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Do’s and Don’ts of Spindle Installation

Installing spindles isn’t challenging, but it does require precision, care, and plenty of prep work. Here are some best practices for spindle installation, along with some things to avoid during the process.

Do: Ensure Proper Spacing

Visually, the most important part of installing spindles is making sure that they are all an equal distance apart from each other. It’s essential to take the time to calculate what the proper distance between spindles is going to be before you begin installation. Otherwise, you may realize after it’s too late that there’s going to be improper spacing. 

S&L Spindles recommends using the “block spacer” method. Before installing any spindles, determine what the spacing is going to be and cut a small wood block to that length. Now, you have an instrument that will consistently give the proper spacing measurement.

Keep in mind that some townships have regulations as to what the maximum acceptable distance between spindles is, so don’t forget to research the regulations in your particular area before going further. Once you have figured out your ideal space that is up to code, you can use your block spacer to install equidistant spindles.

It is absolutely worth taking the extra few minutes to figure out what your spacing is going to be. You’ll thank yourself after you are finished that every spindle is the exact distance apart!

Do: Take Your Time

As with any project, pacing yourself and not rushing through important steps will save you a lot of headaches throughout the process. There is no sense in cutting corners to finish faster. Our installation guide is thorough and should be followed closely.

Making sure your measurements are accurate is crucial. If you approximate or eyeball the length of your handrail, you run the risk of cutting it too short and, in turn, wasting the piece. It will end up costing you both time and money if you rush when you measure, cut, or drill at any point in the spindle installation process.

Do: Hire a Professional if Needed

If you’re uncomfortable installing spindles yourself, don’t hesitate to get them professionally installed. There is no shame in hiring someone with experience that you can trust will install them correctly.

Combining the high-quality materials that S&L Spindles provides with expert installation will ensure that you can have peace of mind through every step of the process.

Do: Protect the Railing

In order to get the most out of your spindles’ lifespan, it’s a good idea to protect them and the railing with a high-quality stain or paint. This can be done either before or immediately after installation. Doing so will offer your spindles even more protection from the elements, while still maintaining the natural look and character of the wood.

Don’t: Use Cheap Materials

One way to ruin a good looking porch or deck is to skimp on the type of spindles and handrails you purchase. For something that is going to be exposed to rain, snow, or wind, it would be unwise to purchase materials that are made from low-quality wood that won’t stand the test of time.

This is why S&L Spindles is committed to using only high-quality, durable wood for all of our products, like Western Red Cedar and Pressure Treated Pine

assorted tools and hardware

Don’t: Wing It

Going hand-in-hand with taking your time, it is important that you don’t go into your project with absolutely no idea of the steps you need to take. Even if you are an experienced handyman, if you’ve never installed spindles before, you might not be aware of some of the nuances of proper spindle installation.

For example, the “block spacer” method that we mentioned earlier is something you might not have been aware of prior, but it is an invaluable, simple tool when installing spindles the correct distance apart.

Don’t: Use the Wrong Tools and Hardware

An easy mistake to make when taking on a new project is not knowing which tools will be right for the job. You also might not be fully equipped with all of the tools needed to complete your project. If this is the case, do not compromise the project by using the wrong type of saw to cut your handrail down to size, for example.

Before you start installing your spindles, ensure that you have everything you need, down to the right quantity of screws. You do not want to get halfway through the installation process and realize you need to go out to the store to buy more screws or a different screwdriver.

It may seem like common sense, but having all of the right tools and following the proper steps is extremely important when it comes to spindle installation. The quality of the final product hinges on not only the quality of the product you purchase, but also the quality of the installation itself. You don’t want to end up with loose spindles or an improperly installed handrail that could fall off when someone grabs it for support.

If you need any more information on spindle installation or to inquire about our products, feel free to contact us today.

Helpful Resources

Browse through our most popular how-to guides and other resources.

How-tos - Deck & Railing Installation Guides

How-To Guides

We have many short Do It Yourself articles on all of our products. For example, if you are looking for advice on working with our spindles, click here.

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