocking below, and bolted to a flat block inside the top of the newel that is well-fastened (best if dadoed in) so the tightening nut and washer sits on top just below the cap. The cap should be made so it's a press fit, or threads onto the top extension of the threaded stud, so it is removable for access to tighten the nut should the need arise. The compression member (rod) keeps it vertical and strong. Nails, glue, and lag bolts can become loose, the rod system is serviceable because the cap comes off for access.
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

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