I'm in the process of replacing some cabinets with a guard rail and need to attach a few newel posts to the floor. From what I've read it sounds like the Sure-Tite, lag bolt, method is very sturdy. It is recommended that the bolt goes into the joist but from my understanding doing so would cause 1-3/4" of a 5" newel post to hang over the edge (minus drywall thickness). Can someone help me understand how people are installing the post without the overhang?

I've attached a few images to help describe what I'm talking about and also two pictures of what I'm hoping to have my railing look like.


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2 Answers 2


You will need a box newel with a long enough bottom section to notch over the joists and attach it to the sides of the joist, through the face of the box newel. Anchoring is superb this way. This will let the stair skirt board die into it, the box newel will extend to the floor and the nosings will butt into either face of the bow newel. This is thew way I do it, or would do it.... On the other hand....

Your details are pretty well defined already. This looks like a fabricator pre-assembled everything in a shop, connected to the white sole plate, set it in place and screwed it down. The sole plate is the strength of the whole system. I am not crazy about this type of install and if it were me, I would detail my anchoring style with the finish details you have established just to keep everything consistent. That would mean swapping out where the anchoring is done. Instead of screwing into theoutside face of the joists, I would cut the box newel so it would screw to the inside corner of the framing after the subfloor is cut out a bit.

If the box newels are not available that long at the bottom to do it this way, they are hollow that I am aware of, so set a proper sized solid 4X4 or 3X3 at the center where the newel will set, long enough to extend about 2 ft or so above the floor and drop the box newel over it after the white sole plate is in place. Glue and or nail in place.

  • 1
    Thanks @Jack. Would it look something like this: hammerzone.com/archives/decks/stairs/2nd_story/02/xdstta66b.jpg I would remove the subfloor, notch the newel, and then attach to the side of the joist. Is my understanding correct?
    – slock
    Aug 10, 2017 at 4:11
  • Yes that is what I am referring to of course that is a solid 4 by 4 versus the hollow box newel that you have, but the detail of attachment is the same again I must stress that the bottom portion of the Box newel must be long enough to do so so that the portion of the bottom that is above the floor will be the same detail as the rest of your box newel.
    – Jack
    Aug 10, 2017 at 15:19
  • Thanks Jack. I'm going to give this method a try this weekend.
    – slock
    Aug 12, 2017 at 3:13

I'm not familiar with the system you mentioned, but a single lag doesn't sound very solid to me. We had a standard routine which made quick, reliable work of such situations:

  1. Procure a plate of 1/4" steel, approximately 12" square.
  2. Lay the plate, roughly centered, where the newel post will stand.
  3. Trace the plate on the floor, and mark the area where the plate overhangs the stair opening by tracing the underside.
  4. Cut out the overhanging portion of the plate.
  5. Drill a 3/8" hole in the center of the plate, and distribute 4-8 more 3/16" holes throughout the area where the post will attach, countersunk from the bottom side of the plate.
  6. Drill and countersink holes, as appropriate, from the top side and outside the post area for mounting to floor framing.
  7. Attach the plate to the post with a 4" lag screw in the center, and 2" or longer construction screws in the countersunk holes (each properly piloted), as well as construction adhesive.
  8. Mortise the plate area to the depth of the plate's thickness, and countersink for the lag screw head at the center.
  9. Mount the plate to the floor using a bed of construction adhesive and 3" construction screws.

Check plumb at right angles. If any adjustment is necessary, very thin shims under the plate will do to hold position temporarily as the adhesive sets.

This technique distributes the substantial torque applied to a newel post over a much larger area, including the joist and subfloor. It's unlikely to work loose over time.

In your particular situation, I'd remove the wood stair nosing temporarily (or replace it with something nicer) and set the plate underneath that. You'll need to decide whether you want to remove tile or not. If not, cut the plate around it.

  • Thanks @isherwood. So basically make a larger version of this: amazon.com/Newel-Post-Fastener-Plate-Screws/dp/B00IAC0ZTQ And also mortise the 3/4" subfloor for it to fit in right?
    – slock
    Aug 9, 2017 at 19:50
  • Exactly. Those are too small to be useful, in my opinion.
    – isherwood
    Aug 9, 2017 at 19:52
  • Okay. I'm not sure I can fabricate something like that so although I like the idea I'm also wondering if there are other ways.
    – slock
    Aug 9, 2017 at 22:02

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