How to Tighten a Stair Handrail

Stair handrails are installed to help people safely travel up and down stairs. Over time, handrails can become weak and loose or begin to pull away from the wall. Because it's not uncommon for people to slip and fall on stairs, it's important to ensure that handrails are strong and sturdy, so there's something to grab hold of in case of an accident. There are several proven methods for tightening a loose stair handrail.

Stair handrails may need to be tightened over time.
  1. Drill a pilot hole at an angle through the stair post into the stair rail or tread. Countersink a wood screw into the pilot hole and tighten it using the drill. Spread a thin layer of wood putty over the hole with a putty knife and allow it to dry for an hour. This method can be used for tightening posts or a rail on a stair handrail.

  2. Squirt wood glue into the joints of the handrail until they're almost overflowing. Drill pilot holes at an angle through both sides of the stair rail into the stair post. Drive nails through the rail from both sides using a hammer. Wipe up excess glue with a wet rage, spread a thin layer of wood putty over the hole and allow it to dry. This method can be used for tightening posts or rails.

  3. Measure the space between each stair post and cut pieces of wood blocking to fit. Coat the back of the blocking with wood glue, then set in place--a tight fit will make them more secure. Hammer nails in to secure the blocking. This method will stabilize the whole handrail.

About the Author

Sarai Jeremiah is a freelance writer and graphic designer living on the East Coast, where she is currently pursuing an education in both fields. She has been writing articles and content on a variety of topics since 2006 and has contributed articles to Web sites such as Spark People.