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Installation Instructions >>

Balustrade Installation Instructions

newel post

1. Placement of the Newel Posts

Place newel posts in the desired locations. Mark the outside edges of the posts and remove. Calculate 1/2 the width of the newel post and mark from the outside edge line of the newel post position. This marks the center where the newel post hardware needs to be installed.

A rail section can never be fastened to another rail section. Rail section must be fastened to a newel posts or structural member.

2. Mortise out the top and bottom rail

Before final attachment of the top angle brackets to the Newel Post (Figure 1-a). Mortise out the depth of the bracket out of the top rail.

Before final attachment of the bottom angle brackets to the Newel Post (Figure 1-b). Mortise out the depth of the bracket out of the bottom rail. Using the nut on the bottom bracket mark the bottom rail at this location. Drill a 1 1/4" hole completely into the pvc pipe of the bottom rail and than counter sink the hole for the height of the nut.

3. Securing Angle Brackets to Newel Posts

The information you will need to do this is:
* Height of baluster (not including pipe)
* Height of bottom rail
* Distance of bottom rail from substrate (Floor).

Locate the following components from the hardware kit:
* Aluminum angles (2 per newel post)
* 1/4" Hex Head Bolt (x8)
* 1/4" Hex Head Nut (x8)
* Lock washers (x8)

A: Determine the placement of your bottom rail.

Option 1: If your bottom rail will be attached to the substrate (floor), you do not need to recess and attach the bottom rail support bracket. Proceed and attach the top bracket as outlined Step B and C.

Option 2: If your bottom rail will be above the substrate (floor), it must be less than 4".

Step A - Determine your bottom rail height, and mark that height on to the Newel Post. than attach the bottom angle bracket as outlined in Step C.

Step B - than using your baluster height (not including pipe) plus the height of your bottom rail, mark and install the top rail support bracket as outlined in Step C below.

Step C - Attaching the angle brackets
Mark and trace the position of the aluminum angle on the face of the newel post. Keep in mind that the angles mount to the under side of the rails. Mark and trace the brackets on the Newel Post. Using a chisel or knife, mortise out the area to the depth of bracket. This will recess the bracket into the Post. Drill (4) four 1/4" dia. holes in the locations where the brackets are to be mounted. Be sure the holes pass through the PVC pipe of the newel post. Secure the brackets to the newel post as indicated in Figure 1 with bolts, washers and nuts provided in the hardware kit.

4. Preparing the Rails

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

How Do I Determine the Spacing of My Balusters?

* Check with product drawings to determine the "on-center" (o/c) spacing for the balusters you have chosen.

* To determine proper baluster spacing, divide the length of your rail by the center to center spacing of the chosen baluster. This will equal the number of baluster required (always round your calculation down to nearest number)

Example: for a 10ft Newel Post Span using Baluster AB7022
On Center Spacing = 6 5/8"
120"-=- 65/8"= 18.11
Therefore this section of rail requires 18 balusters to meet the requirements of the "four inch ball rule".

How Do I Know Where To Make the First Hole?

* Starting with the bottom rail, take your desired rail section and find the center point of the railing. Mark this point. This is the center baluster of your rail section. Using the "on-center" spacing for the baluster that you chose (eg. AB7022 is 6 5/8") mark the center point for the remaining balusters on the rail section. When the bottom rail is marked repeat the same process for your top rail section.

* Double check the center spacing to make sure your locations are correct! When you have checked the dimensions and locations proceed to the next step.

* Check the diameter of the pipe on the end of the balusters. Bore out a hole of the corresponding diameter to a depth of 1 1/2". Make sure the pipe on the baluster extends through the inner PVC pipe of the railing. Remove any excess product from the hole.

* Repeat this procedure for the underside of the top rail.

5. Attaching Balusters to Rails

When installing balusters to top and bottom rail, use "coarse A" sandpaper or a steel brush to remove paint from the top and bottom of the baluster and the rail area that the baluster is being attached to. Apply a bead of polyurethane adhesive (PL Premium™) to all contact surfaces and allow to set according to manufacturers instructions. 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 the rails is also acceptable. It is recommended that the rail-baluster assembly be clamped together during the adhesive drying time (minimum 24 hours). Cargo load straps work well, use cardboard or other materials to protect the top and bottom rails while tightening. Follow adhesive manufacturer's recommended curing time and clean up procedures. When the section is strapped together, you can patch nail holes with an interior/ exterior vinyl spackling compound.

6. Securing Newel Post to Substrate (Floor)

* Go to your placement markings, fix the metal piece (containing the four holes and the welded 1/2" nut to it) by the four 5/16"dia. screws as shown.

* Insert the threaded 1/2" rod to the 1/2" nut.

* Insert the Newel Post

* Apply a bead of PL Premium adhesive around the bottom of each Newel Post.

* Insert the U-shape angle to the threaded l/2"rod at the top of the Newel Post and hand fasten with the 7/8" washer and 1/2" nut. The objective is to fasten but not firmly anchor the Post so that when you attach the rail assembly you are sure it fits before final tightening.

* Once installed the steel rod can be cut off or it can be used as an additional support when installing a decorative ornament (ball / urn) on top of the post cap.

7. Mount Rail Assembly to Newel Post

Bottom Rail Resting on Substrate

Step A - Bottom Hardware for this application is not required. Apply adhesive and "Toe-nail" with 3" wood screws to newel post (screws not included). Use a minimum of 4 screws (2 per side). Patch with an interior/exterior vinyl spackling or bondo.

Step B - than use the 2" self tapping screws and adhesive to secure the top rail to the angle bracket and Post.

Bottom Rail Raised Above the Substrate (Floor)

Step A - Mount the rail-baluster assembly onto the brackets secured to the newel post. Use the 1 1/4" hex hed bolt and adhesive on the bottom rail to secure the rails to the angle brackets and Post.

Step B -than use the 2" self tapping screws and adhesive to secure the top rail to the angle bracket and Post.

8. Decorative Caps and Balls

To install the decorative caps and/or balls you have chosen for the top of the newel post, apply adhesive to all contact surfaces of the cap and newel post. Center the cap on the post and apply. Screws may be used to secure the cap to the post although the adhesive is strong enough to bond permanently

9. Support Blocks Under Bottom Rail

In order to ensure the stability and integrity of the balustrade system, we recommend any rail section between two structural members with a span of more than 96", to be installed with the use of a support block. Support blocks should be placed in the center of the rail section spaning the structural members when required. Anchor the support blocks to the substrate and the bottom rail by toe-nailing them and using PL Premium™ adhesive.

10. Finishing

Caulk all balusters and rails as desired with a high quality flexible all weather sealant prior to painting. All Architectural Ornament products are supplied with a white double primed finish, ready for the customers applied finish topcoat. A high quality 100% acrylic paint should be used.