Baluster Installation How to - Baluster Guide

How to Install Deck Balusters

on Wood Deck Railing

This is a sample guide for installing different styles of deck balusters, but there's more than one way to mount a baluster! Be sure to review the specific instructions included with the balusters you select for your deck. If you’re installing deck lighting and handrails simultaneously, your railing may be modified to accommodate wiring. For more information, see DecksDirect's Lighting Guide. As always, don't forget to use proper safety equipment, and follow proper safety procedures when installing balusters.

Baluster Installation Tool List

Below is a list of tools and supplies you'll need for installing deck balusters:

a man holds a tape measurer along a cedar deck railing to measure the total distanceDeck Balusters
a pile of baluster connectors and screws laying on a deckBalusters Connectors
a level railing connector installed on a cedar railingRail Connectors
a yellow drillDrill & Drill Bit
a contractors pencilPencil
a speed square sitting uprightSpeed Square
a yellow tape measurerTape Measurer
safety glassesSafety Glasses

Installing Balusters Between Rails - Level

Check out our videos using Deckorators Balusters or our general tutorial below in how to install balusters between the rails on a level railing.

 

Installing Round Aluminum Balusters

 

Installing Square Aluminum Balusters

a man holds a tape measurer along a cedar deck railing to measure the total distance
a man is marking the deck railing for balusters to be installed

Step 1

Measure the distance between your handrail posts and cut two equal length rails to create the top and bottom railings. Place the top and bottom rails side by side in their correct installation positions.

Step 2

Using a tape measure and pencil, locate and mark the center of the rails. Working outward from the center, measure and mark a line every 3-¾  to 4-½ inches, depending on desired spacing, until you reach the end of the rail.

Closeup of working with a drill to attched baluster connectors in marked locations
a drill installing the last baluster connector on a cedar railing

Step 3

Begin attaching the baluster connectors in their positions. Place the included installation screws into each connector and then holding it firmly, position the point of the screw directly onto the center of the marked location. Using a drill, drive the screw into the railing until the connector pulls tight to it. Be careful not to over-tighten the connection.

 

Blair places bottom cedar railing into place with already installed railing connectors
Blair places balusters in connectors already installed in bottom railing

Step 4

Mount and install the bottom rail level between the posts. Using a Rail Connector at this step will give your railing extra strength and security compared to simply using standard deck screws. Once installed, slide a baluster over each established connector, ensuring each baluster is firmly positioned to the bottom of the connector.

Blair aligning the top rail wiht the installed balusters
Finihsed view of balusters installed on a cedar railing

Step 5

Position and install the top rail over the balusters. Beginning at one end of the rail, start aligning balusters with their coordinating connectors. After each baluster is linked to each of the connectors, press down firmly on the top rail to assure connector is fully positioned. You may also use a rubber mallet to do this.

Step 6

Mount and install the top rail level between the posts using rail connecting brackets or hardware.

Installing Balusters Between Rails - Stair

Check out our videos using Deckorators Balusters or our general tutorial below in how to install balusters between the rails on a stair railing.

 

Installing Stair Balusters

drawing of side view of stair deck railing
closeup of sair railing cut line

Step 1

Lay each stair rail, in the position that you will be installing them, on top of the stair treads and flush against the stair posts. Using those posts as a guide, mark the rails to indicate the proper angle, and then cut the rails. Place the cut rails side by side in their assumed installation position, this will mean that the TOP rail will be turned upside down and the ends of the boards will have different angles.

a man with a tape measurer marking cedar stair rails
a man using a speed square to mark a cedar stair railing for baluster connectors

Step 2

Using a tape measure and pencil, locate and mark the center of each rail. Then, working outward from the center, measure and mark every 5-½ inches until the end of your rails. If the final installation point is less than 2-¼ inches, then offset ALL of the installation marks by 2-¼ inches to remain symmetrical. This spacing will only be accurate if used on a standard staircase angle range of 30 to 35 degrees. For ramps or uncommonly angled staircases, a different spacing width should be determined.

Closeup of balusters connectors being installed in a cedar stair railing
drawing of stair railing illustrating stair baluster installation

Step 3

Stair baluster connectors are angled to make installation as easy as possible, remember that the connector should be positioned so the angle lines up with the angle of the railing. Insert the included installation screw into the connector, and using a drill, attach the connector centered on the marked locations. Remember to begin drilling vertically into the railing, but once the screw connects with the wood, adjust your drill to finish at the correct angle. Be careful not to over-tighten your connector.

 

A bottom stair railing installed before the balusters and top rail is in place
a closeup of stair balusters being installed onto baluster conntectors

Step 4

Mount and install the bottom rail level between the posts. Using a Rail Connector at this step will give your railing extra strength and security compared to simply using standard deck screws. Once installed, slide a baluster over each established connector, ensuring each baluster is firmly positioned to the bottom of the connector.

Finishing up the stair railing by attaching the top railing to the post
Finished Stair deck railing with balusters installed

Step 5

Position and install the top rail over the balusters. Beginning at one end of the rail, start aligning balusters with their coordinating connectors. After each baluster is linked to each of the connectors, press down firmly on the top rail to assure connector is fully positioned. You may also use a rubber mallet to finish this off.

Step 6

Mount and install the top rail level between the posts using rail connecting brackets or hardware.

Installing Face-Mount Balusters - Level

Check out our videos using Deckorators Balusters or our general tutorial below in how to install face-mount balusters.

 

Installing Face-Mount Balusters

Step 1

Measure the distance between your handrail posts and cut two equal length pieces to create the top and bottom rails. Mount and install the rails at their desired heights on the posts. Using a Rail Connector at this step will give your railing extra strength and security compared to simply using standard deck screws.

Step 2

Using a tape measure and pencil, locate and mark the center of each rail. Then, working outward from the center, measure and mark every 5-½ inches until the end of your rails. If the final installation point is less than 2-¼ inches, then offset ALL of the installation marks by 2-¼ inches to remain symmetrical. This spacing will only be accurate if used on a standard staircase angle range of 30 to 35 degrees. For ramps or uncommonly angled staircases, a different spacing width should be determined.

Step 3

To install the balusters onto the rails, place the included plastic or nylon washer in between the rail and the baluster and attach using the included installation screws. It is helpful to keep a level or speed square handy at this time to ensure a plumb mount.

Installing Glass Balusters Between Rails

a closeup of glass balusters installed on a white railing with white railing connectors

Step 1

Measure the distance between your handrail posts and cut two equal length rails to create the top and bottom railings. Place the top and bottom rails side by side in their correct installation positions. To figure out the number of glass balusters you’ll be using in a section, as well as the best spacing needed; watch through the Baluster Count and Spacing video and apply your distances.

Step 2

Use your tape measure to locate and mark the center of the rails. If you will be using an odd number of balusters in the section, this will be the first installation point. If installing an even number of balusters in the section, then center your baluster spacing on the center mark of your rails.

Step 3

After marking your rails, take 2 of the included installation screws, and keeping the connector centered on the mark; drill those 2 screws in until connector is tight to the wood.

Step 4

Secure and install the bottom rail level between the posts. Using a Rail Connector at this step will give your railing extra strength and security compared to simply using standard deck screws. Once installed, insert a glass baluster into each established connector, ensuring each baluster is firmly positioned to the bottom of the connector.

Step 5

Carefully place the top rail over each baluster, feeding each piece into its coordinating connector. Once all balusters are fully embedded into their connectors, install and secure the top rail in place between the posts.

Installing Face-Mount Glass Balusters

a cedar deck by the sea featuring face mount glass deck balusters

Step 1

Measure the distance between your handrail posts and cut two equal length rails to create the top and bottom railings. Mount and install the top and bottom rails at their desired heights on the posts. Using a Rail Connector at this step will give your railing extra strength and security compared to simply using standard deck screws.

Step 2

To figure out the number of glass balusters you’ll be using in a section, as well as the best spacing needed; watch through the Baluster Count and Spacing video and apply your distances.

Step 3

Use your tape measure to locate and mark the center of the rails. If you will be using an odd number of balusters in the section, this will be the first installation point. If installing an even number of balusters in the section, then center your baluster spacing on the center mark of your rails.

Step 4

Mark out the appropriate lengths from your equation onto the rails, confirming your spacing.

Step 5

Using 4 of the included rubber grommets and installation screws, install your first glass baluster on-center of the center mark. Drive the screw until the rubber grommet begins to mushroom. Be sure not to over-tighten the connection.

Installing Evolve Infill Panels - Level & Stair

Installing Evolve Aluminum Panels

Before you Begin

There are two important notes to keep in mind when installing Evolve Aluminum Insert Panels:

  • 1. If installing into pressure-treated lumber, use a barrier tape between the aluminum and lumber to avoid any direct contact.
  • 2. Evolve Insert Stair Panels are welded at a standard 35-degree angle and is rackable up to 4 degrees in either direction.

Step 1

Measure the railing distance between your posts and trim your rail material to fit. Install and mount your bottom rail to your posts, leaving a 2 to 3-inch sweep space at the bottom. Using a Rail Connector at this step will give your railing extra strength and security compared to simply using standard deck screws.

Step 2

Cut the Evolve Aluminum Insert Panel to the same length as your rail. To ensure a symmetrical look at both ends of the rail, trim from both ends equally rather than one side only. It’s recommended to use a carbide tipped saw blade to cut the panel.

Step 3

Place the provided ⅛ inch plastic spacers on top of the bottom rail allowing for 1 spacer per every 2 feet of rail. These spacers will allow for easy drainage.

Step 4

Position the Evolve panel between the posts and on top of the bottom rail. Attach to the bottom rail with the included color-matching installation screws.

Step 5

Place remaining plastic spacers on the top channel of the Evolve panel, again 1 spacer for every 2 feet of railing. Then place the top rail board into the top channel of the Evolve panel and install using the included color-matching screws. Then secure your top rail to your posts using rail connectors or brackets. Install desired top cap board to rail section.

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