It’s one thing to decide on anchoring Newel posts to the foot of your stairs and another to know the right distance between individual posts.
As a DIY enthusiast, you must ensure that you achieve an aesthetically appealing staircase at the end of that project.
That’s why this information about the ideal spacing between Newel Posts will come in handy.
I’ll advise you to check the International Building Code for guidance on the acceptable distance between your newel posts. However, the ideal spacing between individual Newel posts should be about six feet apart if your deck is 4×4 inches. That becomes higher if you have a wider deck, say, 6×6 inches giving you an ideal post spacing of eight feet.
I’ll use this guide to put you through all you need to know before constructing Newel posts for your home staircase.
In the end, you’ll also know why Newel posts are important in your home.
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What Is the Recommended Distance Between Newel Posts?
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about the spacing you give between Newel posts because it’s highly subjective.
While you’ll decide on a six feet spacing, someone else will desire a spacing of eight feet, depending on the size of the deck.
However, the minimum Newel post spacing I’ll recommend is six feet; you’ll need to be careful so you don’t end up with an unappealing deck rail spacing.
A major cause is when you start spacing from the first corner posts without checking if the deck dimension is divisible by six.
Therefore, you’ll need uniform spacing to ensure the Newel posts have an aesthetically appealing look.
You must understand that it’s not just about having distance uniformity between Newel posts but also correctly installing them.
Now, you’ll have to measure the distance between the corner posts alongside the sides of the deck if you intend to add railings.
You’ll need to attach posts at the corner of the deck, depending on the presence of posts inside.
Likewise, if you have rail posts outside the deck, you’ll need to attach two posts on either side.
Where Can You Place Newel Posts?
Newel posts are solid structures that give support to balustrades.
The best position for your Newel posts will depend on your preference as to where you want them to be.
The proper positioning for Newel posts is either at the foot or the top of the stairway.
You can also place the Newels at different sites of your stairway, depending on your preference.
However, you must ensure to maintain symmetry while placing the Newel posts at the places you decide for them to be.
Another site where you must place your Newels is at junctions where the directions of the stairway change.
That positioning is important because you need a Newel post to complete a turn when there’s a 90-degree turn of the stairs; that also comes in handy when transitioning to a level landing.
Newel posts differ from Balusters and the intermediate posts; the intermediate posts span the space between individual Newel posts while the balusters outnumber the Newels.
The balusters outnumber the newel posts because they are close to each other by at least a few inches.
Also, the shapes and types of Newel posts will further guide you on the right positioning.
Therefore, I’ll use this table to show you the two main types of Newel posts there are out there and some things about them.
|Box Newels||Turned Newels|
|Like the name, the Box Newels have the shape of a box or a square.||These Newel posts have thinner architecture than the Box Newels.|
|The box Newels will be perfect if you place them at the foot of your stairway.||Turned Newels are so smooth that it’d be hard to find splinters or rough edges on them.|
|You can use this type of post with traditional designs.||At the beginning of a decorative stairway, the Turned Newels give off a perfect statement.|
How Do You Anchor Newel Posts To the Floor?
There are a few ways to anchor Newel posts to the floor, but that depends on the construction style of the Newels.
However, without further ado, let’s check how you can anchor your Newel posts to the floor.
#1. Construction Adhesive With Screwing
Using construction adhesive and screwing, the Newel post can adequately anchor to the floor.
To achieve that, follow these simple steps;
- Map out the floor area that’ll take anchorage for the Newel post.
- Get some screws in place alongside a screwdriver.
- Position the Newel and drill holes into its base to accommodate the screws.
- After securing the Newel, you can use decorative molding to cover the screw holes.
#2. Threaded Inserts
Using threaded inserts is another way of anchoring your Newel post to the ground.
To achieve that, map out the section of the floor you want your Newel to be on and then mount threaded inserts in the surface.
Next, leave a hole inside the Newel throughout its length and pass the thread up to its top.
Also, secure a hidden surface at the top of the post where you’ll use nuts and washers to hold down the post.
After anchoring the Newel to the floor, use glue to seal the top of the Newel completely.
#3. Newel Post In Two Pieces
I’d say this Newel post anchorage method is the easiest. However, if you’re custom-turning all the parts of the Newel, you’ll have an advantage.
To carry out this project to anchor your Newel, you’ll need to make it in two pieces. Use a 3×3 inch deep socket to cut through the lower piece while making a mortise.
After that, drill and anchor that part into the floor joist securely using screws to keep it in place.
At this point, you’ll need to make the two Newel pieces into one; to do that, use epoxy glue to fit the tenon of the top piece into the mortise you created in the lower piece.
Now, you’ve nicely anchored your Newel post. Please note that this method comes in handy when you custom-turn the Newel.
Related: How To Cut 8×8 Post? (Beginners Guide)
Are Newel Posts Necessary?
Having an understanding of the importance of Newel posts is necessary because that way, the abuse would be evitable.
In this section, you’ll discover why your stairway isn’t complete without Newel posts and why you must fix them whenever they collapse.
Below are some reasons why Newel posts are of necessity in your home.
#1. Support To Balusters
The balusters of your staircase won’t stand alone without a Newel post.
That becomes particularly important at points where the stairs make a sharp turn leaving the balusters to collapse when Newel isn’t in place.
You can imagine the Newel posts as the load bearers of the stairway; without them, there would be an increased risk of collapse.
Besides supporting the Balusters and handrails, the Newel posts also make them sturdier.
Beauty is another important function of your Newel posts. Without these posts, your staircase will look ordinary.
Newel posts come with various designs to suit your taste and give your stairway an aesthetically appealing look.
So you won’t just be buying and anchoring Newel posts for support alone but also for its beauty.
I can’t over-emphasize the importance of having Newel posts in your home stairway; besides giving support, it beautifies the stairway.
Also, if you like DIY projects, I’ll encourage you to anchor the Newel posts yourself because it has little or no difficulty.
However, if you don’t feel capable enough, get a professional to do the job for you.