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Baluster-Balustrade-Railing-Installation-Guide

Installing your Balustrade System
Baluster Installation

Using the baluster span and product worksheet determine the product that you require.

 

Step 1: Newel Post Placement:

installing baluster imagePlace the newel posts in the proper locations based on the span charts provided. Mark the inside edge of the posts and then remove them. Calculate 1/2 the width, of the newel post and mark from the inside edge line of the newel post position outwards. This marks the spot where the newel post hardware will need to be installed.

DO NOT SECURE NEWEL POST BEFORE INSTALLING ANGLE BRACKETS TO NEWEL POST AS SHOWN IN STEP 2.

 

 

 


Step 2: Securing angle brackets to the newel posts:

newel post mounting imageDetermine the placement of your top rail and bottom rail.The information you will need to do this is:

- Height of baluster (not including pipe)

- Height of the bottom rail

- Distance of bottom rail from the substrate (surface).

Locate the following components from your hardware kit:

- Aluminum angles (4 per newel post)

- 1/4" Hex Head Bolt (x8) or 1/4" threaded rod (x4)

- 1/4" Hex Head Nut (x8)

- Lock washers (x8)

Mark the position of the aluminum angle on the face of the newel post. Keep in mind that the angles mount to the underside of the rails. Drill (4) four 1/4" dia. holes in the locations where the brackets are to be mounted. Be sure the holes pass through the uPVC pipe of the newel post. Secure the brackets to the newel post as indicated in the diagram with bolts, washers and nuts provided in the hardware kit.


Step 3: Preparing the baluster rails:

It is important that the rails are assembled with the proper surfaces facing up and down according to the product drawings. The number of balusters required for each span of balustrade is determined using The National Building Codes 4" ball rule.

Determining the baluster spacing: 
Check the product drawings to determine the "on-center" (o/c) spacing for the balusters you have chosen. (this is the distance from the center of one baluster to the center of the next). Multiply the number of balusters minus one (1) by the on-center spacing to determine the total space between the newel posts occupied by balusters.

As an example, for the BE polyurethane balustrade system which is Baluster BEBAL-22 or BEBAL-27
- The on-center spacing is  6 5/8" (6.67")
- The BE Span Chart for 10 feet (120 inches) between newel posts is 17 balusters.
- So . . . (17-1)x6.67= 106.7" this is our "Calculated Span".

Drilling the first hole for your balusters: 
Center the "Calculated Span" determined at above (106.7") on the bottom rail and make a mark at each end of that span. then starting at one end, make a mark at each on-center increment (6 5/8"). You should have the same number of marks as balusters. If not, re-calculate. Be sure the distance between the end of the rail and the first mark is less than the on-center dimension. This is to ensure that the 4" ball rule applies to the end baluster.
i.e. 120 (span) - 106.7" (balusters)= 13.3 / 2 (two ends) =6.65" Therefore, your first baluster is centered is 6.65" from the newel post. Check the drawings for the diameter of the pipe on the end of the balusters or measure it from one of the balusters. Bore out a hole of the corresponding diameter to a depth of 1 1/2. Remove any excess product from the hole.  Repeat this procedure for the underside of the top rail.


Step 4: Attaching the Balusters to the Rails:

conecting baluster and railing imageUse a heavy duty construction adhesive (PL Premium or a like polyurethane adhesive is recommended).

The Adhesive must be appalled to all contact surfaces.

Apply a generous bead of adhesive such that it will spread across the entire contact surface.

Place balusters into holes on bottom rail and ensure they are turned straight.

Lay the top rail over the balusters, line up the balusters to the holes and drop into place.

Use a rubber mallet to tap the top rail down to ensure a tight fit. Toe-nailing balusters to rails is also acceptable.

Patch with an interior/exterior non-shrinking spackle or bondo. It is recommended that the rail-baluster assembly be clamped together during the adhesive drying time. Cargo load straps work well. Follow adhesive manufacturer's recommended curing time and clean up procedures.


Step 5: Fitting the Baluster Railing to the Newel Post:
baluster and newel post imageThis example is made for the bottom rail resting on the substrate or lower surface. If spacer blocks are being used, be sure and make adjustments in height where the top and bottom baluster rails will meet with the newel post.
"Toe-nail" the railings to the newel posts with 3" wood screws (not included). Then use a minimum of four screws (two per side) to secure the rails. Patch any holes with a non shrinking spackle or bondo.
For baluster installation where the bottom rail is raised up above the substrate: Mount the rail-baluster assembly onto the brackets secured on the newel post. Then use the 2 1/2" screws supplied to mount the baluster railing to the newel post (eight screws per newel post), securing the rails to the angled brackets. To keep within the standard four inch sphere rule, the bottom rail must not be mounted with a space in excess of four inches above the substrate


Step 6: Securing the Newel Post:
. . .to concrete substrate:
Set your balustrade railing system in place and mark all of the edges of the newel posts on the substrate. Move the railing system aside and mark the center of the newel posts on the substrate. Using a 7/8" diameter drill bit, drill a hole 2 1/4" deep into the substrate for each newel post. Use a hammer to drop the substrate anchors into each hole. Move the railing system back into place over the anchors. Place the 1/2" threaded rod into each newel post and thread it into the anchor about 1". Slide the top tie down bracket over the threaded rod and position the bracket in the pre-cut newel post grooves so that the top of the bracket is flush with the top of the newel post (see illustration). Secure this assembly with the 1/2" lock washer and nut.
. . . to other substrate materials:
Set your balustrade railing system in place and mark as per the above directions. Center the round bottom mounting plate on the substrate and mark the four pre-drilled holes for plate attachment. Using a 3/16" diameter drill bit, drill 4 pilot holes into the substrate for each mounting plate and each newel post. Secure the bottom mounting plate with the provided threaded lag bolts. Move the railing system back into place over the anchors. Place the 1/2" threaded rod into each newel post and thread it into the factory applied nut on the mounting plate. Complete the top assembly as per the above directions.


  baluster newel post tie down image  

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