How to Pick the Right DIY Handrail Kit

DIY handrail kits have become increasingly popular among homeowners, as they offer a simple, cost-effective solution for improving the safety and accessibility of outdoor and indoor spaces.

However, not all DIY handrail kits are created equal. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind to ensure that you are getting a safe, durable and effective DIY handrail once it’s all installed. So let’s explore some of those considerations, including what makes a good DIY handrail kit, what to avoid, and the best fasteners for securing your handrail.

Things to Look For in a DIY Handrail Kit

The first and most important aspect of a good DIY handrail kit is that it should be fully assembled and welded.

This may seem counterintuitive for it to already be assembled if it’s a “DIY” handrail kit. However, that’s not the case at all.

A fully assembled DIY handrail kit should arrive at your doorstep already put together, but it’s still up to you to install it. Fully assembled DIY handrail kits save time and are much safer. Professionally welded DIY handrail kits provide superior strength and durability, ensuring that your handrail will last for years to come.

Another important factor to consider is the material used to construct the handrail. The best DIY handrail kits are made from high-quality materials such as steel or wrought iron. These materials are strong, sturdy, and able to withstand the elements, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor handrails. Steel and wrought iron handrails also offer a classic, timeless aesthetic that will never go out of style.

What to Avoid With DIY Handrail Kits

DIY Handrail is proud to offer some of the highest-quality and longest-lasting DIY handrail kits on the market, but you should also know about some that should be avoided.

For example, kits that contain many parts that must be fitted together onsite should be avoided. These types of kits can be difficult and time-consuming to assemble, and may require specialized tools that you may not have on hand. Again, the highest-quality kits will be welded and fully-assembled DIY handrail kits.

It’s also important to avoid DIY handrail kits made from inferior materials. Thin, weak, aluminum handrails may be cheaper, but they simply won’t hold up over time. Aluminum is prone to bending, denting, and warping, and may not be able to support the weight of an adult in the event of a fall.

Choose the Right Fasteners for your DIY Handrail Kit

Once you’ve selected the perfect DIY handrail kit for your needs, it’s important to choose the best fasteners for securing your handrail in place. There are several types of fasteners to choose from, including screws, bolts, and anchors.

Our preferred fasteners are screws.  If installed properly, screws have a very high holding strength and present very little risk of damaging your stairs.  The material composition of your stairs will determine the length of screw and installation method.

The most common stair material to install handrails onto is concrete.  We suggest 5/16” diameter x 2¼” long masonry screw fasteners for concrete.  Masonry screws require the installer to drill a ¼” pilot hole to drive the screw fastener into.  Our fastener kits will include (8) masonry screw fasteners, a pilot hole drill bit and a 5/16” hex bit to drive the fasteners in.  We suggest drilling your pilot hole to 2½” deep, removing all dust and debris prior to driving the fastener into the pilot hole.

Brick & pavers are another common stair material to install handrails onto.  For brick and paver applications, we suggest 5/16” diameter x 5” long masonry screw fasteners.  The extra length of the fastener allows the fastener to extend through the brick or paver and into the underlying masonry substrate.  The installation process is identical to the concrete fasteners other than the extra length of drill bit and fastener.

Drilling a pilot hole in most masonry is not difficult and can be accomplished in most cases with a corded or battery drill.  It is preferred to use a drill with a hammering function to make the job easier.  It isn’t necessary to force the drill bit.  Let the bit do the work.  It is advisable to keep the drill bit as cool as possible by dipping it in water occasionally or letting your garden hose trickle onto the location while drilling.  Once your pilot hole is completed, clean any dust and debris with compressed air, water or vacuum.

To drive the fastener in, it is preferred to use an impact driver and the supplied driver bit.  If an impact driver is not available, the fasteners can be driving in with a ratchet and 5/16” socket.  If using a ratchet to drive the fastener in, you may need to twist the fastener in until resistance is felt and reverse the fastener back out.  Then drive it back in again until resistance is felt.  Repeat this process until the fastener is fully embedded.

Wood steps are another type of stair material which handrails can be installed into.  For wood steps, it is suggested to position the handrail to align over the stair stringers or over any back blocking that has been installed with the stairs.  Our wood fasteners are 5/16” diameter and 3¼” long.  For harder wood species such as oak, redwood, ash, etc. it is recommended to drill a ⅛” pilot hole to help prevent the wood from splitting.  Softer wood such as pine, fir & composite should not require a pilot hole.

In regards to other fastener types, there are many options available.  Please refer to the manufacturer’s installation recommendations and warnings prior to using any fastener.  Through our years of experience, we prefer screw fasteners over any kind of expansion anchors.  We have found that expansion anchors sustain a lateral force on your stair material which may result in the stair material cracking over time.

If your handrail will be installed in areas prone to freeze & thaw, an added safeguard of using silicone sealant on the fasteners is an option to prolong your stair materials structural makeup.

DIY Handrail Has You Covered

A good DIY handrail kit should be fully assembled and welded, made from high-quality materials, and should be easy to install using the right fasteners. Check those boxes and you can ensure that your DIY handrail kit provides the safety and accessibility you need, while also adding a touch of style to your indoor or outdoor space.

Of course, if you want some help finding the right DIY handrail kit for your needs, or determining the right fit of materials and fasteners, you can talk to the specialists at DIY Handrail. You can request a mockup to ensure we have the kit you’re looking for, and can help you ensure that it perfectly meets your needs in both function and quality.
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How to Install a Handrail on Concrete

At DIY Handrail, our mission is to provide people with quality iron handrails that they can install on their own. So, whether you’re replacing an old wobbly railing or installing one for the very first time, our complete guide will teach you how to install a handrail on concrete.

  • How to Install a Level Handrail on Concrete
  • How to Install a Handrail on Concrete Steps
  • How to Install a Handrail on a Concrete Wall

How to Install a Level Handrail on Concrete

Quality iron handrails for porches increase a property’s safety and curb appeal. Level handrails are the easiest to install and can be done by a single person with common household tools. If you’re still unsure after reading this guide, check out our more detailed guide on how to install a level handrail on concrete.

  • Order Custom Level Handrail
  • Place Rail in Position
  • Drill Holes in Concrete
  • Fasten Railing
  • Check Plumb & Adjust
  • Install Escutcheons & Post Caps

Order Custom Level Handrail

Purchasing a handrail is the first step in the installation process. Our online store has quality iron handrails in many lengths to meet your needs.

Place Rail in Position

Place the assembled handrail into position, ensuring the mounting brackets are a minimum of two inches away from the edge of the concrete. If the brackets are any less than two inches from the edge, you run the risk of cracking the concrete during the next step.

Drill Holes in Concrete

Once the handrail is in place, you need to use the provided masonry drill bit and hammer drill to drill through the holes on the mounting bracket into the concrete. Masonry bits are specifically made for concrete, brick and pavers. They provide a cleaner cut and go through the concrete much quicker than a regular drill bit.  Be certain to keep your drill bit relatively cool while drilling.  This can be accomplished by dipping it in water while drilling

Fasten Railing

With the holes drilled, you can fasten the railing to the concrete. A kit from DIY Handrail includes the appropriate fasteners. If yours doesn’t come with fasteners and you’re not sure which ones you need, this page can help.  For concrete, 2¼” x 5/16” screw fasteners are recommended.  For brick and pavers it is recommended to use the 5” x 5/16” to reach beyond the brick or paver and into the masonry substrate.  It is advised to use an impact driver to drive the fasteners into the masonry.

Check Plumb & Adjust

After you mount the rail to concrete, use a level on every side to ensure the handrail is plumb. If the handrail isn’t level, you need to loosen the fasteners and slide the appropriate amount of washer under the bracket until it is. Once level, refasten the fasteners.

Install Escutcheons & Post Caps

The final step is purely aesthetic and will leave you with a beautiful seamless handrail. Install the provided escutcheons around the mounting brackets and post caps on the top of the rails.

How to Install a Handrail on Concrete Steps

Handrails for concrete steps improve the look and safety of a property. The installation process is similar to level handrails. For additional help, you can find a more detailed guide here.

  • Order Custom Handrail for Steps
  • Place Rail in Position
  • Drill Holes in Concrete
  • Fasten Railing to Concrete
  • Check Plumb & Adjust
  • Install Escutcheons

Order Custom Handrail for Steps

There are several places to purchase custom handrails for steps, but none of them provide the same level of quality as DIY Handrails. Order yours today.

Place Rail in Position

The first step is to place your handrail in the desired position. Make sure the mounting brackets are a minimum of two inches from the edge of the steps to prevent costly damage to the concrete.

Drill Holes in Concrete

Once the handrail is in the desired position, drill through the holes in the mounting brackets with a drill and masonry bit. Make sure you drill the holes at a depth of three inches for concrete and six inches for brick to ensure a secure fastening.

Fasten Railing to Concrete

Use the fasteners included with your DIY Handrail to fasten it to the steps. If you purchased a handrail from somewhere else and it didn’t come with fasteners, this page will help you find the right ones.

Check Plumb & Adjust

Use a level to check the plumb of the posts. If the handrail is unlevel, loosen the mounting brackets and insert washers until it reads level. Once the railing is level, refasten the brackets to the steps.

Install Escutcheons

Install the escutcheons around the mounting brackets for a completed look that conceals the fasteners.

How to Install a Handrail on a Concrete Wall

Wall-mounted handrails may take a little longer to install than other styles, but many people think they look better. Another benefit is they don’t take up any space, which makes them a great option in limited-space scenarios. Check out our detailed guide for more information on installing wall-mounted handrails.

  • Order Custom Wall-Mounted Handrail
  • Determine Handrail Height
  • Determine Stud Location
  • Mount Anchors to Studs
  • Mount Handrail

Order Custom Wall-Mounted Handrail

Wall-mounted handrails are a space-saving way to provide safety and improve the look of exterior stairs. We offer small and large wall handrails to fit your specific needs.

Determine Handrail Height

The first step is determining how high you want your handrail. Most wall handrails are mounted at the height of 36”. It is important to note that the handrail will sit a few inches higher than the anchors, so you need to account for that. Measure from the top and bottom stairs and make a mark on the wall. Connect the two marks with a diagonal line using a long straight edge or level.

Determine Stud Location

For a securely mounted handrail, you need to mount the anchors into a stud. Find the studs in the wall and mark where the diagonal line crosses the stud. Make two marks, one close to the top stair and one close to the bottom.

Mount Anchors to Studs

With the studs marked, you need to mount the wall anchors provided in your kit to the wall. It may help to leave them a little loose so you can make any needed adjustments during the next step with ease.

Mount Handrail

With the wall anchors in place, you can mount the handrail with the self-tapping screws provided in your kit. If you purchased your handrail from somewhere else, you might need to purchase self-tapping screws from a local hardware store.

The Benefits of Wrought Iron Railing

We believe in the benefits of wrought iron railing, which is why we have been in the business for more than 75 years. Wrought iron railing has been used for hundreds of years because it has key advantages over other railing materials, and offers property owners several benefits. We understand the benefits of wrought iron railing better than most people, and after reading this, we hope you will too.

If you have any additional questions about DIY Handrail and our premium wrought iron railing products, please contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members.

Wrought Iron Railing Adds Safety and Value to Your Property

Many building codes require installing some type of railing for stairs, decks, and other elevated structures. Even if your particular building code does not require rail installations, installing them may still be a good idea.

Wrought iron railing is a fantastic choice for porch, deck, patio, and stair railing because it keeps you, your family, and guests safe from accidental falls. In addition to the safety aspect, or perhaps because of it, wrought iron railing increases the property’s value and makes it more appealing to potential buyers.

Whether you plan on living in your house for the rest of your life or you’re looking to sell, installing a wrought iron handrail can benefit you and your property.

Wrought Iron is Durable

One of the primary appeals of wrought iron railing is its incredible durability. Our wrought iron handrails feature a stainless steel mounting system.  Stainless steel mounting is far superior to any other mounting material as it is rust proof and exceptionally rigid.

Iron Railing Adds Curb Appeal

Your new wrought iron railing will improve your home’s curb appeal and have all your neighbors looking on with envy. We offer Newel, Arch, and Picket style handrails so you can find the perfect look to compliment the rest of your property.

Wrought Iron is Customizable

Another appeal of wrought iron railing is the customizability factor. Not very many things that are as durable as wrought iron can also be customized. Wrought iron, on the other hand, will last for decades and can be customized to fit the design plans of any property owner.

Wrought Iron Railing is Low Maintenance

Our wrought iron railing requires little to no routine maintenance. We use high-quality materials that make our products resistant to the natural wear and tear inferior products sustain. As long as you wipe or spray your wrought iron handrails from time to time, they will remain in good shape.

After a significant period of time, your wrought iron handrails may become faded or slightly discolored. When this happens, a quick coat of paint will get them looking as good as new.

Get Your DIY Handrail Today

Nobody knows wrought iron railing better than DIY Handrail. We have been making premium wrought iron products for over 75 years and continue to deliver exceptional products to customers across the nation. If you are in the market for a superior wrought iron handrail, DIY Handrail is the easiest and most affordable option out there. Check out our wide selection of made-to-order handrails. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to contact us.