How to Replace Wood Stair Spindles or Balusters with Wrought Iron

wssphoto courtesy of Crown Molding flickr.com/photos/crown_molding/6496529799/Upgrading your basic wood stair spindles, which are also called balusters, will give your home a more custom look.  See the steps below for how to replace your wood stair spindles with wrought iron.

1)  Visit a stair spindle showroom or look online to select new wrought iron spindles. Make sure you have a sketch or photo of your staircase showing the location of all of your spindles. You can count the number of spindles you are going to replace in order to get a rough estimate of cost. Wrought iron spindles come in different colors and designs to compliment most any decor.  The most popular designs include the S scroll, basket, and straight. For a more interesting and more custom looking staircase, use a combination of several designs to create your own unique pattern.  Make sure to purchase shoes for all of your new spindles. Shoes come in different shapes depending on where they are located along your staircase, so make sure you purchase the correct ones in the finish to match your spindles.

2)  Once you have your new wrought iron spindles, you need to remove the existing spindles. Cut each spindle only 3/4 through around the middle to prevent the stair spindle from falling out. Once a section is cut, grab at the cut point and pull it towards you.

3)  Remove all of the unnecessary nails using pliers and discard the broken stair spindles.

4)  Measure the space between the hand rail and the floor for each new spindle individually, then add 1" to 1-1/4" to each measurement. Cut the bottom of each spindle to the correct length.

5)  Put the new wrought iron spindle in the hole of the old spindle by putting the top of the spindle in the hole first, then add a shoe to the bottom.

6)  Glue the top and bottom of the new wrought iron spindles and shoes using epoxy.

Confirm these installation instructions with your stair spindles manufacturer since all products are different and yours might require a slightly different installation.  Check your local codes to make sure the distance between your stair spindles meets current requirements.

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