I have a railing that starts at the first floor with a post, goes up the stairs with balusters and ends with another post. But space is extremely limited on that 2nd floor landing and the post position makes it hard to grab the railing when going down the stairs. Also the post can not be moved further because of a bedroom doorway.

My question is, can I remove that second floor post and turn and terminate the railing into the wall giving much needed extra room to grab the railing?

I've attached a couple sketches to show what I mean.

old set up new set up

  • maybe you can just saw the top off the post?
    – Jasen
    Sep 22 '18 at 4:48

You can attach the top of the railing to the wall with a handrail bracket:

handrail bracket

You should consider that a safety railing must do its best work during accidents and emergencies. At some point during its lifetime a stair railing will suddenly be subjected to over a hundred pounds of force in some random direction, and it will be because someone is already in trouble and is counting on the railing to save his bones.

Of course you need to locate the bracket on a wall stud.

But even with hefty screws driven into the stud, the bracket will eventually loosen and wobble because it will crush the plaster or wallboard behind it.

You need to cut a plug out of the wall material and replace it with wood or plywood patch to support the bracket. A bit of spackling makes the patch invisible.

Proper installation is a bit of work but necessary for complete safety.

I mounted the stair rails in my house this way and they have not shifted a millimeter in thirty years.

  • I have put many hand rail brackets on top of sheetrock and not had any problem with the sheetrock being damaged.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 22 '18 at 16:26

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