Handrail Installation Into Slate Stairs
Slate is a beautiful natural product frequently used as a stair veneer. Slate is also prone to cracking unless the proper precautions are taken. When using a masonry screw fastener like the ones shown in our fastener section, you certainly want to get through the slate and into the masonry substrate below. If you are using a standard hammer drill, there is little risk of cracking it providing it is in good condition, properly attached to the substrate and so long as you stay away from the edges (3″ or more). If you believe it is at risk of cracking, you can turn off the hammer action until through the slate then engage the hammer action once into the substrate. I do not suggest using a roto hammer (ie Hilti) as that much hammer action puts the slate at risk. It is a good idea to enlarge the hole that is through the slate so the fastener threads do not engage the slate. Do that carefully so you do not enlarge the hole within the substrate. Try not to put too much lateral force on the slate while doing so. It is not recommended to use expanding fasteners like wedge anchors or sleeve anchors with any veneered masonry.