How do you tighten a loose stair railing? (FIXED)

Adding wooden stairs in any house takes the look and feel of their house to the next level. The wood stair railing really looks classic and they go very well with the overall furniture of your house.

After installing the wooden stairs they look very strong and indeed they are very sturdy. But, after using them regularly for ages they start to wear and tear. Due to prolonged use, they became less sturdy and sometimes even unsafe for use.

Mostly all the wooden stair railing are installed using strong adhesive and screws. Glues used for installing the wooden stair railing are really strong and it keeps the whole thing in place for years.

But, the screws being metal starts to rust and deteriorate after prolonged usage. Using wooden stairs that are not that strong and sturdy can be very dangerous.

How do you tighten a loose stair railing?

Kids don’t see stairs as the structural unit to go from one level to another but they see it as a slide. I don’t know about your kids but my kids play on the stairs all day long. They really like to use the stairs as the slides and the bannisters act as the brakes for them.

Also, due to occasional temblor and settling foundation even the best quality bannisters being too wobble.

If you choose to hire a professional to fix the stairs for your it will take a couple of hundred dollars. But, doing it on your own is not that hard and I will show you a step-by-step guide on How to tighten stair railings.

Repair Loose Wood Stairs

Repairing loose wooden stairs is not a big task and it can be done easily who has a little bit of experience of using a hammer. Before beginning the actual repairing process first you need the identify the areas where the rails are loose.

Identify Loose Areas

There is absolutely no need of working on areas where the rails are still sturdy. You need to only work on areas that are loose and leave the structurally sound areas.

Identifying which areas of the railing are loose requires some common sense and a lot of patience. If you grab the railing and pull it slightly you will get to know whether it requires some work or not.

If the wood stair railings move in one or the other areas then it is definitely loose and you need to fix it. Also, don’t forget to check the rungs between the stairs and the railing. Check whether they are tight enough or not.

Supporting wooden railing

There are a couple of options to choose from when you want to support the wooden railing. The first thing you can do is to add more wood screws to give it strength and support. This method is easy to perform and I will brief you on the next method.

You can also use wood glue to make it stronger and last longer. Initially, you will need to drill holes in wood stair railings and the holes you drill will act as a brace.

The corner where the thread and baluster meet is the point where you should drill. Drill a 2-inch hole and make sure that the drill is at a 45-degree angle.

Drill through the thread and baluster and also repeat the same procedure on the other side of the baluster.

Repairing wooden stairs

One large channel will be created connecting both the channels inside the wood. Clean the surface by removing all the sawdust which was created while drilling. Using a cloth wipe out all the dust away.

Make sure that the channel is clear and you can blow in it to remove all the remaining dust. Now put the glue bottle in the channel and squeeze the bottle.

If the glue doesn’t come out from the other side then you need to add more glue to that channel. Using a sponge or cloth wipe out all the excess glue.

How do you tighten a loose stair railing?

Now, let the glue dry for some time and then put weight on the repaired railing. If the railing is super loose you can create a bigger hole and add a wooden dowel to the hole and glue it once more.

How to Tighten Stair Bannisters?

Tightening the bannister will take some work but it’s not that difficult. Before moving on to the stepwise guide at first I will tell you the things needed for it.

Adjustable wrench, replacements to match old bolts, brass screwshammergluewooden dowels, and a chisel. If you have all the things then you are good to go or else you can buy them from Amazon over here.

Initially secure the newel posts (upright posts) which are located on either end of the bannister. Some newel posts sit in steel plate and some are fixed to the flooring. Check out this Red Oak Notched Newel Post from Amazon.

Some holes will be worn out too much to hold bolts. Drill new holes to replace such worn holes and also replace any broken hardware.

Also, some newels have adjustable bolts and don’t forget to tight them as well with the help of a wrench socket. Check the straps that join the sections of the railing together. You can drill new holes for the straps and glue them again.

If there are wall brackets then attach them again and if you don’t have wall brackets make sure to add them. They help a lot to make the rails steady as well as sturdy

Replace the screws on the railing with new brass screws and make sure to use new screws of slightly large diameter to fit the holes. Also, tighten the rail bolts then attach the rails to newel posts.

In the end, don’t forget to glue the balusters, and if they are worn out replace them with new ones.



I spend each darn end of the week taking a shot at home tasks and trimming down the “nectar do” list. This is where I share the majority of the undertakings I’ve done and things I’m learning.

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