An aluminum handrail system offers both safety and style, and there are countless situations where having a handrail handy is beneficial. Handrails along a stairway or ramp can help prevent a simple slip from turning into a tragic fall. Handrail systems can even be installed along lengthy stretches of hallway to provide extra security for those with limited mobility or balance issues. When you know how to assemble an aluminum handrail system, you have the power to make your home or business a safer, more accessible place.
Preparing to Assemble an Aluminum Handrail System
Some home improvement projects are best left to the professionals. Assembling and installing an aluminum handrail system isn’t one of them, assuming you have some basic tools and construction knowhow. It’s a fairly simple task that will reward your efforts with satisfying results.
A Matter of Materials
Installing an aluminum handrail requires time, patience, and a few basic tools. Before you can get started, you’ll need to measure your desired location, select the handrail system that you want to install, and order the necessary parts. Handrails often come in kits that make it easy to get everything that you need. However, if you want a longer rail, you may need to order additional parts like connectors, mounts, or screws to make it work. It’s worth noting that different surfaces require different fasteners, so the screws provided might not be the best choice for your particular installation. Fortunately, a wide range of fasteners is readily available, so finding and purchasing the appropriate hardware shouldn’t be a problem.
After verifying that you have all the necessary pieces and parts for your handrail, it’s time to raid your toolbox for the tools the project will require. You’ll likely need a drill, drill bits, screwdrivers, a tape measure, and a level. If you need to cut the handrail for a custom fit, you will also require a saw.
How to Assemble an Aluminum Handrail System
With the variety of styles and colors available, finding an aluminum handrail system that suits your personal sense of style is a cinch. In fact, choosing the one that you like best from the sizeable selection offered might be the hardest part of installing a handrail!
Putting the Pieces Together
A basic handrail features a rail that is connected to supportive wall mounts with screws. With many styles, end caps pop into the ends of the pipe, providing a finished look. Other handrail systems have returns that serve as both the finished ends of the handrail and part of the mounting system.
Customizing the Length
For those concerned with safety, the security of a continuous handrail is tough to beat. Handrail systems are sold in various lengths, so you’re likely to find exactly what you need in a retailer’s inventory. However, if you need an unusual size, customizing the length is not a problem. Do you want a longer rail? Purchase two or more rails and the internal connectors that will transform them into one seamless handrail. Is the rail too long? Most rails can be cut to fit smaller spaces.
Securing the Handrail
How do you attach a handrail to a wall? The basic procedure is fairly simple. Use your tape measure to determine exactly where you want to place your handrail, and check the slope for consistency throughout. Then, use your drill and the appropriate fasteners to secure the handrail to the wall. What fasteners should you use? That depends on the surface:
- When securing a handrail to wood, use screws to attach the mounts to the studs. If you can’t hit the studs, toggle bolts can provide a solid connection.
- When attaching a handrail to brick or concrete, use screws with plastic anchors. Drill a hole, plug in the plastic anchor, and finish attaching the mount by driving the screw in.
- When installing a handrail on vinyl or stucco, you’ll want to reach past these finishes to the solid wood behind them. Ideally, use screws long enough to reach the studs. If it is impossible to connect to a stud, use toggle bolts.
Once the handrail is in place, give it a good tug to verify that it’s secure.
Finally, don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you’re not confident that you can learn how to assemble an aluminum handrail system safely. Better safe than sorry!
At Aluminum Handrail Direct, we’re committed to providing high-quality aluminum handrails that are durable, maintenance-free, affordable, and attractive. Our AHR Aluminum Wall Handrails deliver a strong, solid profile that suits both modern and traditional styles, and our rounded CHR Handrail Sections offer graceful, smooth lines. Both of these handrails are made in America and available in six different lengths and a multitude of different finishes. If you have questions about how to assemble an aluminum handrail system or are searching for a handrail system that’s perfect for your needs, visit Aluminum Handrail Direct’s online store today.